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NFL: Sources: Seahawks Reach Deal With Pete Carroll

January 9, 2010

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Pete Carroll has reached an agreement in principle with the Seahawks on a deal to be their next head coach, multiple NFL sources confirmed early Saturday morning.

Carroll was fully expected to be introduced by the Seahawks as early as Monday, assuming they comply with the Rooney Rule this weekend.

The hangup could be locating a candidate to interview that would put the Seahawks in compliance with the rule, which requires teams to interview a minority candidate for head-coaching and senior-football-operations hires.

On Friday, Jim Mora became the first Seahawks coach to be let go after one season.

Vikings defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier could agree to interview, but he is unwilling to do so if Carroll has been promised full control of the Seahawks — and multiple sources say he has.

Seahawks CEO Tod Leiweke told Frazier that Carroll definitely does not have Seattle’s job.

Believing Leiweke, Frazier will interview for the Seahawks head coach job Saturday morning.

Seattle also contacted the agent for Chargers defensive coordinator Ron Rivera, but as of Saturday morning nothing had been set up.

But the bottom line is, Carroll’s agreement with Seattle is “100 percent done,” one NFL source close to the situation said.

In a text message to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen on Friday, Carroll said, “You know I haven’t responded to a NFL question in two years.”

But a league source told Mortensen that Carroll was trying to persuade USC offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates to join him in Seattle — as opposed to Bates pursuing the same position with the Chicago Bears.

Carroll is no stranger to the NFL, having served as the head coach for the Patriots from 1997-99 and for the Jets in 1994.

He was the Jets’ defensive coordinator from 1990-93 after stints as the defensive backs coach for the Vikings (1985-89) and Bills (1984).

The ripple effect from Carroll’s pending move has reached beyond the NFL and college ranks.

When the news broke Friday that Carroll could be headed to Seattle, USC’s incoming freshman class at the U.S. Army All American Bowl in San Antonio began franctically calling USC’s assistant coaches.

For the rest of the day, not a single USC assistant returned a single phone call, according to sources at the game.

By now, calls might have been returned.

But witnesses to the scene said that players such as All-American wide receiver Kyle Prater and running back Dillon Baxter could not figure out what was unfolding with Carroll.

Baxter, for one, had verbally committed to USC as a high-school freshman and never looked at another school. But now that Carroll is expected to leave USC, other schools already have begun contacting the players scheduled to enroll there in the fall with hopes they will change their mind.

Meanwhile, the Seahawks’ search for a new general manager is also under way.

Giants director of college scouting Marc Ross will interview for the vacant position Wednesday, according to John Wooten, the chairman of the committee that oversees Rooney Rule compliance.

The panel, called the Fritz Pollard Alliance, agreed to allow the interview only after being given assurances Carroll would not have full control of Seattle’s organization, but rather only control over the 53-man roster.

That‘s part of the reason why I wanted to come here. I think about it a lot.”

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