The Detroit Lions are in hot pursuit of Seattle Seahawks general manager John Schneider, per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. The Lions are plotting a “blockbuster move” to pry Schneider away from the Seahawks as the general manager has one year remaining on his contract.
“The Lions began their search for a new general manager with a series of interviews before the regular season ended,” Rapoport explained. “But Detroit brass is also plotting a potential blockbuster move. Sources say the Lions plan to pursue Seahawks GM John Schneider for their vacant GM opening, a hire that would send shockwaves around the NFL.”
The NFL insider reported the Lions plan to pursue Schneider with total power over personnel decisions as the key selling point. It will be worth watching whether Detroit can sell Schneider on leaving a contender for a rebuild.
“While it would be unthinkable in any other circumstance for the Lions to be able to lure a decorated GM such as him, Schneider doesn’t have primary authority over all personnel decisions in Seattle — Carroll does,” Rapoport continued. “That hasn’t really mattered, since Carroll and Schneider are in lockstep, but under the NFL’s anti-tampering policy, the Lions or another team could try to interview Schneider if it offered him full control.”
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The Report of the Lions’ Interest Could be a Negotiating Ploy
Outside of digesting the surprising news, the next question is why Schneider would leave a perennial Super Bowl contender that he played a major role in constructing for a franchise seemingly in a constant state of rebuild. Seahawks Draft Blog’s Rob Stanton suggests the recent report has the appearance of a negotiating tactic by Schneider’s representatives to land the Seahawks general manager a contract extension.
“The Seahawks under Schneider haven’t exactly been shy in using the media in these circumstances before,” Stanton noted. “Pete Carroll has his new contract. I think Schneider is eager to ensure he gets what he wants too. A report via the NFL’s in-house ‘insider’ that the Lions want to appoint Schneider could be helpful in these circumstances and could spark the Seahawks to act.”
More Teams Are Expected to Pursue Schneider
The report could also be a way to generate more interest in Schneider from other teams, as the Lions gig may not have the same curb appeal as other franchises. Rapoport added that “another team is also likely going to make a run at Schneider.” This means the Seahawks are going to have to fend off the Lions and other organizations to keep Schneider in Seattle.
Under Schneider, the Seahawks won their first Super Bowl in franchise history. There have been some swings and misses in early rounds, but Schneider has thrived at finding gems late in the draft. Schneider’s resume includes Russell Wilson, K.J. Wright and Richard Sherman who were all selected in the third round or later.
Schneider and Carroll have publicly expressed admiration for the other and emphasized their great working “marriage.” It will be interesting to see if Schneider values total control over the roster enough to leave the Seahawks.
“We both think it’s cool,” Schneider told ESPN in January 2020. “I’ve said it to him and he said it to me the other night on the plane. He’s like, ‘Holy s—, do you know this is like our 10th season?'”