All eyes will be on Seattle Seahawks acting owner Jody Allen this offseason as many wonder if the franchise could be headed towards major changes. NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reported that Allen is “not happy” with the state of the Seahawks franchise and will not be quick to dismiss this season as a “one year thing.”
“I will add this, Jody Allen, who is the acting owner for the Seahawks right now, the sister of the late Paul Allen. ‘They don’t know the fan base up there. How involved is she?’ No, she’s very involved and she’s not happy,” Garafolo detailed on December 4. “She’s not looking at this like it’s a one year thing, we’ve been successful for a decade. I’d imagine there’s gonna be some changes in some form or fashion, but we’ll see what happens once we get to the offseason.”
Allen took over for the late Paul Allen in 2018 and has not been vocal (at least publicly) in her ownership role. The Seahawks are heading towards a pivotal offseason, especially if Russell Wilson’s unhappiness ramps up for a second straight offseason.
Here is a look at Garafolo’s full report about the Seahawks.
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Carroll Has Had ‘Pretty Normal’ Conversations With Allen
Back in November, Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll described his recent conversations with Allen as “pretty normal.” It remains to be seen if those discussions will intensify when the Seahawks’ season ends after Week 18, barring a miraculous December turnaround.
“You know, we’re [in] communication, really communicates a lot through John, for the most part,” Carroll detailed during a November 19 press conference when asked about his conversations with Allen. “Send messages once in awhile and talk once in a while. We had a middle of the year meeting, like we always do. Pretty normal. It is normal.”
The News Tribune’s Gregg Bell noted that Vulcan executive vice president Bert Kolde plays a significant role with the Seahawks on behalf of ownership.
“Normal thus far has meant Carroll in charge, with Schneider’s path co-leading the team in lock-step with the coach’s,” Bell detailed on November 21. “It’s also meant Carroll’s daily and routine interactions with ownership staying directly with Bert Kolde. Kolde is Allen’s right-hand man. He is the team’s vice chair and the executive vice president of sports strategy and operations for Vulcan, Inc.
“Vulcan is the Seattle-based company Paul Allen founded to oversee his business activities and philanthropic efforts. After he pioneered personal computing and founded Microsoft with Bill Gates, Allen eventually spent $2 billion of his massive wealth (estimated by Forbes to be $20 billion in 2017) on philanthropic causes.
“Kolde is in the Seahawks’ locker room and watches Carroll’s, Russell Wilson’s and others’ press conferences following games, home and away. The week after Paul Allen’s death in 2018, Carroll said Kolde is the man he talks to about ownership issues and interests. Kolde was that for Carroll during Paul Allen’s ownership of the team, as well.”
Carroll Signed a Contract Extension in 2020 That Runs Through 2025
Allen faces challenges if she does want to make changes this offseason as Garafolo detailed. Carroll just signed a contract extension in 2020 and his deal runs through 2025.
General manager John Schneider signed a contract extension in January that runs through the 2027 draft. Allen has the power to make changes at either position but would pay a hefty amount of money in future years given they both just signed contract extensions.
Finally, there is Wilson who is under contract for another two seasons with the Seahawks and has a no-trade clause in his deal. Allen would be wise to talk with the team’s franchise quarterback for guidance on how to move forward.
The most logical first step is an offensive overhaul that takes the power out of Carroll’s hands and implements the kind of system Wilson wants to run. The Seahawks are consistently bargain shoppers in free agency but this roster is not talented enough not to open up their wallet if the team wants to once again be contenders in 2022.
As we just saw with the Blazers firing president Neil Olshey, Allen will not be afraid to make major changes. For the Seahawks, it will be difficult financially to make sweeping changes, but we could see a restructure of power this offseason, at the very least.