Seahawks GM John Schneider discusses Geno’s deal, Wilson report

Mar 10, 2023, 12:07 PM
Seahawks John Schneider...
Seahawks GM John Schneider talks to reporters at the 2023 NFL Scouting Combine on Feb. 28, 2023. (Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
(Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

This was a big week for the Seahawks with the team inking quarterback Geno Smith to a three-year contract after his Pro Bowl season in 2022.

On Thursday, Seahawks general manager John Schneider hit the Seattle Sports airwaves for his weekly conversation with Wyman and Bob, and he discussed negotiating with Smith’s representatives and getting a deal done.

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“It was great,” Schneider said.

Schneider told Wyman and Bob that Smith’s agent, Chafie Fields of Wasserman, was a player he actually scouted out of college, so they have a long-existing relationship. Schneider called Fields a “smooth, cool individual” who has a “really great presence about him.”

“So he’s very easy to communicate with. He’s not a guy that’s gonna get really upset when you’re in the heat of the moment,” Schneider said. ” … Every negotiation has its own storyline, its own set of issues that you need to work through. Chafie did a really great job … of just working through the issues, and we kept everything really quiet, which I always really appreciate, and the organization appreciates so that things aren’t aired and nobody’s trying to like, work an angle in the media or anything or on social media. We just kept things real direct.”

Schneider said the Seahawks met with Smith’s camp multiple times during the recent NFL Scouting Combine before getting the contract done this week.

“Everything just kind of stayed as positive as we possibly could,” Schneider said. “They understood what we were trying to get accomplished, we understood what they were trying to get accomplished.”

On Wednesday, Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll joined Seattle Sports’ Brock and Salk to discuss Smith’s new contract, and he said that something important with getting it done was there were no “spaces,” or instances where the two sides weren’t talking. Schneider discussed that with Wyman and Bob on Thursday.

“We’ve always believed that when there’s a gap and communications, your mind starts spinning, things can go towards the negative, it’s going to go towards the negative80% more than it is towards the positive when you’re in your own head, when you’re in your mind and this group is thinking this and this group is thinking that and they’re not communicating,” he said.

Schneider said that he was taught early in his front office career that if you let things linger in contract talks that  “people tend to drift towards the negative.”

“And we don’t want that. We want to be constantly communicating,” he said. “I’m not always gonna like what I hear and you’re not always gonna like what you hear, but we’re trying to keep everything above board.”

Russell Wilson report

Smith is the Seahawks starter largely because Seattle traded Russell Wilson last offseason to Denver. Smith was Wilson’s backup for three seasons before starting in 2022.

Wilson and the Seahawks had reported friction in years prior to his trade, and The Athletic reported recently that Wilson wanted Seahawks ownership to fire Schneider and Carroll and for the team to hire his choice of a new head coach, Sean Payton, who is now his coach with the Broncos.

Schneider called the report “water under the bridge” when asked about the report at the combine, and he followed up on that on Thursday.

“The way I answered it down there. I think it’s water under the bridge,” he said. “I think everybody’s moved on. We’re constantly talking about what’s next … We’re super fired up about Geno’s deal getting done, but it’s like as soon as we get done with that, it’s like, ‘OK, on to the next’ … We have a lot of balls in the air.”

“When I hear that, it’s just like I get it, fine. That seems like two years ago now, really,” Schneider later added. “I mean, it seems like a long time ago. We’ve been through a lot (since then), and we just keep moving forward. Everyday is a new story in like how are we fixing our team? And how are we getting better? And letting the fans know that we’re totally busting our tails to to get better every single day.

“So it’s about moving forward and then relying on our culture for this new group of people that are coming in and are going to come here and succeed and have fun. They know coming in that they’re gonna have a blast with Pete, they’re gonna have a blast with the coaching staff, everyone in thi buildings gonna support them and we’re gonna win games and we’re gonna have fun doing it.”

Listen to the full Schneider Show at this link or in the player below.

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