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The ideal situation Pete Carroll has with the Seahawks made his contract extension a foregone conclusion. (AP)

By Danny O'Neil

The most significant thing about Pete Carroll's contract extension isn't the length nor the size nor is it even the timing of the announcement.

The most important facet of this deal is the complete and utter lack of suspense.

Carroll wasn't going anywhere. This was as close to a multi-million dollar formality as you get in the NFL, which has everything to do with the way this job was structured upon Carroll's hiring and stands in stark contrast to the last time the Seahawks extended their coach's contract.

It wasn't nearly so easy back in 2006 when Mike Holmgren was coming off three straight postseason berths and a Super Bowl appearance, but still had a latent desire to have a say over personnel. It took a month and a half of uncertainty before he decided to accept a two-year extension to remain Seattle's coach and just the coach.

Carroll has his ideal job. It was the reason he cited for leaving USC in 2010, a position that was exactly what he wanted right down to the fact that he got to help hire the general manager he would work alongside.

Four seasons, three playoff berths and a Super Bowl victory later, there's no way that he can move up. The only question is how long he can stay on top.

Money is part of this, too. Just not necessarily the biggest part. Carroll's contract in 2010 was to pay him $35 million over five years, which already put him in the upper tier of coaching salaries. No word on the size of his next deal, but Paul Allen is the richest owner in the league, and a Super Bowl would seem to warrant a raise. Carroll's contract extension was first reported by the league's official website.

But money wasn't really the issue for Seattle's last coaching extension for Holmgren. The tension there regarded to power, Tim Ruskell having been hired a year earlier to serve as the president and general manager.

At the NFL's owner meetings that offseason, Holmgren confessed to feeling an itch to make personnel decisions again, something that wasn't going to happen in Seattle. At least not then.

Remember, Ruskell was riding high. The Seahawks reached the Super Bowl in Ruskell's first season as GM, a year marked by the drafting of linebackers Lofa Tatupu and Leroy Hill as well as the free-agent signing of receiver Joe Jurevicius.

The Seahawks' roster eroded considerably over Ruskell's final four years to the point that Seattle turned to Holmgren in hope he could return to the franchise in 2009. When the two sides couldn't agree on a contract, Seattle decided for a hard reset in its football operations.

Starting over in Seattle started with the hiring of Pete Carroll, and the way that job was structured in the beginning made his contract extension so very straightforward.

He has the job he wants, written exactly to his specifications.

By Brady Henderson

The Seahawks have signed long snapper Jorgen Hus, a 24-year-old Canadian who you can see in the video above performing some long-snapping trick shots.

The team announced the move Thursday. It brings to four the number of players the Seahawks have added in free agency.

Hus was undrafted out of the University of Regina in Saskatchewan last year and spent the preseason with St. Louis but was released before the regular season. He's friends with Seahawks punter Jon Ryan, who also attended Regina and is from that city.

Clint Gresham has been Seattle's long snapper since 2010 and is under contract through next season.

Follow Brady Henderson on Twitter @BradyHenderson.

By Brady Henderson

The NFL announced on Thursday the dates for each teams' voluntary workout programs and mandatory minicamps.

The key dates for the Seahawks are below.

First day: April 21

Organized team activities: May 27-29, June 2-3, June 5, June 9-12

Minicamp: June 17-19

The NFL breaks its nine-week offseason workout program into three phases. The organized team activities (OTAs) and minicamp are held during the third phase, which is over the final four weeks of the program.

The dates for Seattle's rookie minicamp and training camp have not been announced.

By Brady Henderson

For most Super Bowl MVPs, the award marks the latest and often greatest accomplishment in a career that has already had many. Seahawks linebacker Malcolm Smith, though, is just hoping it helps him earn a starting job.

Smith was a part-time starter last season, and his role in 2014 isn't set in stone. As strange as that sounds, it's reality given how Seattle has only three starting spots for four linebackers who are all capable of starting.

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Seahawks linebacker Malcolm Smith, the MVP of Super Bowl XLVIII, will have to compete for a starting role in 2014. (AP)
"That's the way we do things," Smith told 710 ESPN Seattle's "Bob and Groz" on Wednesday. "I'm looking forward to the competition and the opportunity to be able to start. Just trying to pave the way a little bit. The Super Bowl was fun and hopefully I showed a little something, and just trying to build on it."

It wasn't as if Smith came out of nowhere when he was named the MVP of Super Bowl XLVIII after returning an interception for a touchdown, recovering a fumble and recording 10 tackles.

He was the one who caught the pass that was deflected by Richard Sherman in the NFC title game, the other half of the decisive play that punched Seattle's ticket to the Super Bowl. In Week 17, Smith returned an interception 37 yards for a touchdown to help Seattle beat St. Louis and claim both the NFC West title and the conference's No. 1 seed. He made eight starts during the regular season, all of them coming when Seattle's normal starting linebackers – Bruce Irvin, Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright – were either suspended or injured.

If he's going to be a full-time starter in 2014, Smith will have to break through a linebacker logjam.

Here's what we know: Wagner's spot in the middle is almost certainly secure, not only because of how well he played after returning from a midseason ankle injury but because Smith has only played on the outside during his three NFL seasons. Wright also entered the league in 2011 and has been a starter ever since, first on the strong side before moving over to the weak side last season. And Irvin likely isn't moving back to defensive end. That was the word from defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, who told 710 ESPN Seattle that Irvin is "really in the right spot" at outside linebacker.

"I want to start, obviously," Smith said.

Here's more from Smith's appearance on "Bob and Groz":

Life as an MVP. Winning the Super Bowl MVP has meant newfound attention and some nice perks for Smith. He won a new Chevrolet truck, which he's giving to his mother. He's made the media rounds, including appearances on "SportsCenter" and "Jimmy Kimmel Live". There was also the trip to Walt Disney World. He flew there on a private plane and was given his own parade. "A lot of little kids thought I was pretty cool for being next to Mickey Mouse," he said.

No more dunking. Smith will go down as the last player to legally dunk a ball over the crossbar now that the NFL has disallowed the celebration. That's how he punctuated his pick-six in the Super Bowl – sort of. Understandably gassed after his 69-yard return, it was more like a layup. He'll need a new celebration now that it's no longer legal. "I should have had a new one before I did that one," he joked.

In the community. Smith was among the members of the Seahawks and Sounders who visited victims of the Oso mudslide last week. "It was a sad experience," he said, "but at the same time it's one of the most important things I've done in my entire life, being able to kind of just give a distraction to those people and kind of talk to them about what they've been going through." Smith has also worked with Food Lifeline to help launch "The Great American Milk Drive", an effort to provide food banks with milk for those in need. More information can be found here.

Follow Brady Henderson on Twitter @BradyHenderson.

By Brady Henderson

Highlights from the latest edition of "Hawk Talk" with Danny O'Neil:

Feeling like the Seahawks will take a wide receiver with one of their top two picks, Gaeleck Eylander asked if this could be the year that they finally trade up and draft someone like Mike Evans from Texas A&M or Odell Beckham Jr. from LSU.

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Texas A&M's Mike Evans is one of the top wide receiver prospects in this year's draft. (AP)
O'Neil: We haven't seen them trade up in the order ever. And John Schneider comes from Green Bay, where the Packers almost never traded up. One of the only exceptions to that: Clay Matthews. The Packers traded back into the first round to get him. Why? Because they evaluated him as a top-12 talent who was still on the board in the 20s. Don't know how the Seahawks have evaluated Mike Evans, but it's the kind of talent -- if he is a top-12 talent -- they could make a vault. I don't think it's likely, though.

Jeff noted the Seahawks' track record of hitting on later-round picks but said they should expect to have "a few bad drafts" because of how rare that is.

O'Neil: Certainly it would be foolish to expect Seattle to continue to have such amazing success at finding not just starters, but Pro Bowlers, in the back half of the draft. But I'll ask this a different way: Why can't we assume that the Seahawks will be just as successful at finding those successes. I mean, they're not required to get dumber are they? And they're not flipping coins or scratching Lotto tickets. There is some skill and projection involved there.

Bend, Oregon asked if Schneider pays attention to the opinions of draft analysts like Todd McShay and Mel Kiper.

O'Neil: I can answer this. He's aware of what they say. It would be silly for him not to because those guys do have information and opinions. Between the two, Kiper tries to do more doping out of where players will be taken while McShay really tries for a personnel evaluation. Which guy is best, and his big board is not so much an anticipation of where players will be drafted, but his opinion of where they should be drafted. The one thing the Seahawks demonstrate, though, is a discipline in not sharing their assessments and information. They don't reach out and try and offer information -- whether it's misleading or true -- about who they're looking to take.

Evil Penguin asked whether cornerback Richard Sherman or safety Earl Thomas will make more money in 2014, assuming each receives a contract extension this offseason.

O'Neil: Ooooh, great question. Let's rephrase it, though. Who signs the bigger contract, Richard Sherman or Earl Thomas? Cornerbacks tend to be more valuable on an NFL payroll. But I would also argue there's a larger gap between Thomas and the rest of the safeties in the game than there is between Sherman and the other cornerbacks. Still, my answer on who winds up with the larger contract: Sherman.

Jeff asked if coach Pete Carroll might be "ready to take the training wheels off of the offense" and place an emphasis on making plays instead of avoiding mistakes now that quarterback Russell Wilson will be in his third year.

O'Neil: I'll believe it when I see it. As long as Pete can win the game by running as often as he throws it, he's going to do it. Now, you can ask the question that when Seattle gets to the point that a healthy chunk of its salary cap is going to Wilson, will the Seahawks be able to afford a defense that allows the offense to play as conservatively as it did? But I don't think it's preference (or Wilson's maturity) that will lead to a shift in passing frequency, but necessity.

Prich asked how left tackle Russell Okung fits into the team's long-term plans.

O'Neil: Probably the single toughest question to answer. He has two more years left on his current contract. He will count more than $11 million against the cap this season. He has struggled with injuries, but he's also a unique talent at Pro Bowl. Tom Cable said -- and he's not prone to exaggeration -- that he believed Okung was the best left tackle in the league in 2012.

By Brady Henderson

Every NFL team's worst nightmare is an injury to its starting quarterback, so you could imagine why general manager John Schneider might have been uneasy about Russell Wilson taking part in infield drills with the Texas Rangers last month, as harmless as it was.

But what about Wilson participating in a slam-dunk contest? That's a whole different ballgame, one that Schneider or anyone in his position would never want Wilson to try his hand at.

He won't. It was part of an April Fools' Day prank that Seahawks coach Pete Carroll pulled off Tuesday with the help of Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez and 710 ESPN Seattle.

Carroll planted the seed Tuesday morning with a tweet noting that Bo Ryan, the head coach of Final Four-bound Wisconsin, had invited Wilson to practice with his alma mater's basketball team.

Schneider was an in-studio guest on "Brock and Danny" along with his wife to discuss their efforts to help families with autistic children. Alvarez called in and thanked Schneider for allowing Wilson to not only practice with Wisconsin but compete in a dunk contest. Schneider, perhaps wary given the date, figured it was an imposter who was in on a ruse until he realized it was, in fact, Alvarez.

"That was really Barry Alvarez you guys had on right there," Schneider said. "I thought you guys were completely playing a joke on me right there."

"So wait, you did not know that he was going to do the slam-dunk contest?" co-host Danny O'Neil asked.

"No – well, they want him to, but that's not happening," Schneider replied.

Carroll called in a few minutes later, and if the jig wasn't already up when he began talking about Wilson and the dunk contest, it was when he delivered the punch line: "You just got punked, man. Happy April Fools."

Follow Brady Henderson on Twitter @BradyHenderson.

By Brady Henderson

NFL teams don't stay the same from one season to the next. Especially not Super Bowl champions, who typically experience a significant amount of turnover as their players become more attractive and their rosters becomes more expensive.

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Schneider
So while the Seahawks have lost several key players, general manager John Schneider says the team's offseason is going according to plan.

"What I would say is that we're pleased with the way things are going," Schneider told 710 ESPN Seattle's "Brock and Danny" on Tuesday. "The way they've gone is part of the model that we've created over the last, I would say, year and a half. So we expected some attrition along the way. It's always very hard to make those decisions and move forward, but we're very excited about the young players that we have on this team."

The number of players Seattle has either released or lost in free agency is up to 10. It includes starters like Golden Tate, Breno Giacomini, Chris Clemons and Red Bryant as well as backups who played significant roles like Walter Thurmond and Clinton McDonald.

Along with re-signing starting defensive linemen Michael Bennett and Tony McDaniel as well as kicker Steven Hauschka, Seattle added a trio of players who combined for two starts in 2013. But while the new additions have been minimal both in terms of volume and name value, Schneider said he's excited about the players who could make an impact after spending most or all of 2013 on the sidelines. That list includes defensive lineman Greg Scruggs and cornerback Tharold Simon, who didn't play a down last season because of injuries.

"We're really excited about the young core of players that we have. We feel like two of our most explosive offensive players barely even played last year in Christine Michael and Percy (Harvin)," Schneider said. "So (we're) just excited about our plan and moving forward, and we're blessed enough to have young, talented team and we need to be able to plan accordingly in terms of being able to reward those players."

Follow Brady Henderson on Twitter @BradyHenderson.

By Brady Henderson

There wasn't much drama when the NFL released the complete order of the 2014 draft. At least there wasn't for the Seahawks, whose place in line has for the most part been set since they won the Super Bowl in February.

Seattle has seven draft picks, six of which are 32nd in their respective round. The Seahawks have an additional fifth-round pick, which they acquired from Oakland in the Matt Flynn trade. It's the sixth pick of the fifth round, where the Seahawks have made hay in recent years, unearthing future Pro Bowlers Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor.

The Seahawks don't have a third-round selection, having included it in the package of picks they sent to Minnesota for Percy Harvin. And they don't have any compensatory selections, which are given to teams who experienced net losses in free agency the year before.

The complete list of Seahawks picks:

• Round 1, 32 overall
• Round 2, 64 overall
• Round 4, 132 overall
• Round 5, 146 overall (Matt Flynn trade)
• Round 5, 172 overall
• Round 6, 208 overall
• Round 7, 247 overall

Follow Brady Henderson on Twitter @BradyHenderson.

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