With no owner involvement, Pete Carroll is calling the shots in Seattle

USA TODAY Sports

Whether it happens this year or next year, it seems inevitable that Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson officially will ask the Seahawks to trade him. When the official request comes — or when the offers arrive from the Cowboys, Bears, Raiders, or Saints — who with the Seahawks will decide whether it’s time to move on from Wilson?

For most teams, the buck stops with the owner. In Seattle, it stops with the head coach.

Former Seahawks owner Paul Allen stayed deep in the background. His sister, Jody, has assumed an even lower profile since inheriting the team following his passing. Some in league circles believe the Seahawks essentially have become a corporation, with Vulcan Inc. (founded in 1986 by Paul and Jody Allen to oversee the family’s diverse business activities) and not Jody Allen running the team.

By all appearances, Vulcan isn’t actively running the team. Instead, it appears that Vulcan Sports and Entertainment (a division of Vulcan Inc.) defers to coach Pete Carroll as the de facto CEO of the Seahawks subunit. Indeed, Carroll is both the coach and the executive V.P. of football operations. Which confirms that he’s the ultimate football authority with the Seahawks, a team that has no direct or indirect ownership meddling of any kind.

The question becomes whether the slow boil of #LetRussCook gone wrong will prompt someone from Vulcan to start asking questions, or whether Jody Allen will start doing so herself. That would be a true break from precedent, however. Carroll is the one who has the power to decide what’s in the best interests of the team. Carroll is, by all appearances, the one who will decide whether to trade or to not trade Wilson.

So that’s why, as Wilson believes, Carroll answers to no one. As long as he presides over a team that is reasonably successful and ridiculously profitable (it’s hard for an NFL team to not be ridiculously profitable), no one will tell him what to do or how to do it.

And as to the question of whether the Seahawks would be better off choosing Wilson over Carroll given the expected shelf life of their respective careers, don’t assume that Wilson will be playing longer than Carroll will be coaching. On the same day nearly four years ago that Patriots owner Robert Kraft expressed hope that Bill Belichick will coach the team into his 80s, Carroll told PFT Live, “Why stop there?

Regardless of whether Wilson or anyone else thinks Carroll has earned the right to run the Seahawks without significant oversight or scrutiny, Jody Allen and Vulcan Inc. have decided that he has. Which means that, if/when Wilson will be traded, it will happen only if Carroll decides that it’s the right thing to do.

Thus, the challenge for Wilson, his agent, and/or any of the four teams to which Wilson will accept a trade becomes getting Carroll to decide that it’s the right thing to do, and the right time to do it. If Wilson doesn’t want to be there and if his public comments from 19 days ago to Dan Patrick are a sign of open discontent to come, Carroll eventually may decide that it makes much more sense to accept multiple draft picks and/or players and to move forward with someone else at quarterback.

Ultimately, it’s a decision that Carroll, and presumably Carroll alone, will make.

32 responses to “With no owner involvement, Pete Carroll is calling the shots in Seattle

  1. Pete Carroll’s NFL career coaching record was 47 – 49 prior to Russell Wilson’s arrival in Seattle. He’s a mediocre coach if he doesn’t have an elite quarterback. His in-game coaching decisions are getting worse, at a time when there are a lot of smart coaches out there. One could say that time has passed him by, but it was never his time. It was Russell Wilson’s time. Pete was just along for the ride.

  2. I think it may be time for Pete Carroll to go. I do not want players dictating coaches but if Wilson left who would have a better chance of winning a Super Bowl Carroll or Wilson. Unless Seattle can replace Wilson with a top 5 QB it is definitely Wilson. Something isn’t working in Seattle and a change needs to be made somewhere…

  3. Every player can be obtained if the price is correct. Wilson is a very good QB. Maybe Coach Carroll believes one of the draftees is a better fit for the team moving forward? Stay tuned.

  4. Pete Carroll knows more about football than 100% of the owners, so Seattle is in great hands with him calling the shots.

  5. With the fracture on full display now, How are Seahawk players supposed to buy in going forward? Seems like it will be an uphill battle to stay unified

  6. Pete was calling the shots, even when Paul Allen was around. Mr. Allen was very wise. If he was talking to Pete about football, it was probably because he was interested in learning something about the game. That’s what smart people do. He probably had ideas and suggestions, and I’m sure they were great ideas, and I’m sure Pete listened intently whenever they spoke. I doubt he would try to tell his football people how to run the team, any more than he would allow Pete Carroll to tell his Microsoft people how to run his software company.

  7. If I were a team owner I’d rather have Pete Carroll calling the shots instead of an over-paid mediocre QB like Russell.

  8. The system Carroll wants to play doesn’t match with a franchise quarterback in an era with a salary cap. He wants ball control, run the ball the first two downs to limit turnovers and have an elite defense. Can you do that with a Qb in a game manager role eating up 30 % of the salary cap.

    Russell Wilson has not been held accountable in Seattle. This year after the turnovers and terrible play to close put the year, he is finally feeling heat. He didn’t get any of that in the Patriots Super Bowl loss after he threw the pick, it was only the play call under fire. He has also shrunk in multiple playoff games now putting on question whether clutch as his early record showed..

  9. charliecharger says:
    February 28, 2021 at 11:12 am
    Pete Carroll knows more about football than 100% of the owners, so Seattle is in great hands with him calling the shots.

    43 23 Rate This
    ————————-

    Is this the same Carroll who destroyed the 90s Pats with his horrible
    drafting and cap management understanding?

  10. Players come and go, and they get hurt. The value in Carroll and Schneider, like Belichik, is they realize every player is replaceable

    they will get what they need from Wilson, then in a couple of years…unload him

  11. Time for Pete to go. Been saying this since the DK comments came out a week before the Super Bowl. He’s lost the locker room.

  12. “ Russell Wilson has not been held accountable in Seattle. This year after the turnovers and terrible play to close put the year, he is finally feeling heat.”

    ___________________________________________

    Since Week 8 four of Wilson’s games were over 100 QB rating. The Athletic also showed that the O-line was ranked at the bottom for those 8 games. At one point, Chad Wheeler was his Right Tackle. Carroll’s defenses have been average since the LOB. The only constant has been Wilson and Carroll has not drafted well. Also, Brady, Brees, and others have had more interceptions in a season before than Wilson. Wilson has never truly had a bad season, Carroll has. Without Wilson Carroll would be fired years ago, while Wilson will carry his next team to the playoffs.

    If anything. Carroll looks weak for giving up on his QB after 2 bad games. Other coaches don’t panic like that when QBs turn it over, ask Bruce Arians

  13. As much as we love Pete Carroll it seems his coaching has become stagnant. We would much rather see Carroll leave before Russ.

  14. I detest Carroll from back in his USC days but I’ll take him as HC/GM rather than a QB/GM who thinks that the Saints and Cowboys can trade for him, pay him and still be able to field a contender. The complete lack of understanding of these issues is why Wilson and Watson come off as whining spoiled brats. They want the moon and they want it now. Or else they’ll hold their breath and refuse to play. I happen to agree with some of their complaints, but the time to sit them is before signing the contracts. Taking the signing bonus and then trying to blackmail management speaks of selfish opportunism.

  15. Russell Wilson has not been held accountable in Seattle. This year after the turnovers and terrible play to close put the year, he is finally feeling heat. He didn’t get any of that in the Patriots Super Bowl loss after he threw the pick, it was only the play call under fire.
    ———

    The Pats not only knew a pass was coming, they knew which pass

    How do you call a pass to a 4th string WR.. better known as a special teamer, with a TITLE on the line?

    Kearse didn’t do his job.. and whiffed on his pick

    Not a good throw, but there is SO much blame to go around here

    .. and lets not downplay Brady SHREDDED that D. If not for a 1st Q pick, the game probably isn’t close.

  16. Easy solution. Either Wilson or Carroll has to go. I would get rid of Carroll. Seahawks have more upside with Wilson and a new coach than they do with Carroll and a new QB.

  17. Carroll is running Seahawks into the ground. Their drafting of late, with the exception of Metcalf, has been questionable. In game decisions are bad. Wilson would be winning a lot more with Payton and the Saints.

  18. Um, Pete has the team in the playoffs almost every year. Pretty sure all the naysayers in this chat are from the 49ers, Cardinals, Rams fan bases. Russell needs to man up and get rid of the ball faster – compare his release to Brady, Rogers, Brees – it is about 3 seconds later.

  19. Watch Carroll trade him to Jacksonville for their first pick and a couple of exchanged future picks. Unless he has a no trade clause. I can see Carroll doing that with all the comments he has made about him and his sons.

  20. 90 percent of management decisions are horrible. The workers always pay the price for management horrible decisions.

  21. cut bait with both. this coach guy called that malcolm butler INT and destroyed the legion of boom dynasty that could have been. wilson also is no superstar. that defense carried him to the superbowl while he game managed.

  22. brian1mahoney says:
    February 28, 2021 at 2:55 pm
    Um, Pete has the team in the playoffs almost every year. Pretty sure all the naysayers in this chat are from the 49ers, Cardinals, Rams fan bases. Russell needs to man up and get rid of the ball faster – compare his release to Brady, Rogers, Brees – it is about 3 seconds later.
    ________________________________________

    How does Pete “have this team in the playoffs almost every year” when the defense has been average? And the O-line has been ranked poorly? Wilson is the only reason Pete has been making the playoffs.

    Also, there is a stat called “Time to Throw” from Next Gen stats. It calculates the snap to release time for each QB. This year Josh Allen held the ball longer. Rodgers held the ball longer in 2019 and 2016. Mahomes and Wilson average about the same amount of time in time to throw. Let’s not spread false narratives.

    It seems to me the bigger issue here, is that people don’t like when players actually treat the NFL like a business. All this talk of Wilson and Watson being spoiled brats wreaks of “shut up and dribble.”

  23. Anything factual to back up the ridiculously profitable claim? Did they make money in 2020? Will they make money in 2021? If so, how much?

  24. Rockies still own his rights? Try baseball Mr. Ciara might have a few seasons of that left in ya. I’d be cautious of jumping behind the o line next season. They were already weak. Now they are unmotivated.

  25. Is this the same Carroll who destroyed the 90s Pats with his horrible
    drafting and cap management understanding? Yeah, kinda like Belichick in Cleveland

  26. mark2bets says:
    February 28, 2021 at 11:16 am
    how much future talent is an old qb worth?

    ##############################################

    How much was the last 10 years with Tom Brady worth? Zero doubt Wilson ends up in Canton too

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