The discussions about former Packers executive and De Pere, Wisconsin native John Schneider returning to Green Bay are on hold, at least for now.
A report on Saturday morning indicated that the Packers requested to interview Schneider, the Seattle Seahawks’ general manager, for the open GM job in Green Bay. However, according to Ian Rapoport’s report, Seattle denied the request.
Schneider, of course, spent a lengthy term in the Packers’ front office, working as a scout for Ron Wolf in the 1990s and then returning in 2002. He served as a personnel analyst for several years under Mike Sherman and Ted Thompson before being promoted to director of football operations in 2008. Schneider left for the Seahawks’ GM position prior to the 2010 season.
One of the oft-repeated rumors about Schneider is that he had an out-clause in his previous contract with Seattle that would have allowed him to leave if the Packers’ GM job became available. However, he has confirmed publicly that his current contract, signed in 2016, contains no such clause. Therefore, the Seahawks organization can block him from interviewing if they so choose.
One question, however, revolves around the actual job duties that Schneider has in Seattle. With the exact responsibilities for personnel decisions divided between him and head coach Pete Carroll, it remains a bit unclear who has the final say on decisions. If Schneider did not have full personnel control, Seattle would not be able to block him from interviewing for a job that would give him that responsibility.
The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel’s Tom Silverstein addressed how the Packers might be able to take advantage of that loophole on Twitter Saturday morning:
#Packers could push issue that Schneider is not a “high-level” employee based on Pete Carroll having considerable authority. They would have to certify a dispute with Goodell, who would then rule on Schneider’s position. Seems unlikely Murphy would ruffle those kind of feathers. https://t.co/4Clr8fL4jY— Tom Silverstein (@TomSilverstein) January 6, 2018
If the Packers indeed choose not to file a dispute with the league, then the only way they could bring Schneider to Green Bay would be via trade, which would involve giving up some sort of draft pick compensation to Seattle. That would also need to happen without the benefit of a formal interview (unless the Seahawks change their mind and allow it), and it is difficult to imagine Mark Murphy and the Packers making a move for a new GM that they have not even interviewed.
For now, Schneider appears to be staying in Seattle, and the Packers are likely out of options with external candidates from the Wolf/Thompson tree. The focus will most likely shift back to the three internal candidates: Russ Ball, Eliot Wolf, and Brian Gutekunst, and a decision should probably come next week.