Pete Carroll

Seahawks To Retain HC Pete Carroll, GM John Schneider; Latest On QB Russell Wilson

Surviving Black Monday does not necessarily mean that a head coach or GM will keep his job (just ask Joe Judge). However, Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll and GM John Schneider will officially be retained for 2022. Per ESPN’s Chris Mortensen (Twitter link), Carroll and Schneider recently met with owner Jody Allen, and Allen was apparently convinced that retaining her team’s top power brokers was the best course of action.

In fact, it sounds like Carroll’s and Schneider’s status was never really in doubt. Mortensen added that the meeting was the usual end-of-season review with a look ahead to 2022, and that there was no discussion about job security.

That shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. It was reported in December that Allen had become “very involved” in the Seahawks’ operation — which was a significant departure from her usual approach and that of her predecessor, the late Paul Allen — and that led to plenty of speculation that a major shakeup could be on the way. But from 2012-20, the ‘Hawks failed to post double-digit wins just once under Carroll and Schneider, and Seattle captured its first Lombardi Trophy during that span, coming just a whisper short of another. The club’s disappointing 2021 campaign, which saw quarterback Russell Wilson miss game action for the first time in his career, does not undo all of those accomplishments.

Now, all eyes will turn towards Wilson. The 33-year-old passer also had a little something to do with the Seahawks’ productive run in the 2010s, but trade chatter and rumors about his desire to leave Seattle have swirled for about a year now. Last week, we heard that the ‘Hawks plan to retain Wilson, and Mortensen’s above-referenced tweet said that “all systems are go” with respect to the QB, though the team wouldn’t say anything different at this point and risk losing leverage in trade talks.

Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reported this morning that Wilson wants to at least “explore his options.” He has not demanded a trade, and he may not make such a demand, but he wants to see if another club might offer him opportunities that the Seahawks cannot. Last February, of course, his agent told the club that Wilson would waive his no-trade clause if he were to be dealt to the Cowboys, Bears, Raiders, and Saints, and in December, a report surfaced indicating that Wilson would approve a trade to the Broncos, Giants, or Saints.

Interestingly, when Carroll left his meeting with Allen, he appeared to acknowledge that a Wilson trade was a possibility. “Whatever is there, we got to exhaust every opportunity for our club and right from the owner, she wants us to take a look at every single opportunity to better the franchise,” he said. “That’s what we do. It’s going to take us some time to put it all together and we have a lot of difficult decisions to make this year.”

Carroll followed that statement, however, by saying, “I love this team. We’ve got the nucleus of a championship right here and we’re going to try to keep that together.”

In other words, Wilson’s future with the Seahawks will, as expected, be one of the top storylines of the offseason.

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Seahawks’ Pete Carroll Not Worried About Job Security

While three Head Coaches were sent packing in the NFL yesterday, Pete Carrol of the Seahawks was not one of them. The fact that he is in line to carry on in Seattle comes as no surprise to him, either. According to a report from NFL.com’s Kevin Patra, Carrol is not concerned about his job status. 

When asked about his future with the team, the 70-year-old responded, “I’m in great shape”. The reasons why the Seahawks went a disappointing 7-10 in 2021 will be the main focus of a meeting between Carroll and other staff members and owner Jody Allen in the near future. The outcome of that meeting, according to Pata’s colleague Ian Rapoport, will determine whether or not the team is willing to “give it another go”, or if Allen “will have the first big decision of her ownership to make”.

Carroll is looking forward to getting on the same page with ownership, stating that the meeting will be “really pointed at figuring things out. [Allen’s] very analytical and she wants to make sure that we’re doing everything that we can possibly do to get everything right. She’s a terrifically competitive person in that regard and she doesn’t want any stone unturned… So we’ll try to do a great job of exchanging the information and setting the course for making sure that we give ourselves the best chance to be champions”.

Of course, the biggest storyline for the offseason in Seattle revolves around the future of quarterback Russell Wilson. It was recently reported that the team intends to keep Wilson, despite longstanding speculation that he would either request a trade or a coaching change. Instead, it appears the team will maintain the status quo in 2022, looking to rebound from the worst season in both Carroll’s and Wilson’s tenure in Seattle.

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Latest On Russell Wilson, Pete Carroll

After an offseason in which Russell Wilson‘s long-term Seattle future suddenly became cloudy, the 10th-year quarterback suffered his first major injury. And he has not played to his usual standards upon return. The Seahawks will finish below .500 for the first time in his tenure.

Wilson is signed through 2023, though the events of this past offseason figure to put him back in trade rumors fairly soon. The decorated passer made an interesting comment regarding his Seattle status ahead of Week 17 as well.

I know you guys asked Bobby [Wagner] about ‘Could this be your last game?’ this and that and all that. I know for me personally, I hope it’s not my last game,” Wilson said of the prospect Sunday is his last home game as a Seahawk, via the Seattle Times’ Bob Condotta. “But at the same time, I know it won’t be my last game in NFL. So I’m just focused on the day and getting better today. And so that’s my focus. That’s my goal. I love this city, and I love this moment. I love these guys.”

Wilson, 33, offered this response unprompted, closing out 2021 with more uncertainty in Seattle. The Seahawks have some leverage with Wilson, having signed him to a four-year, $140MM extension in 2019. Wilson also holds a no-trade clause. Unlike Aaron Rodgers, Wilson did not stage a holdout this year. But the Seahawks are 5-10 and, barring a major trade, will not have a first-round pick in April.

Wagner’s comment about his Seahawks future centered around his $20.35MM cap number in the final year of his contract. The team is, however, projected to hold more than $55MM in cap space — a top-10 figure leaguewide. But, after the Seahawks entered this past offseason after a 12-4 season, they have bigger questions about their future a year later.

Pete Carroll‘s status may be somewhat in question, given this disappointing season coming after a slew of Wilson offseason headlines, but the 12th-year Seattle HC signed an extension barely a year ago. Carroll is locked up through 2025. The 70-year-old coach is also not viewed as ready to step away on his own accord, Albert Breer of SI.com notes. While this is Carroll’s first 10-loss season at any level since his first Jets slate in 1994, Breer adds ownership is not pleased with where the Seahawks football operation stands presently.

After Wilson listed the Raiders, Bears, Cowboys and Saints as teams he would approve a trade to, the Broncos, Giants and Saints appeared on a new list of sorts during the season. Wilson did call the initial report including these new teams a non-story. Nevertheless, how the Seahawks proceed will easily be one of the most fascinating situations to monitor entering 2022.

Indeed, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com says there is a “leaguewide feeling” that Wilson and Carroll will not be together next year. That’s not particularly surprising in light of everything we have heard so far, but as Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk points out, Schefter’s report — which includes somewhat vague language — could be interpreted as a renewed attempt by Wilson’s camp to force Seattle’s hand. After all, it was Schefter to whom Wilson’s agent, Mark Rodgers, released the statement last year that Wilson would be willing to waive his no-trade clause for a handful of teams, which is what precipitated the Bears’ efforts to acquire the seven-time Pro Bowler and the rampant chatter about his future.

One way or another, Florio believes the ‘Hawks will make a decision on Carroll before deciding how to handle the Wilson situation.

Rory Parks contributed to this post.

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Seahawks Notes: Wilson, Wagner, Wright

While the Russell Wilson saga never reached the point when it looked like the Pro Bowl quarterback was on the cusp of being traded, the 10th-year passer’s comments about the Seahawks’ offensive line and his list of acceptable trade destinations caused a stir. Trade talks never progressed far, and although Pete Carroll confirmed his quarterback’s frustration, the 12th-year Seattle HC views the Wilson trade buzz as over.

It seems like really old news to talk about this because it’s been such a long time,” Carroll said during an appearance on the Rich Eisen Podcast (via Pro Football Talk’s Charean Williams). “The little bit he said carried so much air time that it became bigger than life. Throughout the whole process, Russell, we’ve always been connected. We’ve always been talking. A couple things that came out got magnified and the questions came out, and there was a couple things. He was frustrated when he was talking, just like any of us can sometimes emphasize something that’s on the top of our mind, and it can be played differently than it really played itself out.

… What it amounted to was I think a refocusing, making sure that we were on the same page, making sure that we were clear so that we could withstand any of the scrutiny that would come towards us, and we did that.”

Wilson did not expect to be traded this year, though this matter could resurface down the line. The Seahawks shut down the Bears’ trade push, after Wilson included Chicago on his four-city destination list, and both Chris Carson and Carlos Dunlap indicated the soon-to-be 33-year-old QB would be back in Seattle this coming season. Here is the latest out of the Pacific Northwest:

  • Wilson and Bobby Wagner‘s cap numbers combine to comprise more than $49MM — certainly a sizable chunk of the team’s payroll. The Seahawks could have moved to restructure one of their stars’ deals, but Carroll said (via 710 AM Seattle’s John Clayton) no such moves will be necessary this year. Making only three draft picks, without a first-round contract hitting the books, the Seahawks completed that part of their offseason and still have more than $7MM in cap space. While restructures could have helped the team in free agency, they obviously would have moved more money onto future caps. They are not expected to add a free agent on a deal worth more than the league minimum before training camp, Clayton notes.
  • Unless the Seahawks reach another agreement with K.J. Wright, Wilson and Wagner will take over as the team’s longest-tenured players. No indications point to Wright coming back, Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times notes. Wright said earlier this year he would welcome another Seattle deal, but the 10-year veteran linebacker also was not prepared to take a hometown discount. The 32-year-old defender remains in free agency. After Pro Football Focus graded Wright as a top-10 off-ball ‘backer in 2020, he should receive an opportunity for an 11th season. But a big-money deal is highly unlikely at this juncture.
  • The Seahawks are trying Darrell Taylor at a new position. The 2020 second-round pick is, for the time being, moving from defensive end to outside linebacker, Condotta adds. Taylor spent his rookie year on Seattle’s reserve/NFI list, after undergoing offseason surgery on his shin. But the Seahawks traded up 11 spots to land the Tennessee product. The second-year defender was on the field at the Seahawks’ rookie minicamp last week. Taylor will be vying to start alongside Wagner and Jordyn Brooks, but a role as a Bruce Irvin-type hybrid player in the team’s 4-3 scheme should be expected, Condotta adds.

Latest On Seahawks, Russell Wilson

Russell Wilson trade winds continue to blow, but this process may not reach that point in the near future. The Seahawks are not believed to be seriously listening to offers at this point, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (video link).

The Bears’ rumored push for Wilson has yet to move the needle for the Seahawks, Rapoport adds, though it is unclear if an offer has come from Chicago. The Seahawks have received calls on Wilson since around Super Bowl LV, after which he took his concerns about his situation public.

While Wilson and Pete Carroll were viewed to be at odds at points last season, the two Seattle power brokers have spoken periodically this offseason, Dan Graziano and Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com report (Insider link). This communication has not progressed to a sitdown meeting between the longtime coworkers, but it would back up talk about the Seahawks being uninterested in moving their franchise quarterback.

It would cost the Seahawks $39MM in dead money to deal Wilson before June 1 — by far a record dead-cap hit — and it would certainly be a major hit to the team’s contention hopes were it to unload the best quarterback in franchise history. Wilson has not formally requested a trade but has identified four destinations. Three of those — the Bears, Raiders and Saints — would remain viable, with the Cowboys having extended Dak Prescott last week.

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Seahawks Notes: Wilson, Carroll, Dunlap

One of the reasons for the trade rumors swirling around Seahawks QB Russell Wilson — and perhaps the primary reason — is Wilson’s relationship with head coach Pete Carroll, which appears to be strained. Apparently, his relationship with Carroll’s sons hasn’t been much better.

According to a tweet from The Athletic, Wilson believes Carroll and his sons, Nolan and Brennan, answer to no one (Nolan serves as the team’s WRs coach, and Brennan had been working as the run game coordinator before accepting a position at the University of Arizona). And, as Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk writes, Wilson is 100% correct.

Former owner Paul Allen “stayed deep in the background” when he was alive, and his sister, Jody Allen, has largely done the same since she inherited the team. Some league sources believe the Seahawks are essentially run by the Allens’ parent company, Vulcan Inc., which in turn defers to the head coach as the club’s de facto CEO. So while Jody Allen could intervene in light of the Wilson trade rumblings, her track record suggests that she will not do so, and that Pete Carroll will ultimately be the one to decide whether to deal Wilson.

While Wilson himself has said he does not expect to be dealt, Florio believes the 32-year-old will ultimately request a trade either this year or next. If QB and HC do not mend fences soon, it’s easy to envision such a scenario.

Now for more from the Emerald City:

  • Unlike Florio, Brady Henderson of ESPN.com does not believe Wilson will be traded. One of the reasons for that is the fact that — as our Sam Robinson wrote several days ago in the piece linked above — a trade will leave $39MM in dead money on the Seahawks’ cap. While a post-June 1 trade will allow the team to spread out that hit and actually create $19MM in 2021 space, Seattle is lacking a first-rounder and third-rounder this season, so a Wilson trade might be more beneficial if it happened prior to this year’s draft and not after June 1.
  • Still, Henderson believes the ‘Hawks will make a trade that both sheds some salary — the team has less than $8MM of cap space relative to the $180MM floor — and adds some much-needed draft capital. There is no indication as of yet that Seattle will look to trade players like Carlos Dunlap, Bobby Wagner, or Jamal Adams, but Henderson could see it happening.
  • As of now, though, Henderson predicts that the club will cut Dunlap and look to re-sign him to a less expensive contract — the former Bengal is due to carry a $14.1MM cap hit in 2021 — while restructuring the contract of franchise icon Wagner and extending 2020 trade acquisition Adams.
  • Proven performance escalators for several 2018 draftees have played a role in Seattle’s cap crunch. Since he earned a Pro Bowl nod in his rookie season, punter Michael Dickson has a $3.384MM salary for 2021 — the amount of the second-round RFA tender — while cornerback Tre Flowers is due to earn $2.183MM since he met the snap count requirement for the Level One PPE (Twitter link via Henderson). If you need a refresher, OverTheCap.com offers a comprehensive explanation of PPEs.
  • Presently, the Seahawks’ highest draft choice is their second-rounder (No. 56 overall). Given the state of the club’s offensive line, and Wilson’s recent comments in that regard, most mocks have Seattle selecting an OL with that pick, as Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times observes. Ohio State guard Wyatt Davis and Tennessee guard Trey Smith would be worthy Day 2 selections.

Russell Wilson Not Expecting To Be Traded; QB Clashing With Pete Carroll?

The Seahawks have run into a seminal issue with their franchise quarterback, with trade destinations coming out Thursday. At this point, Russell Wilson does not expect the Seahawks to trade him, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com tweets, though multiple NFL executives believe the team will make the decorated quarterback available.

This rift between Wilson and the team stems from several factors. A central component in Wilson’s frustration is Pete Carroll‘s insistence on an offense that features the run more than most NFL attacks do, and The Athletic’s Michael-Shawn Dugar, Mike Sando and Jayson Jenks report Wilson and Carroll have clashed over the past several months on both the Seahawks’ philosophy and personnel (subscription required).

Following a midseason stretch that featured seven Wilson turnovers in two losses, the Seahawks reverted to a more balanced offense. They then finished the regular season with wins in six of their final seven games to post a 12-4 record — the team’s best mark since 2014. Prior to the turnaround, however, Seahawks coaches dismissed Wilson’s ideas for how to repair a suddenly ailing offense, according to The Athletic. This led to Wilson storming out of a meeting.

Wilson fell well off the MVP pace on which he started the season, after he threw 26 touchdown passes in Seattle’s first seven games, and closed the year with an 11-for-27 performance against the Rams in a wild-card loss. After the season, Wilson expressed dissatisfaction with the Seahawks’ offensive line plan publicly. But that came after the nine-year veteran went to Carroll on this matter — one that had bothered him for years. Carroll’s insufficient response to Wilson’s O-line-related concerns, in the 32-year-old passer’s eyes set off the public commentary that has led to trade rumors, per The Athletic.

The Seahawks have not put a tremendous amount of resources into their offensive line in recent years, and Wilson has taken 394 sacks — the most by any quarterback through his first nine seasons. QBs, of course, bear responsibility for sacks alongside offensive linemen.

Past flirtations with trades or other quarterbacks have pushed this situation to this point as well. The Seahawks’ trade talks with the Browns in 2018 — however brief they were — led to Wilson’s 2019 extension containing a no-trade clause. GM John Schneider being on-hand for Josh Allen‘s pro day factored into Wilson’s situation as well, and The Athletic adds that Schneider’s fascination with Patrick Mahomes would have led to the Seahawks taking him had he fallen to them at No. 26 — an unrealistic scenario based on the future MVP’s pre-draft rise — in the 2017 draft. The Cardinals and Saints were prepared to draft Mahomes ahead of the Seahawks.

Beyond the four teams that Wilson’s agent mentioned today as trade destinations his client would approve — the Bears, Cowboys, Saints and Raiders — The Athletic’s report indicated Wilson’s camp discussed trades to the Dolphins and Jets with the Seahawks. Considering both teams’ draft capital and their respective links to Deshaun Watson, it makes sense they would be connected to Wilson as well. It is certainly notable that they were omitted in Mark Rodgers’ Thursday comments, however. The Seahawks have yet to approach Wilson about any potential trades, Fowler notes.

Wilson’s $35MM-per-year contract runs through the 2023 season. It would tag the Seahawks a record $39MM in dead money were they to trade Wilson before June 1, per Spotrac (on Twitter), with a post-June 1 trade defraying $26MM of the hit to 2022. To avoid such a scenario becoming the lead trade in a seismic offseason for quarterback movement, the Seahawks and Wilson may have some fence-mending to do in the coming weeks.

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.

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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.

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