Schneider Extended Through 2016
Seattle Seahawks HC Pete Carroll and GM John Schneider have been a stellar brain trust in the three years they have worked together, transforming the team into a legitimate Super Bowl contender. Schneider’s original deal ran through 2012, but was quietly extended last year through 2016.
With Carroll’s original 5-year deal running through 2014, it is a given that an extension will be done within the year to keep the tandem together.
On January 11, 2010, the Seahawks hired Pete Carroll to restore the franchise to their glory days, naming him Head Coach as well as Executive Vice President of Football Operations. A week later, Schneider joined the team to work closely with Carroll on contract and personnel matters.
Traditionally, the GM helps pick the coach. However, the role-reversal in Seattle has paid huge dividends.
In their first year together, the Carroll/Schneider team completed over 200 roster transactions and became the first 7-9 team in NFL history to win a division title. The team found added success in the Wild Card weekend of the playoffs, defeating the previous year’s Super Bowl champs, New Orleans Saints.
While 2011 did not show much growth, the team kept building toward their plan… a plan that led to a 2012, 11-5 record, including an undefeated record at home.
Together, Carroll and Schneider have drafted immediate contributors such as first rounders LT Russell Okung and S Earl Thomas, second rounders WR Golden Tate and LB Bobby Wagner, third rounder QB Russell Wilson, and fifth rounders CB Richard Sherman and S Kam Chancellor.
In addition, they have also pulled off trades for key personnel such as RB Marshawn Lynch from the Bills, Chris Clemons from the Eagles, and Percy Harvin from the Vikings.
Finally, they have signed impact players from free agency such as WR Sidney Rice, DE Cliff Avril, and CB Brandon Browner. Each one of those players is a key cog on the Seahawks depth chart, and each make up a distinct part of the team’s overall identity.
With Schneider locked up through 2016, it will soon be time to do the same for Carroll.
If a team is expected to retain a coach, rarely do they let them work through the final year of their contract without talking extension. The hounding by the media alone would cause too much of a distraction. So far the organization has done everything right.
Drafting, trades, and controversy have all been handled with a precise perfection that almost any other franchise in the league would be envious of. Look for the Seahawks success to continue, and Carroll to sign an extension soon, rather than later.
After the extension is done, the real work will only just be starting.
Finding a way to fit all their drafted stars under the salary cap when their original rookie contracts start expiring will be the greatest challenge Carroll and Schneider have faced yet.