John Schneider

Extra Points: Kaepernick, Raiders, Greg Little, Cardinals

Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider were deposed in the collusion grievance filed by Colin Kaepernick this week, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter (Twitter link).

Expanding on the subject, Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio recounts that the “Seahawks were planning to bring in the quarterback for a workout, but the team canceled the session when Kaepernick declined to commit to stand for the national anthem.” 

Despite the case, Carroll has not closed the door on the former 49ers quarterback joining the team. As Florio writes, however, “It would be awkward, to say the least, for Kaepernick to sign with Seattle after his lawyers questioned Schneider and Carroll under oath…”

Seattle is still the only team to have brought Kaepernick in for a visit since hitting free agency after the 2016 season. This long saga still appears to be far from a conclusion.

Here’s more from around the NFL:

  • Earlier this week, the Raiders signed longtime Chiefs linebacker Derrick Johnson to a one-year deal. The details of that contract came out today, with the 13-year pro set to make $1.5MM. The contract includes a $200,000 signing bonus and $500,000 total guaranteed. With incentives, the deal could top out at $2.25MM, NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero tweets.
  • Former Browns receiver Greg Little appeared at the Cardinals rookie minicamp, Kyle Odegard of azcardinals.com writes. Little, who hasn’t played a game since the 2014 season, was a promising second-round pick who flamed out after three seasons. The Cardinals offered the 28-year-old wideout a tryout this weekend and impressed new head coach Steve Wilks.
  • ESPN’s Dan Graziano took a crack at projecting the next big-money quarterbacks. To no one’s surprise, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers tops the list in 2020, but the sides are expected to come to a deal before that time. Among the other signal-callers who could surpass Kirk Cousins‘ big deal are Russell Wilson, Carson Wentz and Jimmy Garoppolo.

Extra Points: Cowboys, Rams, Brockers, Lions, Dunlap

After much speculation, Cowboys defender Byron Jones confirmed on Monday that he will be switching from safety to cornerback in 2018, the Dallas Morning News’ Jon Machota writes.

Viewed as a versatile defender coming out of college, Jones played cornerback as a rookie in 2015 and a safety the past two seasons. New defensive backs coach Kris Richard preferred him at the former.

“I think it will be a good move for me and the team. I’m always open to making position changes, as long as I’m in the best position to succeed. If [Richard] believes my best position is corner, then I’m down.”

Richard knows a thing or two about getting the best from bigger cornerbacks. With the Seahawks, Richard oversaw Richard Sherman’s ascent to one of the premier corners in the league. What remains to be seen is if the team prefers him on the boundary or in the slot. In 2017, rookies Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis showed plenty of promise on the outside.

Here’s more from around the NFL:

  • In a press conference on Monday, Rams defensive lineman Michael Brockers told reporters he tore his MCL in the team’s playoff loss to the Falcons in January, ESPN’s Alden Gonzalez tweets. During that game, the sixth-year defender sat out the second half. The good news for Los Angeles is that Brockers took part in team activities on Monday, but they’re not in pads until training camp.
  • If any Lions players are moved in draft-day deals, some of the names that make sense include Ameer Abdullah, Theo Riddick and Jake Rudock, ESPN’s Michael Rothstein writes. Those names all come to mind after the team added veterans in LeGarrette Blount and Matt Cassel in the offseason.
  • The goal is for the Bengals to sign both Carlos Dunlap and get a new deal with Geno AtkinsBengals.com writer Geoff Hobson notes in a mailbag. Both Dunlap’s and Atkins’ deals run through the 2018 campaign.
  • NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is expected to be deposed in the next two weeks in Colin Kaeperncik‘s collusion case against the league, USA Today’s A.J. Perez writes. Seahawks general manager John Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll are also on the docket to be deposed.

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.”

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