Russocalypse Now

I love the smell of NanoBubbles in the morning. It smells like.. victory.

I love Russell Wilson. Anybody that knows me well knows how much I love the plucky little passer. I don’t use the word “love” loosely, either. In the pantheon of Seattle Seahawk greats, I have loved Kenny Easley, Jacob Green, Cortez Kennedy, and Russell Wilson. I’ve liked a lot of players, but those all have been My Guys.

My appreciation of Russell came well before his tenure in Seattle. I enjoyed watching Russell play college ball at Wisconsin, and I felt that his game could probably translate pretty well into the pros. So, as you can imagine, I was thoroughly stoked when Seattle had taken him with the 75th pick overall in the 2012 draft. Yet, even then, I sort of felt he was going to be a bit of a project, and that the recently signed veteran Matt Flynn would be the guy for a while.

Then things changed dramatically when the third game of the 2012 preseason happened in Kansas City. Russell Wilson had started in place of the injured Flynn, and essentially lit up and torched the Chiefs number one defense and stole the starting gig out right away from Flynn. That’s when I did a barrage of violent fist pumps in the air that almost took out my rotator cuffs. Russell Wilson, from that moment on, became My Guy.

As we know, the first few games of the 2012 season weren’t especially great for Russell. Pete Carroll went ultra conservative with the rookie, and wasn’t opening up the playbook. It was hard listening to local sports radio because he was getting slammed by callers, and even a few hosts. I felt bad for the young fella. I knew he had the talent, but fans were frustrated, and doubts his ability and his height were mounting. There were calls for Carroll’s job.

That’s when I decided that I would go out and purchase a Russell Wilson jersey. I was going to champion Russell and Pete Carroll’s decision to start him. I believed in him and that coaching decision, and I was sure that fans and radio show hosts would come around. The last Seahawks jersey before Russell’s that I would wear was Cortez Kennedy’s; another Seattle great that started out slow as a rookie.

Then within a month into that season, my nephew Ben had reached out to me with tickets to see the New England Patriots play Seattle at Century Link as a birthday present (I’m a Libra). I was stoked to go, but had very little in expectations of Seattle actually pulling off the upset. Seattle was 3-2 at that juncture of the season, but Carroll was still keeping Russell pretty under raps, and New England was looking like, well, New England. I wore my Wilson jersey to the stadium, and in the nose bleeders that we were sitting in, I didn’t see a lot of number 3 Seattle jerseys in the stands. I think I may have even garnished a few smirks from other Twelves that day. It didn’t bother me. Russell was My Guy, and I was sticking with him.

Then it happened. The Game.

Seattle was hanging tight with New England. By the end of the first quarter, Seattle was only trailing New England 14-10, and Russell threw a beautiful 24 yard deep pass to Doug Baldwin, and the significance of that was that, at least in that first quarter, Wilson was trading touchdown passes with all-world Tom Brady. The second quarter was less pretty. The only scoring was a New England field goal to bring it to 17-10. Both defenses had muddied up the game enough to only fuel the intensity. It was awesome. Seattle wasn’t backing down from its dominant opponent. By the end of the third quarter, Seattle was trailing 17-10 but they had picked off Tom Brady twice. Still in this thing, and holding New England’s explosive offense in check, and frustrating Brady. So fun to watch, especially sitting right behind a few drunk obnoxious New England fans.

Then the fourth quarter.. happened. New England kicked a field goal after a Seattle fumble making it 20-10, and things didn’t initially look as promising anymore for an upset anymore, but then Seattle answered back with another Wilson touchdown pass to Braylon Edwards making it 20-17. It immediately got instantly very, very interesting. New England proceeded to punt to Seattle three times after before Russell Wilson finally threw perhaps the prettiest deep pass I had ever seen in my life at a live football event; a gorgeous 46 yard rainbow strike to a sprinting Sidney Rice between two New England defenders with 1:20 left in the game putting Seattle on top 24-20 for the W. Awesome. Russell Wilson then became MY GUY.

That whole 2012 season was magical. The come back overtime win in Chicago is almost legendary. Russell Wilson just had ‘it.” You could feel it. Even in the divisional playoff loss at Atlanta, you just knew Wilson, with Marshawn Lynch, and that young hungry defense, you knew sh*t was about to get real.

Soon enough, 2013 came along. With the additions of defensive ends Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett, nothing was going to stop that team, but maybe, just maybe, the bitter division rivals in the San Francisco 49ers that had sported their own dynamic young star quarterback, star running back, and angry defense, but alas, and gloriously, even they were not enough to stand in the 2013 Seattle Seahawks way. The Denver Broncos were just the dessert in that Super Bowl; a big dish of spumoni ice cream. Seattle felt like a team that was not just going to win another Super Bowl, they felt like a team that could win several.

Then 2014 happened, and it was rough. It wasn’t just the interception at the one yard line, but that was certainly the exclamation point. The season was frustrating as they fought their way back that Super Bowl. Articles started to surface midway through the season that some players on the team didn’t like Russell, and felt he wasn’t black enough, and not one of the guys. Personally, I was incredibly disheartened.

Yet, as the team stayed competitive, articles like that didn’t really go away over the following seasons. They kept surfacing in greater details. The Seattle Seahawks, even while annually making the post season, felt like a continuous circus train heading further off its tracks.

ESPN and Sports Illustrated articles would come up almost annually in long drawn out features about the divisions within the team that would mainly center around the quarterback. Most of us have probably read them, or know of them. Again, Russell was portrayed as not being “one of the guys,” got special treatment, ya da da ya da da. I found them all continuously annoying. Russell is the quarterback, of course he is not “one of the guys.” Quarterbacks aren’t typically “one of the guys,” as they have to spend the most time around the coaches.


Then when the 2018 season happened, I felt great relief. Gone where a number of “guys” that likely didn’t think Russell Wilson was “one of them.” What felt even better was that Seattle didn’t really need them. They returned to a more traditional Pete Carroll running team, and Russell Wilson had one of his best statistical years in passing efficiency and production. The team was not nearly as talented on defense, but the truth was that the once historic defense had be slipping the last few years, and it felt like time was right to usher in new blood, and some really nice players emerged like Jarran Reed, Frank Clark, and Tre’ Flowers. Seattle went 10-6 and had an unsatisfactory quick bounce from the playoffs, but it felt a little bit like 2012 again. They just needed a few more pieces on the young defense to build properly around Russell Wilson, who they are probably going to extend in the offseason of 2019. All is finally coming together for My Guy, and My Team. Right?

Well, so far, we are in the first few weeks of free agency signing of 2019 offseason, no real words are coming out about a Russell Wilson extension, and there is growing suggestions out there about troubling waters laying ahead for the player and the team. In fact, there are reports from prominent NFL beat writers that strongly suggest that Russell and his camp could be fully intending to not enter discussions with the team, at all, and that they want to use free agency to maximize his earnings, following what Kirk Cousins did when he left Washington DC for the Vikings. In short, they want to hit the free agent market to drive up a bidding war.


I got to be honest. I kind of saw this coming. Yup. In the back of my mind, I kind of saw all this coming. I just didn’t want to admit it.

After the Super Bowl XLVIII, Russell was spouting around on the national airwaves about wanting to one day be a team owner. I was just thinking that was silly talk to keep him motivated in life. You know, shoot for the stars, maybe you might hit the moon. Then he divorced his college sweetheart and started seeing this pop princess, and eventually married her, and stole her son away from his rapper daddy. Okay, that’s a bit different for Seattle sports standards. I don’t think Gary Payton, or Randy Johnson ever did that. Somewhere in all that he was promoting NamoBubble water, as well. So, he wants to make a little extra cheddar on the side. Who doesn’t?


Yeah, that doesn’t really seem like Richard Sherman, Brandon Mebane, Kam Chancellor, and Doug Baldwin. That’s.. that’s pretty different.

Alright, I’m just going to lay it out for you now, if you haven’t stopped reading this piece yet. The Seattle Seahawks are kind of screwed with the Russell Wilson situation, but relax. I think they know this well.

There is a reason that they have been seen scouting quarterbacks hard over these past couple draft classes, and are scouting them again this Spring. They likely know full well what Russell wants, and that thing may not be as simple as just “give him more than Aaron Rodgers and call it good.” If it was, they would be hammering out the deal now, but this doesn’t mean that he is gone after the 2019 season, either.

I see two possible paths that general manager John Schneider can go down in dealing with Russell, if these reports are true. One is that they find an eventual replacement, and franchise tag Russell until that replacement is ready to take over, and allow Wilson to enter free agency. The other is to trade him, and possibly now if they get the right blockbuster deal.

Personally, at this point, I don’t have a problem with them trading My Guy because frankly, if this is all true, I think Russ is being a bit more than a greedy bugger in all this. The problem I see in working out a trade is that, if Russ is intent on not signing all long term deal on any level before hitting free agency, what team will trade a bunch of first round picks for him?

So no, I don’t really see it happening. What I see more than likely happening is that Russell Wilson will be in Seattle for likely three more years, 2019 through 2021, and in 2022, he will enter free agency with the chances of him coming back to Seattle shrinking pretty substantially. Here is something else that I see; I don’t think that is a bad thing.

That would give Seattle three more seasons to try to get another title with a premier quarterback, and it buys time for them to properly develop his replacement. They don’t even have to draft a quarterback this year if the player isn’t there that they have conviction in, and they don’t even necessarily have to take one high. They can be patient.

If I am John Schneider, I am keeping Russell Wilson’s agent’s digits in the back of my rolodex, and I am working on getting deals done with Frank Clark, Bobby Wagner, and Jarran Reed. I am also continually looking at the young quarterbacks coming up from college, and yes, I am answering phone calls from any general manager who might be interested in my star quarterback.

Let’s remember, when Russell Wilson was drafted in 2012 by the Seattle Seahawks, he was a bit of an afterthought for many when he was taken in the third round. People say that it is difficult to acquire franchise quarterbacks. I don’t fully agree with that. Sometimes, I think franchise quarterbacks are made when they are in the right place at the right time with the right team and coach. Russell Wilson was a good college quarterback that came into the right team at the right time and then grew into a top franchise quarterback. There was great talent already assembled around him.

My overriding piece of advice is to not panic over Russell Wilson if a deal isn’t done. As long as Pete Carroll and John Schneider keep adding the right pieces throughout this roster, another quarterback can come in, and do just fine. Pete Carroll’s formula is solid. Run the ball, play good defense and special teams, and be efficient at the quarterback position. That’s what the Philadelphia Eagles did with Nick Foles at quarterback when they won the Super Bowl. Is Foles a better quarterback than Wilson?

Trust the Pete Carroll and John Schneider process. I think part of that process might be building the team back up again so some other plucky passer can take over, and Russ can go enjoy himself with all his hundreds of millions somewhere else if that is all that concerns him. Personally, I hope he and Seattle find a way to make it work, but I won’t have a problem with him moving on from the team, if it comes down to it. He might be My Guy, but the Seattle Seahawks are My Team, and this is no Guy in Team.

Go Hawks.




2 thoughts on “Russocalypse Now

  1. Curtis you are without a doubt in my mind the most informative Seahawk fan ever. Your knowledge of players is extraordinary. I wish you had some official experience with player
    Relations and contract knowledge in a corporate structure as the Seattle Seahawks. You would be a great General Maniger. To say the least you could and should be the Hawks public relations director or whatever title this would be under. You are a wonderful writer and coupled with your football knowledge is beyond my understanding. I will share my feelings about Russell’s draft and subsequent starting job some time.



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