RENTON, Wash. — Every so often, John Schneider will see what’s happening with other franchises around the NFL and his personal appreciation for what’s taken place during his tenure as general manager in Seattle is reinforced.
Schneider knows what’s happened here over the past six seasons is unique. It’s why he agreed to a contract extension last week that will keep him employed by the Seahawks through the 2021 season.
“It always fluctuates and changes with different ownership groups, but this is clearly a top-3, top-5 team in terms of ownership in the league and obviously we’re biased so we would say it’s (No.) 1,” Schneider said Thursday. “Like I said, having a strong owner and a strong president is extremely important.”
Schneider spoke with reporters as the Seahawks were preparing to begin training camp Saturday. The team announced last Sunday that Schneider had agreed to an extension and two days later announced a three-year extension for coach Pete Carroll, keeping the tandem in charge of Seattle’s football operations at least through 2019.
They knew little of each other when Carroll and Schneider were hired in January 2010. Since then, the pair has led the Seahawks to success never before seen in franchise history.
“I think the times you appreciate it are the times that are tough and you have to make tough decisions,” Schneider said. “Coach Carroll, he doesn’t have to have this philosophy. He’s Pete Carroll, right? And I’m John Schneider. This guy won national championships and was basically running Los Angeles for a couple years. He could have come into this thing like guns blazing and it’s my way or the highway. That’s not his philosophical approach at all.”
Schneider arrived in Seattle a relative unknown and unproven as a general manger. What he’s created now entering his seventh season in charge is a football operations department that rivals any in the NFL, with a team coming off four straight playoff appearances and expectations entering this season of being a contender in the NFC.
Schneider will be 50 years old when his contract expires after the 2021 season.
“When you’re asking the shelf-life of it, I think as long as you’re challenging yourself and you never feel like you have all the answers, then I think the shelf-life is endless,” Schneider said. “If you start thinking you have all the answers and you’ve got everything figured out … that’s when you’re kind of screwed.”
Contrary to rumblings that have followed Schneider throughout his tenure with Seattle, he said there is no clause in his extension that would allow the Wisconsin native to return to his home state and take over in Green Bay if the opportunity presents itself. He’s in Seattle for the long haul, and that’s fine by him.
“There’s been lots of whispers about a lot of things,” Schneider said. “It’s a small league and I’m from a small home town.”
Last season, Schneider and the Seahawks were caught by surprise when Kam Chancellor held out from training camp because he was unhappy with his contract before reporting after missing the first two games of the season. Defensive end Michael Bennett has also expressed displeasure with his current contract but Schneider expects Bennett to report Friday.
“I do expect him. I haven’t heard otherwise,” he said.
Schneider said running back Thomas Rawls and tight end Jimmy Graham are not expected to practice when the Seahawks take the field for the first time Saturday. The team is still considering whether to place the two on the physically unable to perform list for the start of camp as they recover from injuries suffered late last season.
Schneider reiterated that both are expected to be ready for the opener on Sept. 11 against Miami.
“We’re going to be very, very careful with those guys,” he said.