Just over a week after a report said the Detroit Lions and possibly other teams might pursue general manager John Schneider, the Seahawks on Tuesday announced a five-year contract extension that will keep him in Seattle through the 2027 NFL draft.
His current deal went through the 2022 draft.
Schneider has been with Seattle since January 2010, and with coach Pete Carroll they have built the Seahawks into one of the NFL’s most consistent franchises, including a 12-win season this year and the NFC West Division title, the fifth since their arrival.
Carroll this season signed a contract extension keeping him with Seattle through the 2025 season, when he will be 74 years old.
An NFL Network report Jan. 3 said the Lions were interested in pursuing Schneider, and that other teams might try to lure him away by offering total control with personnel decisions, which he does not have with Seattle.
Carroll, whose title is executive vice president of football operations/head coach, has final say. Schneider’s official title is executive vice president/general manager.
The terms of Schneider’s new contract were not immediately known. Salaries for NFL coaches and GMs are not usually announced, and Seattle has not done so in the past. Pro Football Talk reported in the wake of the report connecting Schneider with Detroit that he “isn’t paid at the top of the GM market” and that he was prepared to let his contract run out and become a free agent if he did not get a fair-market salary. So the assumption would be that Schneider received that from Seattle to re-up for another five years.
In a statement, team chairperson Jody Allen said: “I am pleased to announce that we have extended the contract of general manager John Schneider through the 2027 draft. For the last decade, John and head coach Pete Carroll have formed a tremendous partnership and the Seahawks have established a successful, unique, and truly winning culture respected throughout sports. I know we are all excited to see that continue.”
Schneider turns 50 on May 25, and reports of possible interest from other teams fed the idea that Schneider might want to run a team on his own, including hiring a coach.
Instead, his new deal means he will stay with the Seahawks through the end of Carroll’s current deal and one season and two drafts beyond, with the possibility he may still do that someday in Seattle.
Carroll’s deal was quietly agreed to last fall and then later confirmed by the team.
In the wake of the Detroit report, Schneider indicated during his weekly segment on the team’s radio pregame show that he was not looking to leave, saying “we’re good” and “Tracy (Schneider’s wife) and I love it here. Great team, great ownership, coach Carroll, the city as well, everything,”
On his radio show a day later when asked about the Detroit report. Carroll gave a strong endorsement of Schneider.
“I think (their relationship as coach and GM) been everything to our organization from the very first day that we started, this to me was the key relationship that would give us a chance to be successful,” Carroll said.
As Carroll has noted often, he did not have the same kind of relationship in previous head-coaching jobs with the Jets and New England.
“Having been in relationships where guys didn’t fit together as well as they could and kind of really enhance each other’s strengths I saw what happened, so this relationship to me was designed from the very get-go to be as powerful and supportive and successful and positive and forward-thinking and all of that as could be. And I don’t know, I think we’ve done pretty good together.”
The Seahawks denied Green Bay — where Schneider grew up and worked before coming to Seattle — a chance to interview Schneider following the 2017 season. Schneider’s initial Seattle contract included an out clause for Green Bay, but his later contract did not. Teams can deny permission for under-contract executives to interview for jobs viewed as lateral moves.
The Detroit job remains open, but whether the Lions actually pursued Schneider hasn’t become publicly known. The Lions have made public having interviewed a handful of other candidates.
The Seahawks are 112-63-1 under Carroll and Schneider. The Seahawks have drafted 11 Pro Bowl players in that time and acquired 13 others who were invited.
The contract extension reiterates that the Seahawks will continue to be stable at the top of their football operations department.
There were obvious questions about the future of the franchise when owner Paul Allen died in October 2018. But Carroll signed a new contract near the end of that season, stating that he was reassured in conversations with Jody Allen — Paul Allen’s sister who took over as chair of the team — that she intended to keep the team and was committed to keeping it at the same level.
In December 2018 Carroll signed a deal that kept him with the team through 2021. Schneider had signed a deal in 2016 that kept him with the Seahawks through the 2022 draft.
With new deals, both are assured of being with the team longer than any current player. Quarterback Russell Wilson’s contract runs through the 2023 season (rookie contracts of players drafted in 2020 go through the 2023 season).
Carroll said Monday that he expects nearly all of his coaching staff to return, making clear he would not discuss possible changes publicly. But on Tuesday the Seahawks announced that they are parting ways with offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer.
And Carroll’s son, Brennan, has been hired as the offensive coordinator at the University of Arizona. He was the run-game coordinator for Seattle. Dave Canales, the passing-game coordinator, was reported to have interviewed for Vanderbilt’s offensive-coordinator position.
Seattle could have some turnover in its scouting department, as well. Scott Fitterer, the team’s vice president of football operations, will be interviewed in person Wednesday for the vacant GM position with the Carolina Panthers, according to reports.