The 49ers just hired a new general manager out of the broadcast booth. They are days away from hiring a first-time head coach not much more than half Pete Carroll’s age.
The Rams just hired a coach who was playing college football in 2007.
The Cardinals’ coach and GM have only been together three full years. And now their franchise quarterback is not fully committed to playing in 2017.
Meanwhile, the Seahawks do nothing.
Yes, they have issues on the offensive line that need fixed. They have the contracts of stars Kam Chancellor and Jimmy Graham expiring after 2017. They have two consecutive exits in round two of the playoffs that have many wondering if their championship window is closing.
But they also have what coach Carroll and GM John Schneider value most: continuity.
As the NFC West is making news all around them just two weeks into this offseason, the Seahawks are making none. And that’s just what they want.
Carroll and Schneider are starting their eighth offseason together leading Seattle. Last summer, Carroll signed a contract extension through 2019 and Schneider through 2021 to remain in charge of the Seahawks.
“We do have the opportunity. We have the opportunity to be a really good team over a long period of time,” Carroll said this month of the system he and Schneider have built.
It’s the longest-running one in the division. By far.
San Francisco on Sunday night surprised everyone by hiring John Lynch as its new GM manager to replace fired Trent Baalke. Lynch is a former Tampa Bay Buccaneers Super Bowl-winning safety. Until this past weekend he was a Fox NFL analyst on its game broadcasts. He has as much experience being in a football front office or in coaching as you do.
The Niners are coming off a 2-14 train wreck in coach Chip Kelly’s only season. They surprised even Lynch with their six-year contract.
What Lynch was doing two weeks ago was broadcasting the Seahawks’ final game of this past season, their loss at Atlanta Jan. 14 in the divisional playoffs. He called four Seattle games in all for Fox during the 2016 season. His first one, incidentally, was the 49ers’ game at Seattle in September.
Carroll has in the last two days likely thought back to how much he may or may have have divulged about his Seahawks to Lynch during production meetings with him and the Fox TV crew the day before those games --and likely hoping it wasn’t a whole lot.
Lynch is doing what former Oakland Raiders Super Bowl-winning linebacker and then TV commentator Matt Millen did 16 years ago in becoming the Detroit Lions president and CEO.
"It's funny. The parallels between John and I are very similar," Millen told The Associated Press’ Josh Dubow in a phone interview Monday. "He will just have to learn the job fast. It's not an easy job. It's an all-encompassing job and it's a job that never ends."
What is more applicable in this latest San Francisco situation to the Seahawks: As GM Lynch apparently will be splitting player-personnel authority with a new, first time head coach. The 49ers are waiting for the Falcons to play in Sunday’s Super Bowl 51 against New England before announcing Atlanta’s 37-year-old offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan as San Francisco’s third head coach in as many years.
Over the last month 49ers executives and their ownership group were interviewing coaching and GM candidates -- including Seahawks offensive line coach Tom Cable for the former and Seattle co-player personnel directors Trent Kirchner and Scott Fitterer. A league source with knowledge of the Niners’ process told me San Francisco was seeking an arrangement similar to what Carroll has with Schneider in Seattle. Carroll, who also has the title of Seahawks executive vice president, has the final say over all matters regarding player personnel and rosters.
It sounds like with Lynch and Shanahan the 49ers are getting a hybrid of the Seahawks’ design. That makes sense given Shanahan is taking his first head job while Carroll was when he agreed to lead the Seahawks in January 2010 was starting his third head-coaching job in the NFL and was coming off creating a big-time college dynasty at USC.
Lynch will have final authority on the 49ers’ 90-man offseason and preseason roster, plus the draft and free agency. Shanahan will have ultimate say over the 53-man active roster during the season. That is according to ESPN’s Jim Trotter on Monday.
As for the rest of the NFC West the Seahawks have won in three of the last four years:
▪ On Jan. 12 Los Angeles hired Sean McVay to replaced fired Jeff Fisher after the Rams went 4-12. McVay, who had been the Washington Redskins’ offensive coordinator from 2014-16, turned 31 last week. He was playing for Miami University in Ohio in 2007.
Rams general manager Les Snead has been on that job since 2012, which in the NFC West outside Seattle seems like eons ago,
▪ In Arizona, coach Bruce Arians and GM Steve Keim have been there together since before the start of the 2013 season. The Cardinals went from division champions one game from the Super Bowl last January to 7-8-1 this past season. Now quarterback Carson Palmer is pulling a Ben Roethlisberger and saying it’s not absolutely, positively for sure that he will return at age 37 this coming fall for a 14th NFL season.
“I guess nothing is ever official until it is, but I’d like to play if my body responds the way I hope,” Palmer wrote in a text message to Dan Bickley of the Arizona Republic and AZCentral.com.
Meanwhile, here in Seattle, Russell Wilson is a decade younger than Palmer. He is the $87.6 million franchise quarterback and foundation.
Wilson, just 18 months removed from signing his Seahawks-record contract extension for $61.5 million guarateed, is as entrenched as Carroll and Schneider are in the West’s most continuous regime.
“When you have a head coach, you know, really strong ownership, and a strong president in Peter McLoughlin ... the relationship between the three of us is special,” Schneider said before this past season. So having that, that core group of people together, it’s just a solid foundation.
“That continuity is huge.”