Free-agent transactions dominate the daily headlines this time of year, but nothing the Seattle Seahawks do with the roster compares to the importance of negotiations with head coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider.
The two enter the final year of their contracts and reports hold that there have been talks regarding extensions for one or both.
Good. Do it soon. Do whatever it takes to make it happen.
It would be fitting and symbolic if the Seahawks got them both secured at the same time because it has been their shared vision and willing collaboration that has allowed the Seahawks to enjoy this unprecedented streak of success.
So put them on the dais in a joint press conference. Like a couple renewing their vows.
Dearly beloved, we are gathered …
The importance of the conjoined service is more than symbolic; it is likely important to both Carroll and Schneider that the other is going to be around.
I can’t believe either of them wants to have to break in somebody else after having been in such a positive relationship. Could it be possible for any of the parties to arrive at another pairing so productive?
What they have is rare in pro sports: No apparent ego conflicts and a genuine commitment to making the other’s decisions become successful.
Look back to the comments they made when Carroll was extended in 2014.
Schneider: “As a personnel guy, it’s outstanding to be able to acquire talent and know that you have a head coach and a coaching staff that are going to accentuate players’ strengths and look for the positives. Coach Carroll obviously does that and it’s created a very positive, fun culture here in Seattle.”
Carroll: “None of it would have been able to happen without John. It’s just the facts. When we came here we really set a vision in place that started with the relationship between the two of us. I felt like we had an opportunity to demonstrate to professional sports how powerful, how crucial this relationship is.”
Has anything changed since then? Certainly not in their football philosophies.
So, there seems to be minimal drama in this, and likely no contention. They deserve big paydays, they seem happy here, and ownership surely is equally delighted with their production.
So it’s probably a matter of how to make it happen, finding mutual satisfaction on duration and amounts.
But it’s still something that has to get done and done right. The Seahawks can’t afford to mishandle this.
Carroll already is among the top-paid NFL head coaches, reportedly pulling in about $8 million a season.
In some ways, at this point, it might be about making them feel appreciated more than the actual money. Still, the numbers are a way of measuring appreciation.
How, though, is it possible to quantify the value of what they’ve accomplished, and reward the immeasurable distance they’ve brought this franchise since 2010?
Carroll and Schneider have appealing options as leverage, if they chose to employ them.
With one or two franchises moving to Los Angeles, Carroll could feel the lure of going back to the town where he enjoyed so much success and approbation as head coach at USC.
Schneider, meanwhile, might envision the day when Ted Thompson’s job as Packers general manager might come open, creating the possibility that Schneider could return to his home area. Supposedly, there was a clause in his last contract that gave him an “out” if the Packers job ever opened up.
We don’t see enough of owner Paul Allen to get a real read on his feelings, but he sometimes shows up for oddly timed chats with Carroll on the field during pregame warmups. I always watch them from the press box through binoculars, and although I can’t read lips to transcribe the conversation, there’s an obvious ease and geniality between the two.
I don’t imagine Allen would really enjoy, at this point, to have to break in a new head coach and possibly detour this trajectory of franchise success.
Allen surely understands the value of stability to a winning franchise.
Carroll and Schneider have said they want to make this a long-term, sustainable endeavor. Carroll calling it “winning forever,” and Schneider pointing to his belief that “there is no finish line” on what they aim to accomplish.
So, do it now. Do it all at once.
This is a union that no one should put asunder.