Skip to main content

Schneider returns to Seahawks, this time as general manager

The Seattle Seahawks announced Tuesday afternoon that they have hired Green Bay Packers executive John Schneider as their new general manager.

Schneider was on his way to Seahawks headquarters to finalize the deal, NFL Network's Jason La Canfora reported Tuesday morning, citing a league source. Much of the rest of the Seahawks' front office is expected to remain intact, but moves could be made in personnel and scouting.

The Seahawks have promised new coach Pete Carroll that he will work "shoulder to shoulder" with the new GM, who will be formally introduced Wednesday at team headquarters.

"The cool thing is, we are getting an outstanding coach as the centerpiece, and we are going to build around that," Seahawks chief executive officer Tod Leiweke said last week.

Schneider isn't new to Seattle -- he was the Seahawks' director of player personnel in 2000, under the Mike Holmgren-Ted Thompson regime. Schneider beat out Pittsburgh Steelers contract administrator Omar Khan, New York Giants college scouting director Marc Ross and former Tennessee Titans GM Floyd Reese for the job after interviews that ran through last week.

Schneider interviewed with the Seahawks on Jan. 12, hours after the team introduced Carroll as their replacement for fired coach Jim Mora, The Associated Press reported.


[internal-link-placeholder-0] For more on the Seattle Seahawks, check out the latest from our bloggers.

Several candidates believed Reese, the only one in the group with prior GM experience, was the front-runner, and his status as one of two finalists was never in doubt, numerous sources with knowledge of the process told La Canfora. Carroll and Reese previously worked together in the NFL and had strong ties. However, sources told La Canfora that Schneider was heavily supported by Seahawks VP/general council Lance Lopes, who spearheaded the drive to hire Carroll from USC.

Reese and Schneider were the only candidates to meet with Seahawks owner Paul Allen, according to La Canfora. However, the dynamics of the hiring process began to change over the weekend when team officials contacted candidates about possible changes to the Seahawks' structure, sources said. Candidates were asked about their comfort with a revised structure in which the new GM likely would carry a vice president of personnel title and current VP of football administration John Idzik would remain as the team's primary negotiator and salary-cap expert.

That didn't jibe with the original structure of the job, and, for a franchise whose many decision-makers had recently struggled, gave pause to some candidates, La Canfora reported. Ultimately, Carroll, Schneider and Idzik all could end up with varied VP titles, leading to questions about how ties/disagreements are settled.

Leiweke said last week that his job will be to ensure collaboration between the three positions.

The lack of a single authority in football matters is something the Seahawks haven't had since before Holmgren arrived in Seattle from Green Bay to become the coach and GM in 1999.

Schneider replaces Tim Ruskell, whom the Seahawks forced to resign as GM and president last month. The team finished 5-11 this season and lost its last four games by a combined 123-37 score.

Schneider, a 17-year veteran of NFL personnel work, has been the Packers' director of football operations since May 2008. Before that, he was the top personnel assistant to Green Bay's GM for six years.

"We are happy for John and his family as he takes on a new opportunity in Seattle," said Thompson, who's now the Packers' GM. "He has been a great asset to the Packers. We appreciate all that he has done, and we wish him the best."

Schneider also was the VP of player personnel for the Washington Redskins for one year, 2001, before returning to Green Bay, where he began his NFL career in 1992 as a summer intern under then-Packers GM Ron Wolf.

Schneider was the Packers' pro personnel assistant from 1993 to 1996, then served as the Kansas City Chiefs' director of pro personnel from 1997 to 1999.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.