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Ken Norton Jr. expected to return to Seahawks

Norton served as the team's linebackers coach from 2010-2014 before leaving to become Oakland's defensive coordinator in 2015.

The 49ers released a statement acknowledging Norton's consideration of external opportunities.

Oakland Raiders defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. during the first half of an NFL football game between the Raiders and the Baltimore Ravens in Oakland, Calif., Sunday, Oct. 8, 2017. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

"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 has history with Carroll that stretches beyond the NFL. The former linebacker served as linebackers coach under Carroll at USC from 2004-2009 before leaving with Carroll for Seattle in 2010. The assistant rode the wave caused by Seattle's defensive success to his defensive coordinator position with the Raiders, but after a second-straight disappointing season -- even in Oakland's 12-4 2016 campaign, the team finished 26th in yards allowed per game -- he found himself on the way out alongside fired head coach Jack Del Rio.