Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson sparked rumors of a potential exit this offseason by calling out the front office, almost leading to a blockbuster trade that would have changed the landscape of the 2021 NFL season. With training camp approaching, things seem to be in a better place.
The Seahawks weren’t pleased when their franchise star went public with his frustrations and the relationship between the two sides became strained. Suddenly, after rejecting trade inquiries in January, Seattle started listening to offers from interested clubs.
It didn’t come as a shocking surprise, given the team once offered Wilson for the No. 1 overall pick. But as the situation progressively got worse this spring, with The Athletic detailing Wilson’s issues with head coach Pete Carroll, a blockbuster trade became realistic.
Ultimately, the Seahawks kept their franchise quarterback and future Hall of Famer. With training camp approaching, it seems the two parties have resolved some of their issues.
“It started in free agency. I was told Russell Wilson was very happy with the moves Seattle made to get guard Gabe Jackson, tight end Gerald Everett, they got a wide receiver in the draft. I’m told, behind the scenes, Pete Carroll heard Russell Wilson and understood his frustrations. So, they tried to keep an open line of communication with him over the last few months. They didn’t necessarily have that heart-to-heart, long sitdown, but it was steady contact over those last few weeks to figure out how it can get better.”NFL insider Jeremy Fowler on Sunday’s SportsCenter
Recapping Seattle Seahawks offseason
Seattle hasn’t reached the NFC Championship Game since 2015 and it’s won just a single playoff game since 2017, leading to Wilson’s frustrations. Fortunately, with some cap room to operate with, the Seahawks improved their offense this spring.
Carroll brought on Shane Waldron, who served as the passing game coordinator for the Los Angeles Rams, to become Seattle’s offensive coordinator. While the Seahawks want to take a more run-heavy approach in 2021, there’s a growing belief that Waldron can help find this passing attack become more consistent.
More importantly for Wilson, the Seahawks did what they could to make his life easier. They didn’t sign Antonio Brown, who Wilson has long pleaded for, but the Gabe Jackson trade is a huge boost for Seattle’s offensive line. Not only will Wilson have more time to throw, but tight end Gerald Everett should serve as a go-to target underneath.
Winning the NFC West won’t be easy in 2021. It’s the best division in the NFL, with the Rams adding Matthew Stafford and both the Arizona Cardinals and San Francisco 49ers looking like playoff contenders. But at the very least, the Seahawks will have a shot to compete with Wilson under center.
Will the Seahawks trade Russell Wilson in 2022?
The Seahawks have every reason to be optimistic about the upcoming season and rival clubs have likely stopped calling to inquire about Wilson. But things could change quickly, with a trade possible in 2022.
Seattle’s inability to compete for a Super Bowl, in part tied to moves made by the front office, was Wilson’s issue with the franchise. Going public with the problems seemed to spark some change, but the Seahawks are also not trying to let this become a theme.
“Wilson’s beef was simple. ‘Hey, we’re not getting to a Super Bowl anymore, I believe I can help us get there if I have some input.’ Even though Seattle doesn’t let players dictate terms of front office personnel moves, Wilson’s influence was definitely in place in this case.”ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler on latest between Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks
If this team suffers another first-round exit or even misses the NFL Playoffs in 2021, that might be the end of this relationship. Wilson will turn 33 before the 2022 season, nearing a stage in his career where he must focus on Super Bowls. Meanwhile, after another disappointing finish, the Seahawks might need to make serious changes.
The Philadelphia Eagles and Miami Dolphins will each have the draft capital to pull off a blockbuster trade and other NFL teams are likely formulating plans to make a run at a star quarterback next spring. Trade rumors made headlines for weeks in February and March, we should expect the same next year.