Pete Carroll

Seahawks, HC Pete Carroll Agree To Extension

The Seahawks and head coach Pete Carroll have agreed to a multi-year contract extension, as Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reports. No one within the organization has confirmed the news, but one source tells Schefter that the deal will tie Carroll to the club through the 2025 season.

By that time, Carroll will be 74, so this could well be the last contract that he signs. He indicated earlier this year that he wants to coach well into his 70s, and his new extension will give him the chance to do just that.

The Seahawks have starting quarterback and runaway MVP candidate Russell Wilson under club control through the 2023 campaign, so unless something unexpected happens, the most effective QB-HC duo in franchise history will be together for a few more seasons. And considering the success the two have had together, that’s reason for Seattle fans to celebrate.

Hired as the club’s head coach and executive vice president of player operations in January 2010, Carroll has compiled a 106-60-1 regular season record over the past 10+ seasons, to go along with a 10-7 postseason mark. He also guided Seattle to its first Super Bowl victory after the 2013 season.

While Carroll would sooner forget the end of the following Super Bowl, he and Wilson have established the Seahawks as perennial championship contenders. And at 6-1, Seattle is on the short-list of this year’s legitimate Lomardi hopefuls.

Carroll’s last contract paid him an $11MM annual salary, and the extension could push that figure even higher.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Reactions To Antonio Brown Signing With Buccaneers

Antonio Brown is officially a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport reports (via Twitter) that the two sides have finalized a one-year contract. NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo tweets that the deal is worth slightly more than a minimum salary, although there are per-game roster bonuses, individual incentives, and team incentives.

Besides Brown’s continued antics over the past year-plus, it’s not overly surprising that he had to settle for this kind of incentive-laden deal. Bruce Arians had previously dealt with Brown when he was the wide receivers coach in Pittsburgh, and the Buccaneers head coach had consistently stated that the Bucs wouldn’t be signing the wideout. Perhaps the low-risk contract has partly swayed Arians’ opinion.

One individual who was clamoring for Brown was Tom Brady. The quarterback is signed through the 2021 season, so if the wide receiver is a productive member of the offense, there’s a chance he could stick around beyond the 2020 campaign.

Here’s some more news and notes pertaining to the AB signing:

  • ESPN’s Jenna Laine writes that Brown’s signing is all about maximizing Brady’s window. While Arians may have previously been against adding the wideout, Laine believes Tampa Bay’s continued offensive injuries (a list that includes Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Scott Miller, and O.J. Howard) may have changed his mind. Plus, Laine writes that the “feeling inside the organization” is that Arians has a strong personality that can keep Brown in line, and there’s also Brady’s positive influence. The writer also points out that Brown was teammates with three members of the coaching staff: offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich, offensive assistant Antwaan Randle El, and outside linebackers coach Larry Foote.
  • Sheil Kapadia of The Athletic wonders why the Buccaneers are taking the unnecessary risk of signing Brown. Tampa Bay is leading the NFC in point differential, and while that has mostly been thanks to the defense, the offense has been plenty competent. Brown’s talent means he could naturally provide the passing game with a significant boost, but Kapadia thinks it’s more likely that “he’ll be a problem.”
  • Here’s a fun one for fans of conspiracies. Following public reports of the Seahawks interest in Brown, Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com wonders why Seattle let that information leak in the first place. One argument could be made that the Seahawks “recklessly invited a competitor to swoop in” and sign the wideout, while another argument could be made that the Seahawks deliberately leaked the news. Why would they do that? Florio writes that the Seahawks may have been doing the modern-day version of the Trojan Horse, hoping that Brown’s signing would derail his suitor’s season. In another piece, Florio notes that those “within league circles” wonder if Pete Carroll “repeatedly confirmed interest in Brown in the hopes that someone else would sign” the receiver.
  • Greg Auman of The Athletic explores the 22-month span that saw Brown going from a star wideout with the Steelers to a low-salary, midseason signing with the Buccaneers. The story starts in December of 2018, when Brown was benched for Pittsburgh’s season finale and subsequently missed his exit meeting with Mike Tomlin.

Seahawks Eyeing Extension For HC Pete Carroll

Pete Carroll has had a tremendous run with the Seahawks. Hired as the club’s head coach and executive vice president of player operations in January 2010, he has compiled a 101-59-1 regular season record over the past 10+ seasons, to go along with a 10-7 postseason mark. He guided Seattle to its first Super Bowl victory after the 2013 season, and he came devastatingly close to a second Lombardi the following year.

While the infamous end to Super Bowl XLIX will always be a part of Carroll’s legacy, it does not change the fact that he and QB Russell Wilson have established the Seahawks as a perennial championship contender. With Wilson under club control through the 2023 campaign, it stands to reason that the ‘Hawks would want to continue their relationship with Carroll at least that long.

To that end, Seattle is beginning to explore an extension for the 69-year-old sideline general and chewing gum enthusiast, as Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reports. Carroll is currently under contract through the 2021 season thanks to the extension he signed in December 2018, but he reiterated earlier this week that he wants to coach well into his 70s.

The $11MM salary he is currently earning ranks him among the highest-paid coaches in the league, and an extension will likely push that figure even higher. Although there is some long-term uncertainty concerning club ownership, La Canfora says the Seahawks are at least three years away from going to market.

Carroll and Patriots head coach Bill Belichick — who replaced Carroll as New England’s HC 20 years ago — will square off tonight and will set a record for the oldest combined age of head coaches in an NFL game.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Seahawks Interested In Antonio Brown, Josh Gordon

The Seahawks are monitoring Antonio Brown‘s situation and they’re “very open” to re-signing Josh Gordon, head coach Pete Carroll says (via Geoffrey C. Arnold of The Oregonian). Brown was recently hit with an eight-game suspension from the NFL, meaning that he wouldn’t be able to play until November. Gordon, meanwhile, is waiting for word on his bid for reinstatement. 

[RELATED: Seahawks OL Warmack To Opt Out]

The Seahawks are set to go into the season with Tyler Lockett, D.K. Metcalf, Phillip Dorsett, and David Moore as their top receivers. From a pure talent perspective, Gordon or Brown would provide Russell Wilson with some serious offensive firepower.

What I’d say to you is what we always say because it’s what we always do and who we are,” Carroll said, in reference to Brown. “[Seahawks GM] John [Schneider] is competing at every turn. There’s never been a process, unless we just missed it, that we weren’t involved with to understand what the chances were of helping our club. He’s all over it. He understands what’s going on right now, as much as you can. It’s a very complex situation. We just need to see where it fits somewhere down the road. That’s all I got for you.”

Brown, 32, comes with some very obvious complications. He could also face even more NFL discipline. His eight-game ban covered only some of his personal conduct policy violations; the league could consider another suspension for an alleged sexual assault.

Carroll seemed to indicate that a Gordon reunion was more likely to happen. Of course, the Seahawks will have to wait for Roger Goodell‘s verdict before making a move.

It’s not in our hands,” Carroll said. “Josh did a really good job with us last year. He fit in really well. He was part of this team by the way we opened and embraced his coming to us but also by the way he adapted. So we are very open to that thought, and we’ll see what happens. I don’t know. I can’t tell you what’s going to happen on that.”

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Longest-Tenured GMs In The NFL

When we ran down the longest-tenured head coaches in the NFL, we found that less than half of the league’s current coaches have been in their positions for more than three years. That’s not quite the case with general managers, but there have been plenty of changes in recent years.

A handful of general managers have gotten to take their coats off and stay for a long while. Among coaches, Bill Belichick had joined his team prior to 2003. Here, you’ll see that five GMs have been with their teams since before ’03 (Belichick, of course, is also on this list). Two of those five – Jerry Jones and Mike Brown – are outliers, since they’re team owners and serve as de facto GMs. But the Patriots, Steelers, and Saints, have all had the same general managers making their roster decisions for well over a decade.

Here’s the complete list of the NFL’s longest-tenured GMs, along with the date they took over the job:

  1. Jerry Jones (Dallas Cowboys): April 18, 1989[1]
  2. Mike Brown (Cincinnati Bengals): August 5, 1991[2]
  3. Bill Belichick (New England Patriots): January 27, 2000[3]
  4. Kevin Colbert (Pittsburgh Steelers): February 18, 2000[4]
  5. Mickey Loomis (New Orleans Saints): May 14, 2002
  6. Rick Spielman (Minnesota Vikings): May 30, 2006[5]
  7. Thomas Dimitroff (Atlanta Falcons): January 13, 2008
  8. John Schneider (Seattle Seahawks): January 19, 2010[6]
  9. Howie Roseman (Philadelphia Eagles): January 29, 2010
  10. John Elway (Denver Broncos): January 5, 2011[7]
  11. Les Snead (St. Louis Rams): February 10, 2012
  12. David Caldwell (Jacksonville Jaguars): January 8, 2013
  13. Steve Keim (Arizona Cardinals): January 8, 2013
  14. Tom Telesco (San Diego Chargers): January 9, 2013
  15. Jason Licht (Tampa Bay Buccaneers): January 21, 2014
  16. Ryan Pace (Chicago Bears): January 8, 2015
  17. Chris Grier (Miami Dolphins): January 4, 2016
  18. Bob Quinn (Detroit Lions): January 8, 2016
  19. Jon Robinson (Tennessee Titans): January 14, 2016
  20. John Lynch (San Francisco 49ers): January 29, 2017
  21. Chris Ballard (Indianapolis Colts): January 30, 2017
  22. Brandon Beane (Buffalo Bills): May 9, 2017
  23. Brett Veach (Kansas City Chiefs): July 11, 2017
  24. Marty Hurney (Carolina Panthers): July 19, 2017
  25. Dave Gettleman (New York Giants): December 28, 2017
  26. Brian Gutekunst (Green Bay Packers): January 7, 2018
  27. Mike Mayock (Oakland Raiders): December 31, 2018
  28. Joe Douglas (New York Jets): June 7, 2019
  29. Eric DeCosta (Baltimore Ravens): January 7, 2019[8]
  30. Ron Rivera (Washington Redskins): January 1, 2020[9]
  31. Andrew Berry (Cleveland Browns): January 27, 2020
  32. Bill O’Brien (Houston Texans): January 28, 2020

Footnotes:

  1. Jones has been the Cowboys’ de facto general manager since former GM Tex Schramm resigned in April 1989.
  2. Brown has been the Bengals’ de facto GM since taking over as the team’s owner in August 1991.
  3. Belichick has been the Patriots’ de facto GM since shortly after being hired as the team’s head coach in January 2000.
  4. Colbert was initially hired as the team’s director of football operations and received the newly-created general manager title in 2011.
  5. Spielman was initially hired as the team’s VP of player personnel and received the GM title in 2012.
  6. While Schneider holds the title of GM, head coach Pete Carroll has the final say on roster moves for the Seahawks.
  7. Elway was initially hired as the team’s executive VP of football operations and received the GM title in 2014.
  8. In 2018, the Ravens announced that DeCosta would replace Ozzie Newsome as GM for Ozzie Newsome after the conclusion of the season. The Ravens’ ’18 season ended with their Wild Card loss to the Chargers on 1/6/19.
  9. Technically, the Redskins do not have a GM, as of this writing. Rivera is, effectively, their GM, working in tandem with Vice President of Player Personnel Kyle Smith. Smith may receive the GM title in the near future.

Longest-Tenured Head Coaches In The NFL

Things move fast in today’s NFL and the old adage of “coaches are hired to be fired” has seemingly never been more true. For the most part, teams change their coaches like they change their underwear. 

A head coach can take his team to the Super Bowl, or win the Super Bowl, or win multiple Super Bowls, but they’re never immune to scrutiny. Just ask Tom Coughlin, who captured his second ring with the Giants after the 2011 season, only to receive his pink slip after the 2015 campaign.

There are also exceptions. Just look at Bill Belichick, who just wrapped up his 20th season at the helm in New England. You’ll also see a few others on this list, but, for the most part, most of today’s NFL head coaches are relatively new to their respective clubs. And, history dictates that many of them will be elsewhere when we check in on this list in 2022.

Over one-third (12) of the NFL’s head coaches have coached no more than one season with their respective teams. Meanwhile, less than half (15) have been with their current clubs for more than three years. It seems like just yesterday that the Cardinals hired Kliff Kingsbury, right? It sort of was – Kingsbury signed on with the Cardinals in January of 2019. Today, he’s practically a veteran.

Here’s the list of the current head coaches in the NFL, ordered by tenure, along with their respective start dates:

  1. Bill Belichick (New England Patriots): January 27, 2000
  2. Sean Payton (New Orleans Saints): January 18, 2006
  3. Mike Tomlin (Pittsburgh Steelers): January 27, 2007
  4. John Harbaugh (Baltimore Ravens): January 19, 2008
  5. Pete Carroll (Seattle Seahawks): January 9, 2010
  6. Andy Reid (Kansas City Chiefs): January 4, 2013
  7. Bill O’Brien (Houston Texans): January 2, 2014
  8. Mike Zimmer (Minnesota Vikings): January 15, 2014
  9. Dan Quinn (Atlanta Falcons): February 2, 2015
  10. Doug Pederson (Philadelphia Eagles): January 18, 2016
  11. Sean McDermott (Buffalo Bills): January 11, 2017
  12. Doug Marrone (Jacksonville Jaguars): December 19, 2016 (interim; permanent since 2017)
  13. Anthony Lynn (Los Angeles Chargers): January 12, 2017
  14. Sean McVay (Los Angeles Rams): January 12, 2017
  15. Kyle Shanahan (San Francisco 49ers): February 6, 2017
  16. Matt Nagy (Chicago Bears): January 7, 2018
  17. Matt Patricia (Detroit Lions): February 5, 2018
  18. Frank Reich (Indianapolis Colts): February 11, 2018
  19. Jon Gruden (Las Vegas Raiders): January 6, 2018
  20. Mike Vrabel (Tennessee Titans): January 20, 2018
  21. Kliff Kingsbury (Arizona Cardinals): January 8, 2019
  22. Zac Taylor (Cincinnati Bengals): February 4, 2019
  23. Vic Fangio (Denver Broncos): January 10, 2019
  24. Matt LaFleur (Green Bay Packers): January 8, 2019
  25. Brian Flores (Miami Dolphins): February 4, 2019
  26. Adam Gase (New York Jets): January 11, 2019
  27. Bruce Arians (Tampa Bay Buccaneers): January 8, 2019
  28. Ron Rivera (Washington Redskins): January 1, 2020
  29. Matt Rhule (Carolina Panthers): January 7, 2020
  30. Mike McCarthy (Dallas Cowboys): January 7, 2020
  31. Joe Judge (New York Giants): January 8, 2020
  32. Kevin Stefanski (Cleveland Browns): January 13, 2020

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

West Rumors: Seahawks, Broncos, Brock

As he did during minicamp, Bobby Wagner attended Seahawks practice but merely as an observer. Pete Carroll confirmed (via ESPN.com’s Brady Henderson) the Seahawks and their four-time All-Pro linebacker are discussing an extension but did not elaborate on where the sides are in the process. Longtime Wagner linebacker sidekick K.J. Wright believes a deal is imminent, however. Any extension would probably have to make Wagner the highest-paid off-ball linebacker, and while Deion Jones‘ recent Falcons re-up bridged the gap between C.J. Mosley‘s $17MM-AAV pact and the field, the Jets linebacker still makes over $2.5MM per year more than any other traditional ‘backer. Wagner has confirmed he wants to exceed Mosley’s deal, and this may lead to the eighth-year standout continuing his hold-in strategy.

Shifting first to a former Seahawk who took a different contract-seeking approach last year, here is the latest from out west:

  • Earl Thomas skipped all Seahawks activities before making a pre-Week 1 return last year. Now with the Ravens, Thomas said (via ESPN.com’s Josina Anderson, video link) Carroll communicated to him the week of his season-ending injury indicating an interest in working out a long-term deal. The reason Thomas then flipped off Carroll as he was being carted away? The three-time All-Pro did not believe Carroll was being honest with him. He and Carroll have not spoken since. The Seahawks were not linked to a potential Thomas reunion this offseason.
  • John Elway praised Joe Flacco throughout the Broncos‘ offseason program. One of the reasons why Elway targeted him was a belief the Ravens did not surround him with enough talent or a good system, after Gary Kubiak left his OC post to become Broncos HC in 2015, during his latter years in Baltimore. New Denver OC Rich Scangarello‘s system is derived from Kubiak’s. “To me, he hasn’t had a great system and he hasn’t had great people around him,” Elway said, via The Athletic’s Nicki Jhabvala (subscription required). “So he can have success when you have people around him and he’s in the right system, which I think he is because this is the system he’s had success in.” The Broncos, who relied heavily on Emmanuel Sanders and Phillip Lindsay last season before their year-ending injuries, are banking on second-year wideouts Courtland Sutton and DaeSean Hamilton making strides in Year 2.
  • While Mike Munchak lost out to Vic Fangio in the pursuit of Denver’s HC job, the Broncos’ offensive line coach has seen his role quickly expand. Munchak now has influence over the Broncos’ passing game and rushing attack, Jhabvala notes. Munchak worked as the Steelers’ O-line coach the past five seasons — each ending with a Pittsburgh top-10 offensive ranking.
  • The Cardinals are focusing Tramaine Brock on a role as a slot cornerback, Kyle Odegard of AZCardinals.com notes. Brock mostly played outside under Vance Joseph last season, prior to Chris Harris‘ season-ending injury. On the outside, second-round pick Byron Murphy and second-year corner Chris Jones are the top candidates vying to play opposite Robert Alford. This arrangement looks like the plan until Patrick Peterson returns from his six-game suspension.

Coaching Notes: Harbaugh, Ravens, Carroll, Seahawks, Packers, Fitzgerald, Joseph, Bengals

It’s the time of year where the coaching carousel is about to be in full swing, and there are a ton of rumors floating around. While there are a slew of coaches who are near locks to be fired come next Monday, the biggest stories of the week have been about two coaches who are staying put, John Harbaugh and Pete Carroll. The Ravens suddenly announced Harbaugh would be back in 2019 after there was a ton of speculation that he’d be fired if Baltimore missed the playoffs. While the team announced in their statement they were going to try to work on an extension and all appeared to be well and good, his long term future with the team is apparently very much still in doubt.

There’s a “real chance” that Harbaugh opts not to sign any extension from the Ravens, notes Peter King of NBC Sports. King writes Harbaugh may “coach his final season and take his chance on the market in 2020.” Harbaugh was expected to be pursued by several teams if he was let go by the Ravens, and would likely have his pick of at least a few jobs if he decides to go that route in 2020. For what it’s worth Harbaugh didn’t sound particularly excited after the Ravens announced he’d be back in 2019, calling the news a “non-story”, according to Jamison Hensley of ESPN (Twitter link). Coaches very rarely willingly switch teams, but it sounds like Harbaugh could be an exception.

Here’s more from the coaching ranks as we barrel toward Week 17:

  • Carroll got an extension from the Seahawks this past week, and is committed to Seattle for the long haul. Carroll spoke glowingly of the organization, and said he plans on coaching at least another five years, according to Gregg Bell of the Tacoma News Tribune. His new deal is reportedly paying him around $11MM per year, so it’s no surprise he’s in no rush to get going. The three year extension will take Carroll through his age 70 season.
  • Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald could be a candidate for the Packers’ head coaching job, multiple people told Albert Breer of SI.com. Breer points out that Packers president Mark Murphy used to be Northwestern’s athletic director, and hired Fitzgerald at NU. Fitzgerald has done a great job turning the Wildcats into a good program, and his name has come up a couple of times in recent NFL coaching cycles. It would be an outside the box hire, but that might be exactly what Green Bay needs to re-energize the team.
  • Vance Joseph is all but certain to be fired by the Broncos at the end of the season, but his days as a head coach might not be over. Joseph’s name “has popped up in recent weeks as a potential heir to” Marvin Lewis with the Bengals, according to Breer. Joseph was a defensive backs coach with the Bengals for a couple of years before landing the DC gig in Miami, and as Breer notes, the Bengals love to hire people they’re familiar with. Breer also writes that “there’s been talk that owner Mike Brown could take one more run at it with Marvin Lewis in charge in 2019″, before he cedes more control over to his children after next year. It’s quite possible Joseph joins the team on the defensive staff next year, and that he and Hue Jackson battle it out to succeed Lewis after that.

Seahawks Sign Pete Carroll To Extension

The day after Pete Carroll steered the Seahawks to another NFC playoff bracket, he signed an extension to stay with the team long-term.

The Seahawks announced they now have their head coach under contract through 2021. This deal will be worth more than $11MM per year, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports (on Twitter), keeping Carroll among the NFL’s highest-paid coaches.

Carroll’s previous Seahawks contract, signed in 2016, ran through next season. Both Carroll and GM John Schneider are now locked up through 2021. Contract talks began last week, Carroll said (via the Seattle Times’ Bob Condotta, on Twitter) and obviously progressed quickly.

The most successful coach in Seahawks history, Carroll has now piloted teams to the playoffs in seven of his nine Seattle seasons. Given the expectations going into this season, this latest berth may be the veteran coach’s most impressive work. Viewed as a rebuilding team after jettisoning many Super Bowl-era cornerstones, the Seahawks are 9-6 and likely set for the NFC’s No. 5 seed. Seattle has defeated other playoff-qualifying teams, its best win coming Sunday night against likely AFC No. 1 seed Kansas City.

The oldest active NFL head coach at 67, Carroll said at the end of last season he was not considering retirement. Carroll retooled his coaching staff, replacing coordinators Darrell Bevell and Kris Richard with Brian Schottenheimer and Ken Norton Jr., and helped oversee significant roster turnover. The Seahawks have quickly moved into a Russell Wilson-centric era — playing 2018 without the likes of Richard Sherman, Michael Bennett, Kam Chancellor and, for the most part, Earl Thomas — and may be a dangerous underdog next month.

Formerly the Jets’ and Patriots’ HC, Carroll has now passed Mike Holmgren as the Seahawks’ winningest coach. He is 88-54-1 running the Seahawks after going 33-31 in four combined 1990s seasons in the AFC East. In between, Carroll revitalized the USC program, winning two national championships.

With more than $63MM in projected 2019 cap space, the swiftly reloaded Seahawks could be an interesting team this offseason. And their longtime Schneider-Carroll power structure will oversee matters for the foreseeable future.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Seahawks Franchise Expected To Be Sold

The “sense” at the NFL’s ongoing league meetings is that the Seahawks franchise will be eventually be sold following owner Paul Allen‘s death, according to Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (Twitter link).

Allen, who passed away Monday due to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, purchased the Seahawks in 1996. Allen never married and has no children, so there’s no clear heir to helm the club. As Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk notes, the Seahawks could be turned over to Allen’s sister Jody, but it’s not apparent she has any interest in running an NFL team.

As such, the team is likely to be sold at some point, although the organization is expected to remain in Seattle, tweets Jenny Vrentas of TheMMQB.com. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who holds a significant amount of sway in league matters, told Garafolo that he “can’t imagine the Seahawks not being in Seattle.”

Per Forbes, the Seahawks are currently valued at $2.5 billion, with yearly revenue of $413MM and an operating income of $71MM. Those are obviously unofficial figures, but the price of NFL teams has only risen in recent years. The Bills, sold in 2014, went for roughly $1.1 billion, while the Panthers, who were purchased by David Tepper earlier this year, sold for at least $2.2 billion.

No matter who owns the team, the Seahawks don’t need to worry about their head coach. Asked if he wanted to stay in Seattle following Allen’s death, Pete Carroll responded “absolutely,” according to Florio. Carroll is currently under contract through the 2019 season under the terms of a 2016 extension that is believed to have made Carroll one of the NFL’s highest-paid coaches.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.