Russell Wilson is the quarterback of the Denver Broncos entering the 2022 season. That’s the reality we currently live in (thank goodness), but it very nearly never happened. As a matter of fact, Wilson recently revealed to the Denver media that the Seattle Seahawks attempted to trade him multiple times before finally deciding to deal him to the Broncos in the 2022 offseason.
According to an article recently published by ESPN, there have been rumors of the Seahawks attempting to go after young quarterbacks in the NFL draft as far back as Patrick Mahomes in 2017 and Josh Allen in 2018. And while that seems fishy like the report is giving Seahawks GM John Schneider credit for liking the two best players from their respective classes, the article notes that Schneider was in attendance at Mahomes’ Texas Tech pro day.
Not only that, there was a report from Benjamin Allbright of 850 KOA in Denver over the Summer that the Seahawks wanted the top overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft to select Allen. The article from ESPN paints Wilson as being incredibly upset at the time, but from 2017-2020, Wilson played arguably the best football of his NFL career.
Russell Wilson gets slammed by anonymous Seahawks sources in ESPN article
“…to some in the organization, Wilson was declining.”
Another anonymous front office source stated, “I just feel like he’s a descending player.”
Now you have Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll basically calling for fans to boo Russell Wilson when he arrives at Lumen Field as the starting quarterback of the Denver Broncos. Seriously, this is an actual thing that is happening. This is the same Pete Carroll that stated this just last season while Wilson was out with a finger injury:
"Let’s say it this way: I’ve been here a long time. And if we didn’t have Russell, I probably wouldn’t have been here a long time. Because think of all the magic that he’s created in the years.(via Seahawks.com)"
Carroll simultaneously credits Wilson for his NFL success and also wants the fans to boo the guy coming out of the tunnel for a regular season game? Really?
This is beyond crazy and gives some serious insight into why the two parties decided to finally come to a parting of ways in 2022.
Wilson again acknowledged that there were multiple times the Seahawks entertained the idea of trading him before the 2022 offseason and that he was simply focused on winning during that time. While that may be true to a degree, we also know that Wilson’s camp leaked destinations he would approve a trade to multiple times last year.
So, here we have a list of teams being reported by Adam Schefter before the start of 2021 free agency. As you can see, that list (at the time) did not include the Denver Broncos. As the 2021 season wore along and it became more apparent that there would be major changes in Denver, I’m sure the idea of the Broncos became much more appealing to Wilson and his camp. Thus, their inclusion on the second list.
It’s not fair to say that Wilson was lying about only focusing on winning at the time, but it’s clear that his camp had one eye on the future for the better part of the 2021 calendar year. Regardless of any coachspeak in this whole situation, one thing is very clear — the separation between the Seahawks and Wilson was a long time coming. To throw some support behind Wilson in this situation, one of his former teammates — tight end Greg Olsen — took to Twitter to sound off on a recommendation he made for the Seahawks’ offensive coordinator vacancy in 2020.
Part of the reason things got so sour between Wilson and the Seahawks was exactly this type of thing. Instead of hiring Dorsey, a coach that seemingly was being considered at Wilson’s recommendation via Greg Olsen, the Seahawks hired Shane Waldron away from the Los Angeles Rams. Not that Waldron was a bad hire — he deserves more time on the job to truly see what he’s got — but Wilson’s situation with the Seahawks was about much more than just showing up to work and playing the role of quarterback and team leader.
His accomplishments in the NFL typically dictate at least a little bit of say when it comes to the coaching staff when it comes to the players he’s being surrounded with. We’ve seen similar friction almost cost the Green Bay Packers their back-to-back MVP Aaron Rodgers in recent years. Wilson has done enough as an NFL quarterback to warrant involvement in these kinds of decisions.
Regardless, Wilson put his best foot forth on the football field and was an NFL MVP contender while also keeping the Seahawks in the playoff chase every year until his last with the team. The fact that Seahawks fans and people around the team are acting like this is wild.
It’s pretty crazy that all of this stuff is coming out just before this game. Actually, it’s got to be by design. The Seahawks head into the 2022 season as one of the teams people expect to be picking near the top of the 2023 NFL Draft. They are clearly rebuilding after trading Wilson and there’s nothing wrong with that, but if they only win a couple of games this year, they certainly have this one circled.
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They’ll do anything and everything they can to try and distract Wilson and put him in a mental funk before the game even starts, a tactic that certainly makes sense when you’re clearly as insecure as the Seahawks are over this move.