SEATTLE (AP) — The first major contract extension finalized by the Seattle 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," Seattle 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 Carroll signed in January 2010, and cleared up any uncertainty whether the 62-year-old coach wanted to stick around after his original deal expired.
Carroll is staying. So are the ideas and beliefs he brought with him when he arrived from Southern California. Back then, there was skepticism whether his style and attitude would work in the NFL.
Now, there's no question.
"Whether this came about or not I was going to keep busting it and going for it. It wasn't going to matter in that regard. But I think the statement, that they wanted to validate the commitment to what we're doing and how we're doing it, was extraordinary," Carroll said. "It was an extraordinary effort on their part and I'm just humbled and thrilled they see it that way."
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.
Carroll was lured to Seattle because of something he didn't have in his previous NFL stops: control. Seattle gave him the reins to the franchise, and hired him before adding Schneider to the mix, and creating a relationship that has been marked by stability and success.