The length of time it took to get the contracts complete for John Schneider and Pete Carroll led to some inevitable concern, but Schneider on Thursday noted the value of keeping the same management team together as an attraction to want to stay in Seattle.
RENTON — If some in Seattle may have been filled with increasing angst the last few months as the Seahawks worked to re-sign general manager John Schneider, Schneider himself insists he was always at ease.
Any perceived delay that took place before he agreed to a new five-year contract last weekend, he says, was due mostly to the nature of the NFL offseason, when simply getting everyone in the same room can be a challenge.
“These deals, when you do them in summer, are very unique because people are all over the place,” he said. “On vacation here and there, lot of moving parts.”
One of those was his phone, which Schneider managed to bump into Sidney Harbor in the San Juans during one of his own vacations this summer.
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“I was playing Uno and I pushed it off the side of a boat,” Schneider said Thursday when he talked to reporters for the first time since agreeing to a new contract with the team. “Slip 62. You can go down there and get all my stuff. It’s only 28 feet there or so.”
A new phone has been secured, while Schneider himself is now secure with the Seahawks through the 2021 season as is coach Pete Carroll, who agreed to his own new contract through the 2019 season.
The two have led the Seahawks to the greatest run in franchise history, with five playoff appearances in six seasons (with at least one postseason win each of those years) and a Super Bowl title following the 2013 season.
The length of time it took to get the contracts complete for Schneider and Carroll led to some inevitable whispering linking them to other teams in the future, but Schneider on Thursday noted the value of keeping the same management team together as an attraction to want to stay in Seattle.
“Having that core together to have that consistent, solid foundation — that continuity is huge,” Schneider said, also citing team president Peter McLoughlin, who also signed a new contract with the organization since the end of the 2015 season. “The relationship between the three of us is special.”
Schneider said the announcing of his deal and Carroll’s within days was by design.
“I was hoping they would go as quickly and as close together as possible,” he said.
That his contract has two more years than Carroll’s is different than their previous contracts, which each went through the 2016 season. But Schneider said not to read anything into that, saying “it’s not relevant.”
Schneider also brushed off a long-held rumor that his previous contract included an out clause if he wanted to return to Green Bay — he grew up in nearby De Pere, Wis.
“No,” he said. “There’s been lots of whispers about a lot of things. It’s a small league and I’m from a small home town, so …”
Schneider’s new contract is reportedly worth about $4 million a season, with one report saying the contract makes him one of the top two highest-paid general managers in the NFL.
It’s a job Schneider once would have done for free.
He recalled Thursday his humble beginnings as an intern with the Packers when “I was just trying to be the first one there to get the doughnuts in the morning.”
Later stints with the Chiefs, Seahawks (in 2000 as director of player personnel), Washington and back to Green Bay led him finally back to Seattle to work with Carroll in 2010 after the 5-11 season in Jim Mora’s lone season in 2009.
The goal remains the same now as then.
“And that’s to be a consistent championship team where your fans feel like every year they have a shot to do this,” he said.
The methods also haven’t changed, he said.
“I truly believe in working like it’s up to you, praying like it’s up to God,” he said. “We’re literally trying to be in every deal or anything that’s going on in the National Football League.
“We always feel like we’re never going to be the smartest people in the room, we’re just going to outwork people.”
Part of that core philosophy also means never being satisfied, even if at 45 years old Schneider is already well-positioned to eventually be remembered as one of the best at his craft in this era of the NFL.
“If you start thinking you have all the answers and you’ve got everything figured out, that’s when you’re kind of screwed,” he said.