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Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson publicly said what he needed to say in the days after the Super Bowl. Someone has been speaking privately since then, and it has culminated in a lengthy item from TheAthletic.com that takes the closest look yet and the fractures and fissures in a relationship that currently seems to have a shelf life far closer to bread than bricks.
The article looks closely at the tension between Wilson and the coaching staff regarding Wilson’s desire to essentially be the offense, like Patrick Mahomes in Kansas City. That motivation drove the #LetRussCook phenomenon early in the season. But coach Pete Carroll freaked out after a turnover-fest against the Bills (four from Wilson) and another subpar performance against the Rams (three more Wilson turnovers).
After those seven turnovers from Wilson in two games, the Seahawks faced a short-week challenge against a Cardinals team that had a two-game winning streak against Seattle, and that was riding a wave of euphoria after the Hail Murray win over the Bills.
Here’s what happened next, via the story in TheAthletic.com: “Before the Thursday night game against Arizona, Wilson met with his coaches. For some time, Wilson has sought — even pushed — for influence within the organization regarding scheme and personnel. In the meeting, he outlined his own ideas for how to fix the offense. His suggestions were dismissed, multiple sources told The Athletic — another reminder to Wilson that the Seahawks did not see him the same way he saw himself, as a player who had earned greater control over his situation, his future, his legacy. He stormed out of the room.”
It takes no magnifying glass or other Sherlockian investigative tools to conclude that this nugget comes from the Seahawks, who finally are pushing back against the notion that Wilson’s skillset justifies more power and control.
Consider this quote in the story, from an unnamed source who surely isn’t connected to Wilson: “He’s finally catching heat. That’s the main reason for all of this. . . . People are talking and holding him accountable because he’s one of the highest-paid quarterbacks, he says he wants to be the greatest, so now people are holding him to that standard. . . . It’s a PR game. He’s trying to protect himself.”
It’s unclear whether the unnamed source is a Seahawks source. If it is, it suggests that the Seahawks should indeed try to finagle a major trade package from a team who views Wilson the way Wilson views Wilson. If it is, it also suggests that the Seahawks should be more discreet about their true feelings, since if that’s how they regard Wilson then maybe a huge trade offer isn’t justified.
That’s really what this comes down to. If the Seahawks view Wilson as an all-time great, they should treat him that way. If they don’t, they should trade him to a team that does, since that team would put together a trade offer that the Seahawks would regard as one they can’t refuse.
Wilson surely sees himself as someone who has the potential to crack the top five in league history. And he has every right to think that. The current problem between player and team seems to be that the Seahawks don’t share that assessment and/or they aren’t willing to transform their overall strategy to let Wilson create the kind of numbers and outcomes that will prove that Wilson belongs in the pantheon of the best pro football quarterbacks in history. Given Wilson’s current objectives for his career, it’s not a question of if but when the two sides go their separate ways.