Right on schedule.
The second part of the Seahawks’ two-part leadership play has happened as expected, with coach Pete Carroll getting his contract extended through 2019.
“Thrilled to announce we have reached an extension with Super Bowl winning coach @PeteCarroll! #GoHawks” Seahawks owner Paul Allen posted on his Twitter page Tuesday evening. The team then confirmed the agreement it only described as “long-term.”
ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter first reported the deal that ties Carroll to Seattle through the 2019 season. This is the second extension for the 64-year-old Carroll since he arrived from USC to take the Seahawks’ job in 2010.
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That previous contract was believed to be paying Carroll about $9 million annually. Tuesday’s extension is likely worth at least $10 million per year, making Carroll and New England’s Bill Belichick the NFL’s highest-paid coaches.
On Sunday night, Seahawks general manager John Schneider got his contract extended through 2021. The GM and coach have been in lock step with the corresponding support of owner Paul Allen since they arrived to start their new Seahawks regime in January 2010, so, of course, they got coinciding extensions two days apart.
Carroll said during the 2014 preseason he wanted to coach the Seahawks for 10 more years. That was when he was 62.
With this extension, he can be halfway there.
If his goal still holds and comes true, Carroll would tie Marv Levy and George Halas as the oldest coaches in NFL history at 72. Yet Carroll has brought an undeniable freshness, vitality and swagger – not to mention unprecedented success – to the Seahawks in his first six years in Seattle.
Under Carroll and Schneider, the Seahawks have won 60 games in six regular seasons and played in back-to-back Super Bowls, winning their first NFL championship at the end of the 2013 season. Seattle has made the playoffs in five of Carroll’s and Schneider’s six seasons, including the past four years.
Like Schneider, Carroll’s contract was to expire following the 2016 season. Allen was unlikely to extend his general manager’s deal and not that of his coach and lead motivator of the most successful run for the franchise, which began play in 1976.
And the Seahawks were not about to let Carroll coach the final year of his contract with the NFL returning to Los Angeles and Rams coach Jeff Fisher in the last year of his deal.
Carroll still has strong ties to Los Angeles from his days leading USC’s college football dynasty from 2000-09 and his ongoing work with his philanthropic and community-action organization there, A Better LA.
Instead, Carroll, Schneider and the Seahawks will begin the 2016 preseason with the first practice of training camp on Saturday morning at team headquarters in Renton – with Seattle whole again as one of the favorites in the NFC.
Gregg Bell: @gbellseattle