Jan 23, 2015 8:20 PM
Complex season for Seattle GM Schneider ends in Super Bowl
The Associated Press
RENTON, Wash. (AP) It was not a simple season for Seattle Seahawks general manager John Schneider, from the preseason holdout of Marshawn Lynch to the midseason trade of Percy Harvin.
Even celebrating the Seahawks' second straight NFC championship didn't come at a time when Schneider could fully appreciate it with the Seahawks preparing for free agency and the draft.
"Right after the game was pretty exciting in the locker room knowing that we were going back," Schneider said, "and had done something no one else had done in 10 years is pretty special and a true testament to everybody in the football operations, especially the players and the coaches."
Seattle's typically quiet general manager spoke with local writers for the first time since last May's draft on Friday. It was Schneider's first comments since Seattle made the surprising midseason trade of Harvin to the New York Jets.
Schneider had been in conversations with a number of teams about moving Harvin. The Jets lost at New England in a Thursday night game and almost immediately began aggressively pursuing a deal that was finalized the next day.
"We took a shot for a highly explosive player. For a number of different reasons, it didn't work out and we knew that we had to resolve that situation as quickly as we could so that we could just move forward as a football team, as an organization," Schneider said of Harvin. "It was a very hard decision, one that we didn't make overnight."
While the trade caught the team by surprise, Schneider felt it was handled well by the staff and he didn't believe that was the cause of Seattle losing at St. Louis that weekend.
"I thought everybody handled it as well as it could possibly be, especially that weekend," he said. "As far as it affecting that game, I can't tell you if it did or not. That's always been a very tough place for us to play. The previous year, we won on a goal-line stand down there, so I think it's always been a very tough play for us, so I'm not sure if that had an effect on that specific game, but I know that after that, we were really able to kind of get our feet back under us."
Before the season started, Schneider had to deal with the brief holdout of Lynch during the first week of training camp before his contract was restructured. There have been various reports that Seattle is ready to move on from Lynch, but Schneider only had praise for his star running back.
"He's under contract next year. He's a warrior. Goes out there every weekend and lays it on the line," he said. "I think you'd be hard-pressed to find a better running back in the National Football League."
Once the Super Bowl ends, Schneider can turn his attention to trying to keep the Seahawks together. Seattle has already locked up linebacker K.J. Wright and defensive end Cliff Avril with new deals and can extend quarterback Russell Wilson this offseason.
"We don't have a timetable," Schneider said of Wilson. "At the appropriate time, we are able to speak to his representatives and we'll do that."
Seattle doesn't have many unrestricted free agents, but the one expected to draw the most interest is cornerback Byron Maxwell.
"That, quite frankly, is one of our first priorities is to talk to (Maxwell)," Schneider said. "Now I think he, like a lot of our other unrestricted guys, I think he is going to be highly sought after and he should be. But we would at least like to have the opportunity to retain him."
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