Coaching change suggests sale of Seahawks isn't coming soon

Today's surprising news regarding the Seahawks and Pete Carroll puts the team in the market for a new coach. It also likely means that the team won't be on the market, for a while.

Jody Allen, the sister of the late Paul Allen, has a mandate to sell the team and to donate the proceeds of the sale to the charitable causes he supported. The mandate comes with no imminent deadline.

The decision to hire a new coach likely means the team won't be sold any time soon. The prospect of a sale would make the coaching job less attractive, since a new owner would be more likely to fire the current coach and to hire his or her own coach. If Jody Allen plans to sell in the next year or two, she would have been more likely ride it out with Carroll.

Still, the next coach will be wise to have the conversation about when a sale is happening — and about whether the contract will include specific protections against it happening sooner than later. An out clause or a major balloon payment, or both, could be added to ensure that the sale doesn't occur before a specific date.

To get the best possible coach, it will be important for the Seahawks to sell the idea that the new coach won't soon have to worry about a new owner. And if Allen were planning to sell soon, common sense says she just would have kept Carroll as coach.