As an agent who represents several high-profile coaches, I completely understand why Pete Carroll took the Seattle Seahawks job.
Besides the obvious 33 million reasons, there were several other important factors:
The owner. Seattle is one of the best jobs in all of football for a head coach — even more so than general manager. Billionaire owner Paul Allen is a hands-off guy, but he’ll give his coach the best of everything in order to be successful. He has rarely ever said no to the wishes of his coach. He will invest in current players, draft picks and free agents. He will build the best facility or weight room. Whatever the coach wants, he gets.
Paul also has a history of being patient with coaches. If they’re struggling, he may give them an extra year or even two to turn things around.
The tax bonus. California state taxes are about 10 percent of a person’s gross income. So Pete was giving his buddy, the Governator, about $440,000 per year to fund California’s social programs. In the great state of Washington, there are NO state income taxes. As a result, Pete will retain $3.3 million additional dollars that he would otherwise have to give to the local government in most states. The net swing for Pete: $2.2 million he would have paid to California (if he were at USC for the next five years) and the $3.3 million additional net dollars he will receive from the Seahawks over the next five years.
No GM. Landing the job before the GM is hired assures Pete that he will have more power than the GM and one less person to look over his shoulder.
The surroundings. It’s no secret that Pete is a “quality of life” guy who enjoys his personal time. The northwest is one of the most beautiful and relaxing places in the country. He has told people that he didn’t enjoy his time on the east coast.
A soft media. Seattle, unlike New York, Boston and Philly, is a media-friendly environment for coaches. The majority of the Seattle media are fairly soft on coaches.
A break from recruiting. Right now, Carroll would have been in the last leg of his stressful recruiting marathon. Trust me, this really does suck the life out of coaches. They’re on the phone 12 hours a day, on the road constantly and giving all they have to land their prize recruits. I’m certain that when he looked at this job, he realized that he could finally exhale.
Partying on the Octopus. Pete is now one degree, or person, away from the very top of the world’s power food chain. Paul Allen is at the very top of that club, and it’s human nature to want to be a part of it. We all know Pete loves to have fun and is a very social guy. The allure of rubbing elbows with the mega-rich and powerful is an aphrodisiac for anyone. Now Pete can enjoy Monaco, Hvar and Sardinia from the deck of the world’s greatest yacht.
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