Pete Carroll

NFC West Notes: Carroll, Murray, Rams

The Cardinals and Seahawks respectively announced Kyler Murray and Pete Carroll tested positive for COVID-19. While coronavirus protocols are absent to start training camp, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com notes the league in June informed teams anyone who tests positive must isolate for five days (Twitter link). Carroll, 70, is experiencing mild symptoms, according to the Seahawks, who add he will continue to participate in meetings virtually. As for Murray, he will not be required to be moved to the reserve/COVID-19 list. After two years of use, the NFL did away with the virus list this offseason. Murray will remain on the roster but away from the team.

Here is the latest from the NFC West:

  • Murray is no longer contractually obligated to complete a certain number of film-watching hours this season, but the Cards’ issues with their recently extended quarterback’s commitment have surfaced. His off-and-on offseason participation is something the team has certainly noticed, according to SI.com’s Albert Breer, who adds questions about the former No. 1 overall pick’s leadership have lingered as well. The Chris Mortensen Super Bowl Sunday report about acrimony between Murray and the Cardinals — one that labeled the 2018 Heisman winner as a “self-centered, immature finger-pointer” — drove Murray’s camp to demand an extension this offseason. As evidenced by the since-scrapped clause, the Cards do want their franchise QB to commit more to the mental side of the game, per Breer. How the team went about ensuring that will remain one of the more notable matters in modern contract history.
  • Former UDFA Coleman Shelton started two games for the Rams last season, the only two starts in his three-year career, but Sean McVay said (via ESPN.com’s Sarah Barshop, on Twitter) he is in the mix to start at right guard this season. Shelton has worked as a first-team guard and center in practice. The Rams lost Austin Corbett in free agency but also used a third-round pick (which means more to the defending champions than most teams, given their perennial first-round absence) on guard Logan Bruss. The Wisconsin alum joins Shelton and 2020 seventh-rounder Tremayne Anchrum (12 career games; zero starts) in competition to replace Corbett.
  • Although it emerged as a point of contention this offseason, Kyle Shanahan said Deebo Samuel‘s usage as a running back did not factor into his 49ers extension talks.

The NFL’s Longest-Tenured Head Coaches

The NFL experienced a busy offseason on the coaching front. A whopping 10 teams changed coaches during the 2022 offseason, with the Buccaneers’ late-March switch pushing the number into double digits.

Fourteen of the league’s 32 head coaches were hired in the past two offseasons, illustrating the increased pressure the NFL’s sideline leaders face in today’s game. Two of the coaches replaced this year left on their own. Sean Payton vacated his spot in second on the longest-tenured HCs list by stepping down from his 16-year Saints post in February, while Bruce Arians has repeatedly insisted his Bucs exit was about giving his defensive coordinator a chance with a strong roster and not a Tom Brady post-retirement power play.

While Bill Belichick has been the league’s longest-tenured HC for many years, Payton’s exit moved Mike Tomlin up to No. 2. Mike Zimmer‘s firing after nine seasons moved Frank Reich into the top 10. Reich’s HC opportunity only came about because Josh McDaniels spurned the Colts in 2018, but Indianapolis’ backup plan has led the team to two playoff brackets and has signed an extension. Reich’s seat is hotter in 2022, however, after a January collapse. Linked to numerous HC jobs over the past several offseasons, McDaniels finally took another swing after his Broncos tenure ended quickly.

As 2022’s training camps approach, here are the NFL’s longest-tenured HCs:

  1. Bill Belichick (New England Patriots): January 27, 2000
  2. Mike Tomlin (Pittsburgh Steelers): January 27, 2007; extended through 2024
  3. John Harbaugh (Baltimore Ravens): January 19, 2008; extended through 2025
  4. Pete Carroll (Seattle Seahawks): January 9, 2010; extended through 2025
  5. Andy Reid (Kansas City Chiefs): January 4, 2013; extended through 2025
  6. Sean McDermott (Buffalo Bills): January 11, 2017; extended through 2025
  7. Sean McVay (Los Angeles Rams): January 12, 2017; extended through 2023
  8. Kyle Shanahan (San Francisco 49ers): February 6, 2017; extended through 2025
  9. Mike Vrabel (Tennessee Titans): January 20, 2018; signed extension in February 2022
  10. Frank Reich (Indianapolis Colts): February 11, 2018; extended through 2026
  11. Kliff Kingsbury (Arizona Cardinals): January 8, 2019; extended through 2027
  12. Matt LaFleur (Green Bay Packers): January 8, 2019
  13. Zac Taylor (Cincinnati Bengals): February 4, 2019; extended through 2026
  14. Ron Rivera (Washington Football Team): January 1, 2020
  15. Matt Rhule (Carolina Panthers): January 7, 2020
  16. Mike McCarthy (Dallas Cowboys): January 7, 2020
  17. Kevin Stefanski (Cleveland Browns): January 13, 2020
  18. Robert Saleh (New York Jets): January 15, 2021
  19. Arthur Smith (Atlanta Falcons): January 15, 2021
  20. Brandon Staley (Los Angeles Chargers): January 17, 2021
  21. Dan Campbell (Detroit Lions): January 20, 2021
  22. Nick Sirianni (Philadelphia Eagles): January 21, 2021
  23. Nathaniel Hackett (Denver Broncos): January 27, 2022
  24. Matt Eberflus (Chicago Bears): January 27, 2022
  25. Brian Daboll (New York Giants): January 28, 2022
  26. Josh McDaniels (Las Vegas Raiders): January 30, 2022
  27. Kevin O’Connell (Minnesota Vikings): February 2, 2022
  28. Doug Pederson (Jacksonville Jaguars): February 3, 2022
  29. Mike McDaniel (Miami Dolphins): February 6, 2022
  30. Dennis Allen (New Orleans Saints): February 7, 2022
  31. Lovie Smith (Houston Texans): February 7, 2022
  32. Todd Bowles (Tampa Bay Buccaneers): March 30, 2022

Latest On Seahawks’ D.K. Metcalf, CB Competition

The Seahawks have seen multiple franchise pillars depart this offseason, but they have maintained an optimistic tone with respect to keeping one of their young stars. Still, the recent actions of D.K. Metcalf have caused a stir in the organization. 

The 24-year-old made headlines with his unexcused absence from Seattle’s minicamp. That decision “surprised the team some,” according to Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times. Metcalf had been present for a portion of the voluntary offseason program, which could explain why members of the team were caught off guard by the move to skip mandatory practice last week.

Metcalf is among the numerous wideouts from the 2019 draft class who are in line for second contracts, something which is taking place within the context of a skyrocketing WR market. Head coach Pete Carroll provided an update on contract talks, saying that things are still “semi-quiet” right now, but that negotiations could intensify in the coming weeks. Condotta, likewise, states that “the drama [surrounding Metcalf] may linger all summer but it should end by fall.”

While the Metcalf situation is front and center right now in Seattle, the offseason has also led to speculation about the team’s cornerback situation. As Condotta’s colleague Adam Jude writes, there appears to be a competition along the outside which is “wide open.” He notes that Sidney Jones has been practicing with the starters, which should come as little surprise given that he started 11 of 16 contests last year. However, Jude adds that one, if not both of rookies Coby Bryant and Tariq Woolen could take on starting roles this season, given their performances in practice, as the team looks for a D.J. Reed replacement.

Bryant and Woolen won’t have the chance to push for a starting spot until training camp in July. By that time, the Seahawks may have already taken care of their most pressing financial issue.

Latest on Metcalf, Seahawks

In the weeks leading up to the draft, chatter was heard that Seahawks wide receiver D.K. Metcalf may be available for a price. After trading away quarterback Russell Wilson, many began to assume that the Seahawks were in sell-mode. While Seattle hasn’t looked to actively move the former second-rounder, they have fielded calls regarding a potential trade. It was reported in the build-up to the draft that the Jets were willing to part ways with the 10th overall pick, though nothing materialized on that front. 

In a radio interview, according to Brady Henderson of ESPN, head coach Pete Carroll spoke on the situation. “We want him to be here. He wants to be here,” Carroll said. “We’ll figure it out. It’ll just take us some time, but we’ll get it done.”

This is the second extremely encouraging statement made this week hinting that Metcalf will return to Seattle, after Metcalf commented recently saying“At the end of the day, once you sit down and make a grown-man decision, yeah, I want to be in Seattle.”

With Metcalf looking to remain a Seahawk, he could be in line for a similar deal to the one signed by A.J. Brown, his former Ole Miss teammate, with whom he shares an agent.

To accommodate such a lucrative extension, the Seahawks could use some of the cap relief they will be seeing next month. Given that Carlos Dunlap was released with a post-June 1 designation, the team will gain just over $5MM in space after that date, which should make a deal feasible from a financial perspective, provided all parties still wish to get a deal done at that time. Both Carroll and Metcalf’s remarks point to that being a strong possibility.

D.K. Metcalf Expects To Re-Sign With Seahawks

The Seahawks’ roster has seen plenty of turnover this offseason, but one player they wish to keep for the foreseeable future is D.K. Metcalf. Earlier this week, the wideout reiterated his desire to get a long-term deal done with Seattle. 

“I will say we are going to get something done” the 24-year-old said on the Club Shay Shay Podcast with Shannon Sharpe, via Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times“I think I’m going to be in Seattle for the next coming years, yes sir.”

Those comments mirror the sentiment Metcalf expressed in January, knowing that he would be eligible for a new contract starting this offseason. Likewise, the team has publicly expressed their desire to keep him in place as they transition away from the Russell Wilson era on offense. Head coach Pete Carroll – who has made his intentions of keeping the Ole Miss alum clear – repeated over the weekend that he is optimistic a new contract will be worked out, and that both parties are on “a great wavelength to move forward”.

While Seattle hasn’t looked to actively move the former second-rounder, they have fielded calls regarding a potential trade. It was reported in the build-up to the draft that the Jets were willing to part ways with the 10th overall pick, though nothing materialized on that front. With Metcalf still a Seahawk, Condotta notes that he could be in line for a similar deal to the one signed by A.J. Brown, with whom he shares an agent.

To accommodate such a lucrative extension, the Seahawks could use some of the cap relief they will be seeing next month. Given that Carlos Dunlap was released with a post-June 1 designation, the team will gain just over $5MM in space after that date, which should make a deal feasible from a financial perspective, provided all parties still wish to get one done at that time. Metcalf’s remarks point to that being a strong possibility.

“At the end of the day once you sit down and make a grown-man decision, yeah, I want to be in Seattle.”

NFC Notes: Packers, Cousins, Seahawks, Kaepernick

Following the mass exodus of the Packers’ staff this offseason, longtime NFL quarterbacks coach Tom Clements received a phone call from his old player, quarterback Aaron Rodgers, as reported by Ryan Wood of Packers News.

Rodgers had just watched the dissolution of the Packers’ 2021 coaching staff. Offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett departed to Denver for a head coaching position. Passing game coordinator and quarterbacks coach Luke Getsy took an offensive coordinator job for the rival Bears.

Clements was enjoying retirement, looking forward to heading into Year 2 of armchair quarterbacking like the rest of us. Clements claimed he “didn’t have the itch to come back,” but after conversations with Rodgers and Packers head coach Matt LeFleur, Clements found himself back in the NFL, returning to his longest tenured home from his first stint in coaching.

Here are a few other notes from around the NFC, starting with another note from the North:

  • Following a shiny new deal from the Vikings, quarterback Kirk Cousins appears content to finish his NFL career in Minnesota, according to The Athletic’s Chad Graff. Cousins certainly didn’t need an early extension. He set an example years ago for how a player can bet on himself, becoming the first quarterback in NFL history to be franchise-tagged in consecutive years then signing the league’s first ever (and highest at the time) fully-guaranteed contract. Despite this history, Cousins agreed to a deal that freed up some cap space for Minnesota. When asked why he agreed to this deal, Cousins simply stated, “The short answer is: I want to be a Minnesota Viking.”
  • Jason La Canfora wrote a piece Friday asserting his belief that two quarterbacks will go in the Top 10 picks of the 2022 NFL Draft, notably that he expects Atlanta and Carolina to select one of Liberty’s Malik Willis or Pitt’s Kenny Pickett. If either NFC South franchise ends up addressing another position, though, La Canfora expects Seattle to fulfill his prediction with the No. 9 overall pick. Should neither quarterback be available to the Seahawks, several executives believe that Seattle would trade back, allowing teams who are hungry to select a specific prospect to relinquish some of their draft capital while keeping alive the Seahawks ability to draft a value-player without reaching.
  • Should Seattle not find a quarterback in the Draft, one option they’ve kicked the tires on is former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Kaepernick hasn’t played since January of 2017, but has stayed in shape amidst lawsuits and accusations against the NFL that settled in 2019. A connection was reported with the Seahawks in March after some comments from head coach Pete Carroll. Carroll gave an update, as reported by USA Today’s Scooby Axson, saying that, while not much has progressed in terms of a contract, Carroll notices the work Kaepernick has put in and admires the 34-year-old’s desire to compete. No deal seems imminent, but Kaepernick remains a possibility should Seattle strike out in the Draft later this month.

Latest On Seahawks-Broncos’ Russell Wilson Trade

Although the Broncos have been in need at quarterback for six years, GM George Paton said Seahawks GM John Schneider initiated the Russell Wilson trade talks. A Schneider text to Paton got the ball rolling on the trade at the Senior Bowl, Ryan O’Halloran of the Denver Post notes.

Schneider expected the Broncos to be interested, and the talks heated up at the Combine. While Denver was also linked to Aaron Rodgers for nearly a year, Paton said Wilson was the team’s No. 1 priority throughout the offseason. The Broncos planned to do “anything it took” to acquire Wilson, Jeff Legwold of ESPN.com tweets. The deal sent the Seahawks five draft picks and three players, including quarterback Drew Lock, who as of now figures to factor in prominently in Seattle’s post-Wilson QB plans.

The Seahawks’ official statements, while complimentary of the nine-time Pro Bowler overall, included interesting language. All three indicated the quarterback wanting out catalyzed the trade. Jody Allen‘s statement said Wilson “made it clear” he wanted a change, with the owner’s short message also saying she hopes the next Seahawks squad will be “fully engaged.” (A previous report by The Athletic included select anonymous players accusing Wilson of checking out last season, which seems to conflict with the QB’s quest to return earlier than expected from thumb surgery.) Pete Carroll‘s statement backed Allen’s, as could be expected, and said Wilson “wanted something different.”

Wilson called the separation mutual, and Schneider said Wednesday he did not expect the future Hall of Fame passer to sign another Seahawks extension, via ESPN.com’s Brady Henderson (on Twitter). Wilson’s 2019 extension expires after the 2023 season, though the Broncos will be expected to re-sign him either this offseason or in 2023.

A conversation with Paton and Wilson’s faith in the Broncos’ roster prompted him to waive his no-trade clause and target Denver as a destination, O’Halloran adds, and Paton said the Broncos’ new quarterback was already en route to Denver when news of Rodgers’ extension surfaced last week. John Elway, who is now a Broncos consultant after 10 years as the team’s GM and one in a different executive role, was one of the few people Paton brought into the loop on the prospective Wilson trade.

In landing the 33-year-old Wilson, the Broncos will presumably have a longer run with this particular trade acquisition than they did with Peyton Manning or would have with Rodgers. Wilson is still planning to play past age 40.

QB Rumors: Trubisky, Winston, Taylor, Lock

The Giants’ new head coach, Brian Daboll, worked with free agent quarterback Mitchell Trubisky when they were both with the Bills last year (Daboll as offensive coordinator). Well, according to Dan Graziano of ESPN, Daboll has interest in luring Trubisky to join him in New York.

There’s been some interest in bringing Trubisky to Pittsburgh, as well, where a path to starting is much more clear. If Daboll’s familiarity with the sixth-year quarterback is able to attract him to the Giants, though, the head coach sees the potential for him to mirror the results of Ryan Tannehill in Tennessee. A quick refresher: Tannehill arrived in Nashville in 2019 in a trade with the Dolphins. Tannehill started the season in the role of back up quarterback to the incumbent starter Marcus Mariota. After a 2-4 start to the season, Mariota was benched in favor of Tannehill, who went 7-3 for the rest of the year and led the Titans to the AFC Championship Game.

Daboll holds hope that, while Daniel Jones may retain the starting job in New York, if the need presents itself, Trubisky could provide the same effect as Tannehill.

Some other notes concerning quarterbacks around the league:

  • Another option the Steelers could be looking into, Jameis Winston is looking like the most likely starting quarterback for the Saints in 2022, according to Graziano. With Teddy Bridgewater headed to free agency, a return to New Orleans could be possible, and Winston may see some opportunities in testing the free agent market, himself. But Winston is a locker room favorite that saw success on the Saints before tearing his ACL midseason last year.
  • Tyrod Taylor lost the starting job in Houston last year to rookie quarterback Davis Mills. With Mills expected to return to the starting position next year, the Texans do have interest in bringing Taylor back in the role of back up quarterback, according to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler. Taylor has chased starting jobs throughout his career and has seen some success at times. He may search for a new opportunity to start, but, if not, Taylor has shown professionalism several times in back up roles mentoring young quarterbacks.
  • After receiving Drew Lock in the Russell Wilson-trade with the Broncos, Seattle is considering the elements to Lock’s lack of success in Denver, according to Fowler. Some believe that the revolving door of offensive coordinators contributed to his struggles. Seattle is analyzing whether they believe in Pete Carroll‘s ability to develop Lock, who showed glimpses of promise in his early appearances as a Bronco, or whether they need to make moves for Deshaun Watson to win now.

Saints Have Stake In Payton’s Future

When Saints’ former head coach Sean Payton retired, he left the door open for a return. Although he made it clear that he has no intention of coaching during the 2022 NFL season, Payton didn’t rule out a return later on. 

“My plans are not to be coaching in 2022,” Payton said. “I still have a vision for doing things in football and, I’ll be honest with you, that might be coaching again at some point.”

Because Payton is under contract with the Saints through the 2024 NFL season, this “mini-retirement” means that whichever team wants to sign him for the 2023 season will have to negotiate with the Saints to do so. Even though Payton told radio personality Dan Patrick that he heard two teams reached out through back channels, those channels never reached Saints’ general manager Mickey Loomis, according to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen. This means that whatever the level of interest those two teams had, it didn’t rise to the point where they were ready to talk compensation.

Mortensen goes on to explain that, should another team reach out to see what it would take to sign Payton, New Orleans has their compensation chart ready on hand. The chart would be based on past similar transactions setting an estimated value through precedent.

The most recent example would be when the Buccaneers pulled Bruce Arians out of his recent retirement from coaching the Cardinals three seasons ago. This is a precedent the Saints’ would stray away from as Arians lack of success in Arizona led to the Cardinals essentially nudging him into retirement. When the deal was made to send Arians to Tampa Bay, the Cardinals received a sixth-round pick and gave the Buccaneers Arians and a seventh-round pick.

Payton is currently considered in much higher demand than Arians was at the time. Mortensen laid out three past transactions that he considers a little more on par with Payton’s current value. The most pricey example was about 20-years ago when the Buccaneers gave the Raiders two first-round picks, two second-round picks, and $8MM cash in exchange for Jon Gruden, who lead his new team to a Super Bowl victory over his old team. The Gruden deal differs a bit from the Arians deal because Gruden wasn’t thinking of retiring and there was really no threat to his job. Raiders’ owner and general manager Al Davis had some questions over Gruden’s value, but there was never talk that his job was in jeopardy.

Another similar deal came back in 1997, when Bill Parcells decided he didn’t want to coach for the Patriots anymore. Parcells’ contract restricted him from coaching anywhere else, so the Jets attempted to circumvent the restriction by hiring a key Parcells’ assistant, Bill Belichick, as their head coach and hiring Parcells as an “advisor.” After the Patriots threatened legal action, the commissioner, Paul Tagliabue, helped the two sides come to an agreement wherein the Patriots would send Parcells to the Jets in exchange for a first-, second-, third-, and fourth-round pick (spread over the following three years). Even though this deal doesn’t include any “mini-retirements,” it follows the current situation a little more closely than the Gruden deal.

Belichick’s return to New England had a very similar ring to his arrival in New York. After the Jets arranged for Belichick to succeed Parcells as head coach, Belichick went to his press conference and, instead of introducing himself as the new head coach, he introduce his resignation from the franchise. The Patriots soon requested permission to interview Belichick to replace Pete Carroll, but the Jets pulled the reverse card and demanded compensation, as Belichick was still under contract. Tagliabue stepped in, once more, and the Patriots sent New York a first-round pick in exchange for the coaching rights of Belichick.

All these examples, despite their different situations, provide a basis for the Saints to use in determining what they think they are due when another team inevitably comes calling. As a Super Bowl champion and long-tenured head coach, Payton is sure to fetch quite a price for whichever team decides to hire him.

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.