Carolina Panthers

Carolina Panthers scouting staff gets shakeup after departure, retirement

The changes in the Carolina Panthers’ college scouting department mark the first scouting turnover of the Dave Gettleman era.
The changes in the Carolina Panthers’ college scouting department mark the first scouting turnover of the Dave Gettleman era. jsiner@charlotteobserver.com

The Carolina Panthers’ college scouting department is undergoing change a few days after the draft wrapped up.

Assistant college scouting director Ryan Cowden is leaving to take a position in the Tennessee Titans’ front office and college scout John Peterson is retiring, according to league sources.

The moves represent the first turnover in the Panthers’ scouting department since general manager Dave Gettleman was hired in 2013. And depending on how the team fills the vacancies, there could be additional fallout.

Despite an extensive scouting background, Gettleman left the college side intact after his arrival, while hiring Clyde Powers and former Washington tight end Don Warren as pro scouts.

Cowden, 38, has been hired as the Titans’ director of player personnel, sources said.

The former Wofford safety joined the Panthers in 2000 and became their national scout/senior college scout in 2012. Cowden, who has been based in Greenville, S.C., spent the past two years working alongside college scouting director Don Gregory.

Peterson’s four decades in football spanned three leagues – the NFL, CFL and World League – and included stints as a college head coach at Frostburg (Md.) State and Bemidji (Minn.) State.

Peterson, 67, was hired by the Panthers in 2008 following 12 years as an area scout for the Seattle Seahawks.

On Thursday evening, the Carolina Panthers chose defensive tackle Vernon Butler with the 30th pick in the NFL Draft. On Friday, Butler met with local Charlotte media to answer questions.

Joseph Person: 704-358-5123, @josephperson

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