RENTON, Wash. – The first week that Seattle Seahawks players reported for offseason workouts in 2010, general manager John Schneider approached punter Jon Ryan.
Schneider, who had just been hired that January, had been a top adviser to Packers general manager Ted Thompson and was the person who delivered the news when the Packers cut Ryan the week of the regular season opener in 2008. Seattle signed Ryan a week later, and Ryan has been with the Seahawks since.
"(Schneider) told me (the Packers) made a mistake and that he'd make sure it wouldn't happen again," Ryan said. "I appreciated that. Our relationship's been great."
Ryan, 33, is in his seventh season with the Seahawks and ninth in the NFL. The Packers signed him out of the Canadian Football League because of his live punting leg but released him because of what they saw as inconsistency.
He has a career gross average of 44.7 yards and career net of 38.3 yards. This season he's right at those averages and finished No. 26 in the league in net punting (38.3 yards) and No. 25 in gross (44.1 yards).
Ryan had just signed a new contract with the Seahawks' prior front office regime in January 2010 just before it was fired, so Schneider and coach Pete Carroll inherited Ryan's six-year, $9.1 million contract. But Ryan has performed well enough that he'll entering the final year of that deal next season at a salary of $1.5 million.
Ryan said he was surprised by the timing of getting cut by the Packers, because he thought he'd made the roster after surviving final cuts. But the next day he was called to Schneider's office.
"I always tell young guys, let that be a lesson," Ryan said. "When I got cut he's the guy that had to call me up to his office and cut me. A lot of (players) like to go out in a blaze of glory, screaming and yelling and whatever. I chose the high road on that one, and I always tell young guys that. It comes back around and two years later he's my GM, he's my boss again. It wouldn't have been too good if I'd gone out in that blaze of glory."
Ryan still keeps in contact with Packers kicker Mason Crosby and said the two were having dinner together tonight.