The Seattle Seahawks reached a long-term contraction extension with General Manager John Schneider on Sunday, a former understudy of Ted Thompson and one of the top candidates to replace Thompson as the Green Bay Packers’ next GM.
Schneider began his time with the Packers in 1993, working with the scouting department until 1997 when Schneider left for Kansas City. In 2000, Schneider moved to Seattle, working under the tutelage of Ted Thompson who acted as VP of Football Operations. Schneider then spent a year in Washington before returning to Green Bay in 2002, working as the personal analyst to then Head Coach/GM Mike Sherman. Thompson was brought in from Seattle in 2005 to take over Sherman’s GM duties, reuniting Thompson and Schneider once more. Schneider continued working as Thompson’s personal analyst before being elevated to Director of Football Relations in 2008 and 2009. In 2010, Schneider was tapped to return to Seattle to become GM.
Clearly Thompson and Schneider have a great rapport and have worked well with one another, piecing together the team that would go on to win Super Bowl XLV. Schneider is a Wisconsin native, playing high school football in the shadow of Lambeau Field at Abbot Pennings High School in De Pere. For this reason, Schneider has often been considered one likely heir-apparent to Ted Thompson, whenever he decides to retire. Certainly the prospect of coming back home and leading the Green Packers would be enticing to Schneider. And this was seemingly confirmed last year when it was reported that Schneider has an opt-out clause in his contract with Seattle should the Packers GM spot become available.
Presumably that clause remains today, but with the signing of a long-term contract, one has to wonder if Schneider does not see Seattle as his home for the future. With Thompson turning 64 at the end of the 2016 season, one would expect that he is nearing retirement. Would Schneider opt out of a long term contract with a team with which he’s had considerable success, including a Super Bowl championship of his own?
Also waiting in the wing is Eliot Wolf, son of former Packers GM Ron Wolf. Eliot Wolf has ascended through the Packers’ scouting ranks quickly, being promoted to Director of Football Operations this offseason. Other than Schneider, there is no candidate more well suited to take the reigns from Thompson than Wolf, and the promotion seems to hint that the Packers certainly do not want to lose Wolf to another team. Reportedly the Packers have denied requests for other teams to speak to Wolf in the past.
The future in Green Bay is unclear. There is no certainty regarding who will lead the Packers into the post-Thompson era, but a few key factors seem to point to Eliot Wolf being the next man up. Although Schneider is a Green Bay native with major success, he’s built something that would be hard to leave in Seattle.
Meanwhile, Eliot Wolf has been groomed in Green Bay since he was a boy running around the football field during practices with his father. He’s worked with Ted Thompson nearly twice as long as Schneider. He knows nothing other than Green Bay football. And as Thompson inches nearer to retirement, it is Wolf who is with him day in and day out. It is Wolf who is speaking to him about his decision, working with him regarding a common goal, putting the stamp on the Green Bay Packers as being very much his own team, composed of players that he has scouted, chosen, and with whom he already has a relationship. And all the while Schneider is some 1,600 miles away in Seattle. Anything could happen in the next few years, and the Packers will certainly do their due diligence in replacing Thompson. Schneider will remain a part of the talk regarding the future in Green Bay, but if I had money to put down I would be putting it all on Wolf.——————
Taylor O\'Neill is a Packer fan born and raised in Oshkosh, WI. He currently lives in Florida and is pursuing his PhD. Taylor is a writer with PackersTalk.com. You can follow him on Twitter at @TaylorONeill87 for more Packer news.