Seattle coach Pete Carroll was asked Friday how serious those negotiations became at the time.
“Well, he called me,” Carroll said about Manning’s interest. “That was a good start. Then everything went downhill from there, so I guess I didn’t do a very good job on the phone.”
Carroll can joke about it now because the Seahawks went on to draft Russell Wilson, who became the rookie starter as a third-round pick. Would they have drafted Wilson if Manning had signed with the Seahawks?
“Yes," Carroll said. “And knowing what we know now, we would have drafted him a lot sooner. Obviously, we've all moved on, but it is interesting that we're playing each other now in this setting. It’s pretty cool.”
Seahawks general manager John Schneider was asked if he wonders how things might have turned out had the team signed Manning.
“Yeah, often,” Schneider said. “I think we would have continued to do things the way we do them. We would not have been able to afford several players we have now, but we would have competed in other areas to compensate.”