The Seahawks have agreed on a new contract with coach Pete Carroll through the 2019 season, which will keep him coaching the team until he is 68 years old.
The Seahawks have reached agreement on a new contract with coach Pete Carroll through the 2019 season, the team confirmed Tuesday night, completing one of Seattle’s main off-season tasks four days before training camp officially opens.
The agreement, reported first by ESPN’s Adam Schefter, was also later confirmed in a Tweet from owner Paul Allen, who wrote: “Thrilled to announce we have reached an extension with Super Bowl winning coach (Pete Carroll).”
Carroll had been entering the final season of a three-year contract signed in April, 2014. His new contract comes two days after general manager John Schneider agreed to a new five-year deal on Sunday. Like Carroll, Schneider was entering the last season of his current contract. Now, each is assured of being with the team for at least four more seasons (as well as QB Russell Wilson, also signed through the 2019 season).
Carroll is the most successful coach in team history, having led the Seahawks to a Super Bowl win following the 2013 season and another appearance in 2014.
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The Seahawks are 60-36 overall in the regular season under Carroll and 8-4 in the playoffs, winning percentages of .625 and .667 that are each the best in team history. In that time, Seattle has not lost a game by more than 10 points, a streak of 83 games that dates to the middle of the 2011 season.
Carroll, already the oldest coach in the NFL, turns 65 on Sept. 15. But has given no indication he plans to retire anytime soon and now has a new contract — officially a three-year extension that begins after the 2016 season — that will keep him with the team through his 68th birthday.
Addressing his coaching future in an interview with the Times in 2014, Carroll said: “I really don’t even think about the timeline of it,’’ he said. “I don’t even know how to. I’m not looking to the end, not looking for it to end. I’m just having fun balling. We know where we are for the next few years, and we are going to try to do everything we can to make it as cool as possible.’’
Carroll had brushed off questions about his future throughout the off-season saying simply “I’m good” or something similar, and sources had said all along that there was no real concern of the deal getting done.
It’s thought Carroll and the team/organization wanted to get through that part of the off-season (as well as the paying out of contracts) first before turning to taking care of those in administration, with Carroll likely wanting Schneider’s situation settled before the team took care of him (as was the case a few years ago when Schneider signed a deal through 2016 and Carroll then followed suit later).
Carroll arrived in Seattle in Jan., 2010 from USC, where he guided the Trojans to an undisputed national title following the 2004 season. He is the ninth coach in team history and took over when Jim Mora was fired following one season in 2009.
Salaries of NFL coaches are typically not disclosed, but Carroll had been thought making at least $8 million a year, putting him among the highest-paid coaches along with Bill Belichick and Sean Payton.
A new contract would almost certainly give Carroll a raise though details had yet to be revealed as of early Tuesday evening.
While Carroll arrived in Seattle fresh off one of the most dominant runs in college football history at USC (where he was 97-19 from 2001-09) he came bearing questions about how good of a fit he was for the NFL.
Carroll was fired from his first two NFL head coaching jobs, going 6-10 in one season with the Jets in 1994 and then 27-21 in three seasons in New England from 1997-99 when he replaced Bill Parcells and preceded Belichick.
After 7-9 seasons to start his Seattle career (though the first one including an unlikely NFC West title and playoff win) he has led the Seahawks to four straight playoff appearances, going a combined 46-18 from 2012-15.
The new contract now assures that Carroll will be the one to guide the Seahawks for four more seasons, a time when the team could make a case for itself as one of the best teams of this decade, if not NFL history, and in turn cement Carroll’s case as a possible NFL Hall of Famer.
“I don’t feel (redemption) at all,’’ he said in 2014 about how his Seattle success had altered his coaching legacy. “I understand why that would be a logical thing (to think he’d feel). But if I would have had that kind of thinking, it got all washed away at USC.
“I never took it that way, the way you would think, like I was cheated or something during (his previous NFL stints). It happened as it happened, and I never really bought into (thinking) that I couldn’t coach or that I didn’t know how to do it. I just thought we needed the right opportunity and we would be able to do it.’’
In an interview Tuesday morning on 710 ESPN Seattle, Schneider said Carroll can coach “as long as he wants, really” and said Carroll has often joked about matching the feat of Amos Alonzo Stagg, who famously was still coaching at the University of Pacific — Carroll’s alma mater — at age 78 and served as a kicking coach at a junior college until he was 96.
“I think Pete probably thinks he can live to 120 and coach until he’s 110,” Schneider said.
More realistically might be making a run at the record held by Hall of Famers Marv Levy and George Halas, who each coached until they were 72, making them the oldest coaches in NFL history.