As per one of the agreed parts of the 1970 AFL–NFL merger, the NFL began planning to expand from 26 to 28 teams. In June 1972, Seattle Professional Football Inc., a group of Seattle business and community leaders, announced its intention to acquire an NFL franchise for the city of Seattle. In June 1974, the NFL gave the city an expansion franchise. That December, NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle announced the official signing of the franchise agreement by Lloyd W. Nordstrom, representing the Nordstrom family as majority partners for the consortium. In March 1975, John Thompson, former Executive Director of the NFL Management Council and a former Washington Huskies executive, was hired as the general manager of the new team.