The Seattle Seahawks have been very happy with how things have gone since the hiring of John Schneider and Pete Carroll. After six seasons with the head coach – general manager duo, they’re planning on many more, giving Schneider a five-year extension to the contract that was expiring at the end of this season.
The deal is reportedly paying Schneider close to $3.75 million a season, which is what Ozzie Newsome of the Baltimore Ravens makes, the highest paid GM in the NFL. Pete Carroll is also entering a contract year, and it’s not going to be surprising if the two men hired together will also receive an extension at around the same time.
Owner Paul Allen called Schneider the Architect of the roster in a Tweet following the announcement. Of the players on their roster when the Seahawks won the Super Bowl (XLVIII) for the first time in franchise history, only Max Unger, Red Bryant, Jon Ryan and Brandon Mebane were there before his arrival. Since becoming in charge of drafting players, Schneider (although not alone in the selections) has picked players like Russell Okung, Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor, Richard Sherman, Bobby Wagner, Russell Wilson and Tyler Lockett among many others who have played meaningful roles on the Seahawks two-Super Bowl run.
Since the duo’s arrival, the Seahawks have missed the playoffs just once (2011), posting a 60-36 record. Only the Green Bay Packers have won more games over the last six seasons among NFC teams, and the Seahawks are one of only three teams since 2010 to make the Super Bowl twice, winning one of those trips. Schneider came in 3rd in the award voting for the 2012 NFL Executive of the year.
What about this season? Many in the organization feel the same thing they did before the 2013 season, which ended with the Super Bowl win. The team has most of their young core signed to long term deals, and seem like they’re good enough talent-wise for another run at the Super Bowl, although last season they fell short, losing in the divisional round to the Carolina Panthers after a 10-6 season. They have only two first round picks on the roster, suggesting where they find their talent. Last season, at one point, 24 of their 53 players were undrafted free agents.
The Seahawks carry on into the future with this approach: Looking for players where others don’t want to look, and playing players based on their ability in training and on the field, not what college they came from, how much money they’re making or where they were signed from. It doesn’t always result in a bullseye, and like anything in a decision making process, there are plenty of misses, but the consistency of the Seahawks since 2010, undoubtedly the golden age of the franchise, suggests they’re mostly making the right choices.