SEATTLE — The first major contract extension finalized by the Seahawks following their Super Bowl title was a commitment to coach Pete Carroll — and to an ideology that finally proved successful at the professional level.
While getting stars such as Earl Thomas and Richard Sherman locked up remains important, the focus for the Seahawks was making sure Carroll was sticking around.
“This was a huge priority for us coming into the offseason,” Seahawks general manager John Schneider said Friday. “We knew it was around the corner, and it was, quite honestly, we’re trying to take care of our own people and keep our young players together. But where do you start? You start at the top.”
The Seahawks locked up Carroll through the 2016 season with a three-year extension announced Friday. The new contract rips up the final year of the original five-year deal that Carroll signed in January 2010 and cleared up any uncertainty if the 62-year-old coach wanted to stick around after his original pact expired.
Carroll is 38-26 in four regular seasons with Seattle and 5-2 in the playoffs. He’s the second-oldest head coach in the NFL — yet rarely acts his age — and one of seven current coaches with a Super Bowl title. The championship was a crowning achievement for Carroll after struggles in his two previous stints as an NFL head coach with the New York Jets and New England Patriots.
Part of the allure for Carroll now is Seattle’s potential. The Seahawks are still young and have the likes of Wilson, Sherman, Thomas, Kam Chancellor, Percy Harvin and Michael Bennett, among others, returning from the title team.
“Fortunately we’ve had a pretty good little run and we’re in the middle of something pretty special,” Carroll said. “There’s no reason that either one of us think, ‘OK, we did this one time and that was it and that was our shot.’ We think we’re right in the middle of a great opportunity here.”