The Seattle Seahawks will no longer have Pete Carroll as their head coach moving forward. This is not breaking news, of course. The news broke last week.
But the question about "why" Carroll is no longer the coach is still being answered. That answer is not simple. Sure, the team missed the playoffs in two of the last three years, but the team had a winning record this year. Mediocrity, though, is a worse place to be in professional sports than simply being bad.
Geno Smith is not on the list of Seahawks that follow as a guy who should feel guilty that he let Carroll and the team down in 2023. Smith wasn't perfect this year, but he also wasn't one of the bigger reasons the team struggled at times. The following four members of the organization should feel bad about Pete Carroll being fired, however.
Dre'Mont Jones needs to feel guilty about Pete Carroll
Jones simply stole money from Seattle this year. He was signed last offseason as the most expensive free agent general manager John Schneider had ever signed. Jones had a cap hit of $10,056,666 in 2023 and that goes higher over the next two years. But Jones not only did not finish near the NFL lead in some key statistical categories, but he was just fourth on the Seahawks in sacks (4.5) this year, and ninth in tackles for loss (5). Pro Football Focus (subscription required) ranked Jones 55 among all interior defenders this year.
But while Schneider can also be blamed for the signing of Jones, we have also learned in the last week that Pete Carrol had final word over all roster moves. Carroll likely saw more in Jones than other teams as Jones chose to take Seattle's money over all other teams. Jones failed to perform and this was one reason the defensive line underwhelmed.
There is perhaps no bigger roster reason that Pete Carroll is no longer the coach with the Seahawks than simply how bad the defense line was, especially against the run. Schneider and whoever the new Seahawks coach ends up being could save almost $5 million in 2024 cap room if they release Jones. They should make that move.