Clayton: Urgency growing for Seahawks to extend coach Pete Carroll, GM John Schneider

Jul 14, 2016, 11:08 AM
Seahawks GM John Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll are both in the final years of their contrac...
Seahawks GM John Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll are both in the final years of their contracts. (AP)

710 ESPN Seattle’s John Clayton doesn’t know exactly what to call the Seahawks’ current streak of four straight playoff seasons: dynasty, mini-dynasty or just plain success.

What he does know is that most of the due should go to the architects of the teams: head coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider. And that means owner Paul Allen should get contract extensions for both finalized sooner than later.

Clayton said Tuesday that contract negotiations have started with both Carroll and Schneider but believes it’s in Allen’s best interest to make a move quickly.

“I think there has to be growing concerns each day this goes by,” Clayton said.

Clayton: Unlikely Pete Carroll leaves Seahawks for LA

Head coach salaries are not released in the same way that players are, but Clayton said Carroll, who is signed through the 2016 season, is believed to making a little more than $9 million per season. That would make the 64 year old the NFL’s third highest-paid coach, behind Sean Payton’s $9.2 million with the Saints and New England’s Bill Belichick, who could be anywhere between $10-13 million.

Clayton said “there’s always a chance” Carroll goes through this season without an extension, but that it’s unlikely.

“You go back a couple years ago when Pete signed the extension, it probably took 15 minutes of conversation to get something done and I’m sure with Pete it’s not going to take long,” Clayton said. “I would not be surprised if something does get done before training camp.”

The bigger issue, Clayton says, is calculating general manager’s salaries.

Clayton said the highest GM salary is $3.75 million, and that Allen will need to be willing to jump that number to upwards of $4 or $4.5 million for Schneider.

“Until that happens I think everything’s on hold,” Clayton said.

“I think you have to go above this with a 46-year-old general manager who bridges both the present and the future of a team in the middle of a mini-dynasty.”

710 ESPN Seattle’s Brock Huard believes Schneider and Carroll have a substantial amount of leverage in this negotiation. Clayton agreed, especially considering Rams coach Jeff Fisher and general manager Les Snead are in the final year of their contracts in the team’s first season back in Los Angeles, the same city Carroll once turned USC into a college football dynasty.

“You know Pete wants to stay here, he wants to finish what he started and see how far he can take this Super Bowl run,” Clayton said. “… You have two teams in the division and one spot like Los Angeles – where Pete came from with USC – and I don’t think you want to go that direction. It’s like, just get this thing done now.”

Clayton said Allen will look at the state of the organization, which appears to still be at or near the top of the league with little if any drop-off from the 2013 Super Bowl champions that he called “one of the best teams ever put together.” Clayton said Schneider’s most recent draft – where he sees six potential NFL starters – only helps the GM’s case for a new, lucrative deal.

So should Seahawks fans be worried?

“Moving on you start to have concern,” said Clayton. “Worry, no. Worry is if you have an owner who doesn’t have any money. There is an owner here who is among the richest in sports and has a passion and concern for the team. Ultimately I think something will get done, but it needs to get done sooner, not later.”

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Clayton: Urgency growing for Seahawks to extend coach Pete Carroll, GM John Schneider