Per NFL Network's Mike Garafolo, the seven-time Pro Bowler is mulling over potential options as a coach or consultant to stay in the league.
In a surprise announcement, Kuechly retired from the NFL after eight seasons with an emotional goodbye video on January 15:
Even though no team was directly linked to Kuechly, Garafolo noted the Panthers "would love to have him be part of their organization" going forward.
Ron Rivera, who was Keuchly's head coach until the Panthers fired him on Dec. 3, told WBTV's Andrew Barnett he could see the star linebacker moving into the coaching ranks eventually:
“Knowing him, it’s probably going to be fishing and being around his family, that type of stuff. And then he may get a little anxious, a little antsy and he might coach, he’s got such a brilliant football mind and he loves the game so much, that could be possibly in his future, his near future. But I think he’s going to take a chance to step back and really take a breath and think about what’s going on and what he really wants to do later in life.”
Kuechly spent his entire career with the Panthers, who selected him No. 9 overall in the 2012 NFL Draft. He quickly established himself as one of the best players in franchise history.
The 28-year-old was named to the Pro Bowl in each of the past seven seasons, an All-Pro first- or second-team member seven times and won the NFL Defensive Player of the Year award in 2013.