Former Raiders defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. will be the next defensive coordinator for the Seahawks, according to multiple reports. NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo first reported the news.
The curious part is that Norton was hired just last week by the 49ers as assistant head coach for defense and inside linebackers. Norton’s contract with San Francisco, though, included a provision that would allow him to leave for the Seattle defensive coordinator job, Garafolo reported. Niners head coach Kyle Shanahan confirmed in a statement Monday that the team allowed Norton to pursue the opportunity.
“Last week, Ken was presented with an opportunity to once again coordinate a defense,” Shanahan said. “Because of how we feel about Ken as a coach, we understand and respect his desire to pursue the position.”
Norton will replace Kris Richard, who has not officially been fired amid Pete Carroll’s staff shakeup. Carroll is reportedly interested in keeping Richard on staff in some capacity.
Norton, 51, was fired by the Raiders in November after Oakland gave up 33 points in a loss to the Patriots, the third time in four weeks that the Raiders surrendered 30 points. He had been the defensive coordinator since 2015.
Prior to his stint in Oakland, Norton was the Seahawks’ linebackers coach from 2010 to 2014. He was previously Carroll’s linebackers coach at USC.
The Seahawks fired offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell and offensive line coach Tom Cable last week.