Clayton: Unlikely Pete Carroll leaves Seahawks for LA after this season

Jan 20, 2016, 10:01 AM | Updated: 4:12 pm
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The Seahawks gave Pete Carroll a three-year extension after their 2013 Super Bowl season. (AP)
(AP)

With Pete Carroll’s contract believed to be up after next season and at least one NFL team moving to Los Angeles, could this be his last season as Seattle’s coach?

John Clayton believes a move is unlikely.

“I think you can see he wants to complete what he wants to do with this group,” Clayton said. “This group is special to him. It’s got probably about a two-, maybe three-year window to still stay at that Super Bowl level and I think he’d want to be able to do that. I just don’t see him transitioning out, and why go try to start up something else just because there’s something down in Los Angeles?”

The Seahawks signed Carroll to a five-year deal in 2010 that was reportedly worth $35 million. He signed a three-year extension after the 2013 season.

The true financial numbers are not generally made available to the public, but Clayton suspects Carroll makes around $9 million per year, which is likely the highest in the league or just below New England’s Bill Belichick.

Although it’s possible Carrol signed a behind-the-scenes extension, it’s believed that the NFL’s oldest head coach is entering the last year of his deal in Seattle. The speculation looms even larger with the Rams returning to Los Angeles, a city in which Carroll saw great success as coach of USC.

Related: What is Marshawn Lynch’s legacy with the Seahawks?

When asked by reporters Monday whether he wants to do something with his contract, Carroll responded, “I’m in great shape. Thanks for asking.”

Clayton expects the Seahawks will approach Carroll about another extension during the owner’s meetings in late March, and doesn’t suspect the 64-year-old has any motivation to leave.

Still, Clayton believes the Rams will likely make a run at Carroll.

“I would have to think (so),” he said. “It depends on how the Rams’ season goes. Jeff Fischer is in the last year of his contract, and so there would be at least some pressure. I can’t imagine that Paul Allen’s gonna let someone go in the division if he has the ability to try to keep him. This is family up here and I don’t know if Pete wants to start a new family down there.”

Carroll has a 60-36 record over six seasons with Seattle and is 8-4 in the playoffs. He’s 93-67 overall, including his pre-USC stints with the Jets and Patriots. Mike Salk believes Rams owner Stan Kroenke would be remiss if Carroll wasn’t his first choice moving forward.

“You’d want Pete Carroll as soon as possible,” Salk said. “A proven track record not only in LA but also in the NFL. If there’s any way to take him from a division rival and bring him to LA, you think they would do everything in their power to do so. You’re already spending $1.5 billion, what’s another couple million to try to lure Pete Carroll down there.”

NFL coaches’ contracts don’t count against the salary cap, with the team’s owner able to pay any amount that he or she would like.

Brock Huard noted the oddity of knowing the salary of every single NFL player but having no idea how much any of the league’s coaches make. Seeing as Allen is by far the richest owner in the NFL, Huard has no doubt that everyone’s being properly taken care of.

“Paul Allen spends more of his resources on these coaches, on the science, on the entire program than anybody in this league,” he said. “I say that without knowing all of the hard data, but I can’t imagine that anybody is paid as a staff and as an entire organization as well as these Seattle Seahawks are.”

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