John Schneider

Seahawks Deny Packers Permission To Interview John Schneider For GM Job

The Packers are aiming high in their search for a new general manager. NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport reports (via Twitter) that the organization “submitted paperwork for permission” to interview current Seahawks general manager John Schneider. The request was ultimately denied.

John Schneider The Packers interviewed director of football operations Eliot Wolf earlier this week, and they’ve also spoken to VP of football administration Russ Ball and director of player personnel Brian Gutekunst. Former Bills GM Doug Whaley is expected to be the first external candidate to interview for the gig later today. The Packers were previously rejected from interviewing Vikings executive George Paton. The team has been seeking a new general manager since Ted Thompson was removed from the role earlier this week.

However, despite the seemingly long list of candidates, you couldn’t blame the Packers organization for targeting Schneider, a Green Bay-native. The executive has been one of the most successful general managers in the NFL since he took over the Seahawks job in 2010. Seattle has compiled a 79-48-1 record over his eight years on the job, including a Super Bowl win and pair of NFC Championships. Working in tandem with head coach Pete Carroll, Schneider has been responsible for the late-round selections of Russell Wilson, Richard Sherman, and Kam Chancellor, as well as the signings of undrafted free agents Doug Baldwin and Thomas Rawls.

Rapoport notes that Schneider signed an extension that runs through 2021, and it doesn’t contain an out-clause for Green Bay. As a result, the Packers would only be able to hire the general manager after completing a trade with Seattle. Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel says that the Packers could push the fact that Schneider isn’t a “high-level employee” considering Carroll’s presence in the front office. However, that would require Green Bay to “certify a dispute” with commissioner Roger Goodell, and it would surely lead to some bad blood between the two organizations.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Seahawks To Extend GM John Schneider

The Seahawks and longtime GM John Schneider have reached an agreement on an extension that will make him one of the highest-paid GMs in the NFL. It’s a five-year extension for Schneider set to run through the 2021 season.

The deal, per Clayton, will approach $3.75MM per year, matching Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome for the highest full-time GM salary in the NFL . Schneider was set to be seeking a contract worth $4MM per season, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reports.

Schneider’s contract was set to expire after the 2016 season. Pete Carroll‘s deal expires after 2016 as well and the Schneider pact is expected to soon lead to an extension for the team’s highly-regarded head coach.

The team has qualified for the playoffs in five of the pair’s six years together, including each of the past four. Assembling a mostly homegrown group of talent during this decade, Seattle’s gone to two Super Bowls, winning one and coming closer than perhaps any big-game loser has to claiming another title one year later.

Under Schneider’s regime, the Seahawks have been one of the league’s best at drafting talent and possibly the best reaching extensions with cornerstone players — including Russell Wilson, Earl Thomas, Richard Sherman and Bobby Wagner. They received the most productive years of Marshawn Lynch‘s career after trading for the then-maligned running back and recently hammered out an extension with former UDFA Doug Baldwin, the latest member of Seattle’s deep core now locked up long-term.

The agreement was first reported by ESPN.com’s John Clayton. FOXSports.com’s Jay Glazer (on Twitter) was first to report the length of the agreement. Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Fallout From Doug Baldwin’s Extension

With Seahawks receiver Doug Baldwin‘s four-year, $46MM extension in the books, the Broncos’ Emmanuel Sanders is now at the front of the line of wideouts set to land new deals prior to the season, tweets Dan Graziano of ESPN. Baldwin, the Chargers’ Keenan Allen and the Jaguars’ Allen Hurns have all signed extensions worth upward of $40MM – including $20MM-plus in guarantees – this month, but each is younger than Sanders. Nevertheless, the 29-year-old is coming off back-to-back 1,000-yard campaigns, having combined for 177 catches and 15 touchdowns during that span, and figures to net a sizable raise over the $5.6MM he’s scheduled to make in 2016. The Broncos and Sanders are already in negotiations, as 9NEWS’ Mike Klis reported earlier this month.

More out of Seattle:

  • The Seahawks will now turn their attention to locking up the Super Bowl-winning duo of general manager John Schneider and head coach Pete Caroll, whose deals expire after this season, according to Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times. Extensions for the pair could come during training camp, per Condotta. Defensive end Michael Bennett, meanwhile, is the next member of the Seahawks’ roster likely to rake in a big payday, writes Condotta. Bennett won’t be a free agent until after the 2017 campaign, however, so he might have to wait another year.
  • Baldwin went undrafted in 2011 out of Stanford, where he was teammates with superstar Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman. After all 32 NFL teams snubbed Baldwin for seven rounds, Sherman – a fifth-rounder that year – contacted the wideout and encouraged him to sign with the Seahawks. “They’re going to call you. I want you to be here,” Sherman said (via Jayson Jenks of the Seattle Times). Baldwin has since morphed into one of the pros’ best and richest wideouts because of his football-first mindset, which has come at a cost to his personal life, details Jenks. “I’m not the fastest, the strongest, the most athletic, the tallest,” Baldwin told Jenks. “But in order for me to be good at what I do, I have to focus on my craft so much that it alleviates those other things. I can’t have personal relationships like other people do. I can’t spend time on that.”
  • Baldwin’s extension means the Seahawks will enter camp with one fewer distraction, observes ESPN’s Sheil Kapadia, who adds that Baldwin’s 1,000-yard season in 2015 was just the fourth by a slot receiver over the past five years. Baldwin is also the only receiver since 1992 – when targets were first tracked – to rack up 1,000-plus yards while hauling in at least 80 percent of the passes intended for him, per Kapadia.

Seahawks GM Discusses Offseason, Re-Signings, Keys to Success

It’s been a relatively quiet offseason for the Seahawks. The organization has added lineman on both sides of the ball, and they also signed Jermaine Kearse to a new contract. Of course, it hasn’t solely been positive in Seattle, as former first-rounder Bruce Irvin left for the Raiders.

General manager John Schneider touched on several of these topics while talking with reporters (including John Boyle of Seahawks.com) at the NFL Annual Meetings earlier this week. We’ve compiled some of the notable quotes below…

On the team’s strategy for the rest of the offseason:

“All throughout free agency, every position, we’re going to keep tinkering and working our way through certain deals and see if we can be involved or if we can’t. Where we’re at right now, we just have to be very responsible.”

On Frank Clark being forced to replace some of Irvin’s production:

“When we drafted Frank—you have to prepare for the possibility of not having some players. Obviously we wanted to have Bruce back and if the two of them were on the same team again, that would have been great, but to a certain extent you have to look towards the future.”

On switching focus to re-signing current players:

“We have several guys who have one year left on their contracts, so that’s always something we look at. For planning purposes moving forward we have to know what’s down the road. We have several key players who have one year left on their deals, so we’ll try to address that at the appropriate time.”

On the key to the Seahawks success:

“There’s no ego. Ego is the enemy, really. Being able to communicate in clear, concise fashion and make decisions as quickly as you possibly can. Knowing that first and foremost, we’re looking out for what’s best in the organization.

“We talk about no walls at our place. We include our coaches in the draft and in free agency, and they have buy-in.”

NFC Notes: Norman, Megatron, Seahawks

We learned yesterday that Josh Norman and the Panthers are far apart in discussions on a new, multi-year contract, and if those negotiations do not start to gain traction, Norman could miss voluntary workouts and OTAs and possibly the mandatory June minicamp. But as David Newton of ESPN.com writes, Carolina GM Dave Gettleman downplayed that speculation, saying that he does not expect the Norman situation to create much of a distraction.

Said Gettleman, “Josh is a pro and I don’t think there’ll be any issues. He and I had a great conversation before I put the tag on him. He understands where I’m at. I understand where he’s at. We respect each other’s stance and we’ll just see if we can get [it] done.” Gettleman added that he and head coach Ron Rivera are “very comfortable” regardless of whether Norman signs a long-term deal with the Panthers prior to the July 15 deadline or whether he plays out the 2016 season under the franchise tag.  

Now let’s take a look at some more links from around the NFC:

  • There was some speculation earlier this month that Calvin Johnson wanted to retire as a free agent rather than under Lions control so that, in case he ever came out of retirement, he would be free to choose his next destination. Of course, Megatron ultimately retired as a member of the Lions, but according to Detroit president Rod Wood, it’s a moot point anyway, as he would be “very surprised” if Johnson ever expressed a desire to return to the NFL (video link via Dave Birkett of The Detroit Free Press).
  • Seahawks GM John Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll each signed three-year contract extensions in 2014 that take them through the 2016 season, which means they are both entering the final years of their respective deals. As Sheil Kapadia of ESPN.com writes, however, Schneider says his contract is a “non-story.” Schneider said, “Pete and I have a great relationship, and we are just in a really good spot. We are just going to keep staying together and keep doing what we are doing and see how long we can make it last.” Kapadia believes the most likely scenario is that both men will sign extensions in the coming months, and we know that the club has already been working on a new deal for Carroll.
  • The Seahawks‘ offensive line was the subject of a great deal of criticism in 2015, and it does not look like it will be much better in 2016. Per Bob Condotta of The Seattle Times, Schneider has indicated that if the season started today, last year’s right tackle, Garry Gilliam, would compete with the newly-acquired Bradley Sowell to be the club’s starting left tackle, with another free agent acquisition, J’Marcus Webb, penciled in at right tackle. In addition to losing Russell Okung in free agency, the Seahawks also lost right guard J.R. Sweezy, but Schneider offered no indication that the team would pursue any additional signings or trades to beef up its line.
  • Ralpha Vacchiano of The New York Daily News does not believe the Giants are done spending in free agency, and at the very least, he expects the team to pursue a veteran offensive lineman and a veteran safety. He does not, however, believe Big Blue will bring back Rueben Randle or Will Beatty.
  • The 49ers have not made a contract offer to free agent wideout Anquan Boldin, according to Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com, and while GM Trent Baalke said he has by no means closed the door on a possible reunion, he did not sound especially optimistic that Boldin would return to San Francisco next season. As Baalke said, “A lot of it is going to depend whether he feels and we feel it’s a fit moving forward with what we’re trying to do offensively and what he’s looking for at this stage of his career.” Boldin has already stated his desire to play for a title contender in 2016, and it is currently difficult to imagine the 49ers fitting that description.

 

Sunday Roundup: Bryant, Chancellor, Broncos

Cowboys dynamic receiver Dez Bryant has a very unclear timeline for his return. Initial reports had him returning in 4-6 weeks, while subsequent stories suggested he could miss as many as 10 or 12 games due to his foot injury. However, amidst these conflicting reports, Bryant himself chose to weigh in on these reports via his personal Twitter account.

“Whenever the media can’t talk to me, reports get made like this,” Bryant tweeted. “10 to 12 weeks… we will just see how long I’m out lol. Go cowboys!!”

Here’s more from around the NFL:

  • Seahawks general manager John Schneider can sleep a little easier while holding strong in his stance against renegotiating Kam Chancellor‘s contract. Owner Paul Allen supports Schneider in this standoff, reports Conor Orr of NFL.com. That is one less force pressuring the team to soften its stance on negotiations with the superstar safety.
  • The Broncos may be 2-0 after escaping with narrow wins against both Baltimore and Kansas City, but they have a big question at running back. Starter C.J. Anderson has been ineffective, and backup Ronnie Hillman has emerged as a potentially better option for Denver. Troy Renck and Mark Kiszla of the Denver Post argue about if and when the team should make a change.
  • Many fans were confused by how quickly the Texans switched from Brian Hoyer to Ryan Mallett after just one game. Kevin Patra of NFL.com passes on a few reasons, courtesy of reporting done by Ian Rapoport. Those reasons include the spark Mallett brought to the team, how he handled losing the starting job, eliminating negative plays, and simply looking for star wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins.

Seahawks Coach, GM Discuss Clark, Lockett, Irvin

The Seahawks made one of the more surprising selections on Friday evening, selecting embattled defensive end Frank Clark at the end of the second round. The former Michigan Wolverine certainly has plenty of talent, but the 21-year-old was dismissed from his team in November following his involvement in a domestic violence case.

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider explained the logic behind the decision, and they also discussed some other topics following the second day of the draft. Let’s take a look at some of the notable quotes (via Bob Condotta of The Seattle Times)…

Schneider on the organization’s investigation, and subsequent selection, of Clark:

“Our organization has an in-depth understanding of Frank Clark’s situation and background—we have done a ton of research on this young man. There’s hasn’t been one player in this draft that we have spent more time researching and scrutinizing more than Frank. That is why we have provided Frank with this opportunity, and we look forward to him succeeding in our culture here in Seattle.”

Carroll on whether the Ray Rice situation had an impact on their decision:

“Absolutely. It was crucial we did all of the work that we did—all of the meetings, all of the interviews, questions asked to get to the point where we knew what was going on—that we understood the situation and could go ahead to give him a chance to do this. With all of the elevated awareness that made us more tuned in with what we needed to do to take care of business. John made his trips, we visited with the kid numerous times, we flew him in here—we have taken every opportunity and every chance to figure out what we needed to figure out. We did it, and we are going to hold him to a very standard of expectation like we do, and we think he is going to be very successful.”

Carroll on why Clark’s skills make him a worthy pick:

“His mentality in the way he plays the game—he is such a competitive kid and it’s so important to him to play his best. He plays so tough and chases the football—he is physical in the way the players play. He just has the kind of nature that really fits in with those players. He has a ton of upside—as John said—and he is going to improve a lot. We think he is going to be a really exciting addition to the club.”

Schneider on the team’s selection of wideout Tyler Lockett:

“Just a need, a strong need at the punt return position. I was actually with his father in Kansas City, which is amazing and makes me feel very old, but Tyler is a phenomenal kid: academically, driven, captain, leader of his team—both of these guys are actually big-time leaders of their team. Those are some of the things that stood out with both of these guys—highly driven, just instincts and catching the ball. He is a great fielder. He’s incredible as a slot receiver inside. The week he had at the Senior Bowl was phenomenal. We just felt like he is the premier returner in this draft.”

Carroll on whether the Clark selection will impact Bruce Irvin‘s future with the team:

“We plan on having Frank in the defensive end spot and we are going to find out what that means. We are going to find out and spot him like we always have. We know he has unique qualities about him—we know that he can be a quality outside rusher, but he also does a lot of stuff, they moved to the inside rush, as well. We are just thrilled to have the chance to figure that out, and to find where he fits to complement the rest of the guys.”

Owner/GM Quotes: Lions, Patriots, Colts, Seahawks

The NFL’s owner meetings were held earlier today, giving the league’s various reporters an opportunity to talk to owners and general managers. We’ve compiled notable quotes regarding some of the offseason’s biggest moves, which you can find below…

Lions GM Martin Mayhew on his team’s outlook following Ndamukong Suh‘s departure (via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press):

“I think anytime you lose a quality player like that, especially in the short term, that is to your detriment. I think in the long term, I think we’re going to be glad we don’t have that contract on our books. But in the short term, that’s an issue.”

“There’s a lot of different ways to give somebody $100 million, so a lot of times the structure comes into play, too, and all those things matter. But I know we have some quality players on our team that we probably couldn’t keep if we had that deal on our books.”

“I couldn’t say we misjudged anything about (the situation). I think every step throughout the process I think we made a rational, thoughtful decision to move forward and then I think it got to a point where economically in terms of building a sustainable quality football team it didn’t make sense. And at that point, we decided that we weren’t going to continue to offer more.”

Read more

NFC Notes: Bennett, Lions, Rams, Jennings

Speaking to reporters in Arizona today, Seahawks general manager John Schneider said that defensive end Michael Bennett hasn’t requested a trade and is happy in Seattle, tweets Terry Blount of ESPN.com.

A report last week indicated that Bennett wanted a new contract, and perhaps a trade to Dan Quinn‘s Falcons, but even if that’s the case, it doesn’t look like the Seahawks have any plans to move him. For what it’s worth, Schneider appeared to dodge the issue of whether the defensive end wants his contract reworked, as Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times tweets.

Schneider also confirmed that defensive lineman Jesse Williams will be re-added to the Seahawks’ roster soon, indicating that Williams was only waived as a procedural transaction (Twitter link via Condotta).

Here’s more out of the NFC:

  • Lions GM Martin Mayhew confirmed today to reporters, including Josh Katzenstein of The Detroit News (Twitter link), that his team is in talks with free agent guard Rob Sims about a new deal.
  • The Rams are keeping their eye on free agent offensive linemen like Joe Barksdale, Stefen Wisniewski, and Justin Blalock, but the club isn’t expected to sign any of those players this week, tweets Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
  • While the Cowboys aren’t likely to make any other noteworthy free agent investments, Todd Archer of ESPNDallas.com suggests the club could go bargain shopping, identifying offensive tackle, safety, and return man as three potential areas of need.
  • Panthers owner Jerry Richardson took responsibility for the organization’s decision to not re-sign embattled defensive end Greg Hardy. “Whose call would you think that would be?” Richardson asked ESPN.com’s David Newton. When asked about the owner’s logic, Richardson replied that the Panthers “do the right things.”
  • When wideout Greg Jennings left the Packers for the Vikings in 2013, the veteran displayed some animosity towards the organization. However, Green Bay general manager Ted Thompson made it clear that those kinds of comments wouldn’t dissuade his team from pursuing the 31-year-old. “We’re not that sensitive about things like that,” Thompson said (via Jason Wilde of ESPNWisconsin.com). “Players are players. Players say things. Sometimes we make mistakes [too].”

Seahawks GM On Graham, Unger, Williams

The Seahawks have certainly had an eventful Tuesday, orchestrating perhaps the day’s biggest news by acquiring tight end Jimmy Graham and a fourth-round pick from the Saints in exchange for center Max Unger and a first-round selection. Seattle general manager John Schneider spoke to reporters, including Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times, about today’s events, so let’s take look at the highlights:

On how discussions for Graham began:

“We started talking to them probably maybe three days ago, just about general things—lots of different players. This time of year there are a lot of teams that are just trying to move some pieces around to figure some things out as we get close to the deadline to cut down for salary cap purposes to start the new year, and it was no different than a regular call like that. Then he was one of the players who was brought up and we continued to pursue it.”

On his level of surprise at hearing Graham’s name come up in talks:

“Yeah, we think he’s a heck of a player, but there are a lot of names that are talked about. You just never know how serious people are, but it just depends on the different scenarios that you talk through, then the level of intensity or interest either increases or decreases based on the different scenarios that are discussed.”

On losing Unger as part of the deal:

“Any time you’re making these types of trades for a player like this, it’s not just going to be a handover. Both teams had specific needs, for us, we’re going to miss Max’s leadership, he was a core part of what we were doing around here the last several years. He was here when we got here—coach Carroll and his staff actually move him to center for guard, and he really took off. But we have to continue moving this thing forward. We always talk about not having any finish lines, and this is just part of it—tough decisions, but exciting futures as well.”

On how the trade will affect Seattle’s salary cap:

“In some respects it actually helps us. When you take out a first round draft choice like that, the cost of a first-round draft choice is close to 3.5 million. So if we were going to go out and sign a tight end in free agency, and have a huge signing bonus, big paragraph 5, a lot of guaranteed money, that would have hindered some of the things we would have been able to do.”

On signing Cary Williams:

“We’re going to miss (Byron Maxwell) but we had to be ready to go. I think it’s a testament to coach Carroll, Kris Richard, all of the guys that have worked so hard with our defensive backs; he’s a sixth-round draft choice that leaves for a monster, monster contract and we’re going to miss Byron a lot and we’re excited for him but we’re also very excited to add Cary. We felt like we needed to do it early because of the competition at the cornerback position and feel blessed we were able to finish it up last night.”