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Seattle Seahawks offered up Russell Wilson to the Cleveland Browns years ago; targeted Josh Allen

Vincent Frank

The whole idea that newfound drama between Russell Wilson and his former Seattle Seahawks team led to his departure in a blockbuster trade this past spring can now be thrown out the window.

With Wilson’s new Denver Broncos team set to open it season against the Seahawks in Seattle Monday night, a lot of backstories have popped up. What happened behind the scenes between Wilson and the Seahawks’ front office? Was there an irreparable split between Wilson and Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll? How long-lasting were these issues?

ESPN’s Brady Henderson just penned a detailed piece about how everything went down behind the scenes. In said article, the Seahawks insider noted that Seattle had actually offered up Wilson in a trade to the Cleveland Browns ahead of the 2018 NFL Draft.

The Seahawks, according to someone in Wilson’s camp and the Seahawks’ front office, called the Cleveland Browns before the 2018 draft to discuss a trade that would have swapped Wilson for the No. 1 overall pick.”

Report on Russell Wilston trade offer

Cleveland didn’t show much interest in a trade of that ilk. Instead, it opted to select former Heisman winner Baker Mayfield No. 1 overall in the 2018 NFL Draft. It’s the same draft that saw former Wyoming star Josh Allen go No. 7 overall to the Buffalo Bills.

Leading up to the annual event, Seahawks general manager John Schneider actually attended Allen’s Pro Day, creating some major issues behind the scenes. “They were f—ing pissed,” one Seattle front office individual told Henderson.

Related: Russell Wilson and NFL’s top QBs of 2022

Russell Wilson’s divorce with the Seattle Seahawks has been a half-decade in the making

russell wilson, seattle seahawks
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Back in 2016, Wilson led Seattle to a 10-5-1 record and a spot in the NFC Divisional Playoffs. That season saw him compile 21 touchdowns against 11 interceptions. It was, by far, the worst statistical performance for Wilson since he joined the Seahawks as a third-round pick in 2012. Seattle had just lost the Super Bowl two years earlier. Apparently, the Seahawks’ brass was deciding between keeping Wilson or moving in another direction.

According to the aforementioned report from Henderson, this included the powers that be in the Pacific Northwest eyeing former Texas Tech star Patrick Mahomes in the 2017 NFL Draft. Mahomes was ultimately selected No. 11 overall by the Chiefs that spring. But if he had been available to Seattle later in the first round, the team would’ve pounced.

  • Russell Wilson stats (2012-21): 65% completion, 37,059 passing yards, 4,689 rushing yards, 315 total TD, 87 INT, 101.8 QB rating

Noticing a theme here? It’s readily apparent that the issues we saw come to light between the Seahawks and Wilson have been years in the making before he was shipped to Denver this past spring. Despite all of this, Carroll has maintained since the blockbuster deal that the Seahawks were not planning to trade Wilson.

“It’s commonplace for us to have conversations with teams about all of the players, particularly marquee players. That’s not changed. It’s been the same every year. It’s the same. We have no intention of making any move there. But the conversations, John has to field those, he always has. But nothing specific.”

Pete Carroll on Russell Wilson trade talks

It seems that recent indications fly in the face of Carroll’s assertion. It wasn’t as much about the Seahawks being blown away by Denver’s trade offer as it was the organization planning for Wilson’s departure over the past several years.

Related: 10 burning questions for NFL Week 1

Drama is a major backdrop as Russell Wilsoon returns to Seattle

russell wilson, seattle seahawks
Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

It was back on Sept. 1 that Wilson inked a record-breaking five-year, $242.5 million contract extension with the Broncos despite not having yet made his regular-season debut with the team. Weeks earlier, Wilson had taken a subtle shot at the Seahawks by concuding that it wouldn’t “be all on my shoulders” in Denver. This goes back to comments from Wilson a while back questioning Seattle’s offensive line play and the front office’s commitment to protecting him.

“Like any player, you never want to get hit. That’s the reality of playing this position. Ask any quarterback who wants to play this game. … I think that the reality is I’ve definitely been hit. I’ve been sacked almost 400 times, so we’ve got to get better. I’m frustrated (about) getting hit too much. I’m frustrated with that part of it. At the end of the day, you want to win.”

Russell Wilson on Seattle Seahawks’ offensive line situation (February, 2021)

Indeed, Wilson was sacked a league-high 179 times in his final four seasons with Seattle. It’s also rather interesting that the Seahawks utilized one of the first-round picks they acquired from Denver for Wilson on offensive tackle Charles Cross. During Wilson’s 10 year run in the Pacific Northwest, the Seahawks utilized a total of one first-round pick on an offensive lineman.

It’s not a secret that Wilson’s tenure in Seattle concluded in a drama-filled manner. He now returns to a city in which he led the organization to its most success as a member of a rival team. The scene is going to be rather interesting once he takes to the field Monday night. That’s for sure.