The Seahawks Are Probably Not Going To Trade Russell Wilson, But Still..

Ugh. What does this stuff keep coming up with this dude?

Good lord. This stuff again.

Man, I don’t want to be writing about this stuff again. After Tampa trounced Kansas City in that Super Bowl, I was excited to step away from the football, think more about the Seattle Storm and Mariners, and binge watch all those Marvel movies because of WandaVision.

Now, I gotta sort through all this stuff, and try to figure out what is really going on between Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks. Every year, it feels like there is something new going on, and this time around it’s like everyone’s on crack cocaine about it all.

Buckle up, Twelves. It’s going to be another wild controversial filled off-season again, and we might as well gird the loins now. I don’t like hyperbole, either, so I am going to attempt a very measured approach with all this.

For those unaware, bubbling beneath the surface within realms that relate to the Seattle Seahawks, there has been growing speculation that the team and quarterback could be heading for a divorce. Many see a defensive minded head coach who likes his offense to run a certain ball controlled way coupled with a quarterback who wants more of an aggressive passing attack, and they have a difficult time seeing how both of these sides can stay married to each other in the long term.

Either one side concedes enough to the other, or they figure out a way to meet in the middle, or one of the two figure heads of the franchise has got to go. I would have thought that the Shane Waldron hiring from the Rams to become the new offensive coordinator would have meant that Pete and Russ met somewhere in the middle. I guess not, or at least, not enough.

Given that Pete Carroll has just been extended through to 2025, and Wilson is only signed through 2023, it now feels it could be Wilson who will be on his way out first, especially with what has been playing out in the media between the player and team over these past several days. It’s no longer that crazy to speculate this being a possibility down the road.

Given the fact that trade rumors have existed between the player and the team for a few years now, people have been smelling this smoke for a while. You put that together with what has been floated around this week, and people are now seeing flames.

Do I think that this is going to lead to the Seattle Seahawks trading Russell Wilson anytime soon?

Not really, but I am nowhere near as confident about that as I have been previously whenever this stuff has gotten kicked around in the press (which has been annoyingly often).

Here is the order of the most current leaks to the press stirring the pot now

Hours before Super Bowl LV kicked off, it was leaked to the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport that a few teams have called Seattle about the availability of Russell Wilson, but Seattle was not interested in trading him. On its face, this felt like a bit of a non-story. Why wouldn’t any quarterback needy team call Seattle to see if Wilson is available, especially with all the previous trade speculations that have been floated through the last few years?

Cool. Cool. Moving along.

To dumb a bit of fuel on these flames, exactly one day after that story made the national news, CBS Sports reporter Jason La Canfora reported that Russell has grown increasingly frustrated with the team’s inability to give him a great offensive line. Honestly, who can blame him? I wrote a piece last week imploring Seattle to go out and spend big dollars in free agency to give him a better center and left guard. I didn’t love that his camp had decided to now publicly complain about the quarterback’s teammates, though. I thought that was a bad look.

But, if that wasn’t enough, the next day on the Dan Patrick Show, Russell, himself, was asked about his offensive line. He awkwardly doubled down on it saying how many times he’s been hit in his nine years in the league and that it all needs to change. To his credit, he stayed very much within his nice guy persona, took blame for some of the sacks, and he said “we need to get better” instead of “they need to get better.”

Okay, fair enough, but now this is feeling increasingly more awkward, and unnecessarily so at that. Why is this happening? Please stop.

He then essentially tripled down on that position hours later in an oddly called press conference with the local Seattle media that the team was not involved in. I say that’s odd because Russell had just won the Walter Payton Man of the Year and the press conference doesn’t appear to really be about that, and we don’t have access to it because it wasn’t organized by the team. It’s felt more like, after he appeared on the Dan Patrick Show, someone in Russell Wilson’s camp felt it necessary to have a press conference with local reporters to perhaps tamper the flames because things started to get a bit awkward in the interview with Patrick when Patrick started to press Russ more. This just sorta further dumped more fuel on the flames.

Where things really start to take wonky turns is when former Seahawk Brandon Marshall goes on national television later that day and he says the Russell is beyond frustrated with Seattle and Pete Carroll. Marshall talked about how in his own limited time with the club, he thought Carroll didn’t trust Russ enough, and then he dropped the bombshell that he believes Russ is just trying to find a nice guy way to exit out of Seattle, and that is what’s really going on.

Boom. Brandon Marshall just dumped a fire gallon bucket of gasoline on that fire, and now the neighbors are calling 911.

While we can surely write this off as speculation on Marshall’s part, I would say that it is worth noting that Marshall had DK Metcalf on his own show the other week, and if you watched DK, you could see a significant amount frustration when he was asked about what happened to Seattle’s offensive in the second half of last season. DK talked about how defenses took away the deep pass and Seattle didn’t adjust, but in that, he also took what was maybe a bit of a side ways shot at Pete Carroll.

DK is perhaps the closest player on Seattle’s team to Russell Wilson. It is very possible that Brandon Marshall was hearing enough things from those close to Russ to feel comfortable to say on national television that Russ wants out of Seattle.

Then to circle back to the team, the latest bit of news that broke in all this saga is that on Wednesday, Dan Patrick said on his own show that he has been talking to Seahawk team sources, and that management is essentially extremely pissed off with Russell right now because of this little campaign of his, and that if things continue down this path, it could lead to an unsustainable relationship between the player and team.

Holy crap, that’s escalated rapidly inside those 72 hours.

Leaks happen for reasons. Why are these happening now?

My question to these fresh back to back story-lines is simple. Why were they leaked now?

Leaks happen in the media for a reason. Often when there is discourse, one side wants to get information out to put pressure on the other.

There’s other reasons, as well. Another big one that could be also happening now between the player and the team is leaking to win the public perception battle.

The Seahawks could have leaked that teams have been calling them about Russ but they aren’t interested in trading him because they want fans to know that they aren’t interested in trading their most popular player. Let’s think about that.

Seattle could be seeing that trade rumors were going to be floated one again, and they wanted to get out in front of it. It makes sense to me that they would float something to the effect that “teams are calling us about Russ, but we love him, and he isn’t going anywhere.” That very possibly could have been the reasoning for the leaks that has sparked this whole thing.

At this point, you might be asking yourself why they felt this was necessary. Here is my best guess.

Russell Wilson is represented by a baseball agent who is schooled to use leaks as a form of pressure to be placed teams, and he does this often. Because this individual annoys me to no end, I am simply going to refer to him as Camp Russell. The reason Camp Russell annoys me to no end is because nearly every off-season, Camp Russell feels the need to stir the pot with leaks and rumors.

“The team doesn’t value Russ enough.

“They are wasting his talents.”

“They aren’t letting him cook like other quarterbacks”

You’ve probably heard these ones many times over. In fact, you’ve probably heard them on nationally syndicated sports shows. Typically, it is nationally syndicated sports talk show host Colin Cowherd who the Camp Russell most often uses.

Russell Wilson and Colin Cowherd are close partly because they share the same entertainment agent in Hollywood. Anytime you hear Cowherd going on about how Seattle doesn’t do enough to support Russell Wilson, you can be sure that Camp Russ is feeding this view to Cowherd. There’s no reason to think otherwise. Colin Cowherd is very much Russell Wilson’s voice and has been for years.

Conversely, in the past, I think anytime stories leaked out about Russell being perhaps a part of trade discussions, it has largely been the Seahawks leaking, and using that as leverage towards Camp Russell. This has been their shot across the bow saying that they had better simmer down a bit, or Russell is going to end up quarterbacking in Cleveland. That has been their tool against Camp Russell.

It’s a bit different this year, though, because in Russell’s new contract with the team, he now has a no-trade clause that he can use as a tool to control where is plays under the current contract. If Seattle were to reach a deal with a club to trade him, and Russ doesn’t like the destiny, he can simply veto that deal.

In many ways, this clause makes a trade of Russell Wilson even more unlikely. In fact, the only single reason why a trade would become likely is if Russell becomes so unhappy in Seattle that he just wants out. He could do things to try to force a trade, and he could use the no-trade clause as a tool to navigate his way to a team that he prefers to get traded to.

What do they say about seeing smoke?

This is what I think is happening with Russ

The only answer that I can come up with in terms of what is actually going on is with Russell is that he is unhappy in Seattle to the point where he no longer wants to play for this organization. I hate to say it, but I think that’s what it’s now become.

He’s probably tired of being viewed as Pete Carroll’s game manager, and given the fact that the team has chosen to extend Pete through 2025, and John Schneider through 2027, he doesn’t believe anything will change for him here. He wants to cook to win titles and not manage to get back to them.

In his mind, he knows perfectly well that he will never run a Kansas City Chief style offense in Seattle under Pete, and he wants out. This is where I think the truth is sitting at, and it all circles back to what Brandon Marshall said on Tuesday.

I think Marshall basically let the cat out of the bag. Russell wants out and he is awkwardly going about it while trying to maintain his nice guy character that he has carefully crafted over the years.

The way in which I believe Russell is going about his exit plans is by putting as much of a squeeze on the franchise as he can by going well beyond any idle threat of “letting me cook or else.”

I think it is now perhaps in the realm of “I want this, and this, and this, and if I don’t get this, and we don’t make it to the Super Bowl next year, I want out.”

I think that is why the team jumped ahead of any trade rumors it felt was going to be surfacing. It decided it was necessary to put out there “teams are calling us about Russ, but we are not interested in dealing.” The Seahawks are letting us know that they are not the ones who are trying to initiate a breakup.

There could be a Plan B also in the works with the team

I just want to state again that I don’t think the Seattle Seahawks are going to trade Russell Wilson, at least this year. That said, any well run organization will always put forth a solid Plan B should things unexpectedly transpire, and despite what some would say (Camp Russell and Colin Cowherd), I still believe that the Seahawks are one of the better run organizations in professional sports.

On the surface they could be saying that they are getting calls but aren’t interested. That all could be true.. to a degree.

Underneath that, while trying win a public perception battle, Seattle could be waiting for a team that Russell would want to go play for to sweeten the pot enough for them to be willing to make this move, and essentially move on from Camp Russell. This would also make some sense for me.

When I add all this up, I can see a situation where maybe John Schneider and Pete Carroll have huddled together to have a very frank discussion about their team and their star quarterback. I can see them looking at a uniquely fluid quarterback trade market heading into the 2021 off-season, and they might see a rare window to move Russell Wilson now, if the right deal is out there, given the weight of everything Camp Russell is now throwing at them.

People can point to Russell’s salary and how that makes him unlikely to be traded in 2021, but I am not so sure. It feels like if, in fact, Russell wanted out, Camp Russell could agree to alter Russ’s 2021 numbers to make it more flexible for Seattle to move him.

I am no salary cap expert, but if teams are looking at Russell’s salary and the Seahawks salary cap situation, I doubt they would be calling Seattle about him now if they felt that it would be too cost prohibitive for Seattle to deal him this year. I think they probably look at the situation and the probably believe that if there is a will, there is a way to make it happen.

When I look at the NFL landscape to see which teams Russell Wilson would likely enjoy playing for, and perhaps markets that his superstar entertainer wife would enjoy living in, I can see Vegas, Miami, Dallas, and New Orleans all being likely destinations. In fact, if I had to choose a spot probably most ideal for Russ, I would probably lean towards Vegas.

Laugh all you want to about the Raiders, but if Jon Gruden truly believes that he is a Russell Wilson away from overtaking the Chiefs in the AFC West, Vegas could get pretty creative sweetening the pot for Seattle. If they offer Derek Carr and multiple first and second round picks plus a couple promising young players on rookie contracts, that could be enough to persuade Seattle to move on.

Pete Carroll wants to field a competitive team now, and I’m not convinced that he is at the point of his career where he would want to break in another rookie quarterback. If he had to move on from Russell, he would probably want a capable starter to run his play action offense, and while Carr isn’t nearly as talented as Russ, he probably checks a lot of boxes for Pete. If I had to imagine a trade, this is a scenario that I can see happening.

I am not writing this to convince you that the team should trade Russell Wilson

I have officially reached the portion of this piece where I feel like I need to state that I am not arguing for the Seattle Seahawks to trade Russell Wilson. I am merely trying to illustrate what I think is likely happening in all this chaos, and why they might ultimately entertain the idea.

I honestly do not know whether or not the Seattle Seahawks will trade Russell Wilson this off-season, but I do feel like a break up is feeling more likely. It would definitely be more likely next off-season should Seattle falls short of it’s 2021 playoff aspirations.

Because I see that as a real threat, I can see the team looking to maybe get out of the situation ahead of it happening. In my opinion, it would be smart to at least gauge the market now to see what is out there.

If the right deal is there, it might be worth taking it, even if trading him now might be costly against their 2021 cap. They might be willing to take that hit now to have a much better situation in the following years to come. This is what good organizations explore doing.

I think Russell is wrong to publicly be complaining about his offensive line

Finally, I want to inch towards the end this piece by saying that I am really disappointed in Russ did earlier in the week.

I love Russell Wilson. I have worn his jersey every game since his rookie season, and a big part of my heart breaks having to write this piece, but I have to be honest. I think Russ made a bad move this week.

Part me thinks that he knows this, and that’s why those interviews felt so awkward. Russell is officially traveling out of his comfort zone, and if he doesn’t get dealt, he is going to have to deal with some unhappy teammates in 2021 much like he did in the earlier part of his career in Seattle when older players on the team weren’t buying into him.

I think publicly complaining about how your offensive line as blocked for you is a really bad move. It’s especially bad when you know perfectly well that your own style of play invites sacks and hits that other quarterbacks don’t take. I don’t think that is how to win over teammates. I think that is how to further create a divide.

How does Duane Brown feel about this right now?

I’ve seen people say that what Russell is now doing isn’t a big deal. I’ve seen them point to the bad offensive lines through Carroll’s tenure in Seattle, and that Russell is right to assert himself.

I have answered back with the following.

In the lean years between her championships (and there were several), Sue Bird never once publicly complained about how the Seattle Storm wasn’t doing enough to surround her with better low post players. She gutted through those years playing through numerous injuries until Seattle had amassed talent around her again. Eventually they did and she has won two more titles. I am sure those lean years were hard on her as a competitor. She didn’t publicly complain once. She played, and she led.

Russell says how much he admires Bird, and wants to be more like her after the Storm won that last WNBA title during the Summer. If that is true, it’s time for him to put his money where his mouth is on that. It’s time for him to maybe tell his own camp to simmer down a bit.

If he isn’t going to do that, it’s clear to me that he just wants out of Seattle. He’s not thinking about the Seahawks if he continues making demands about how the team acquires talent. He’s thinking about himself, and his own legacy, and brand.

It’s that simple in my mind, and it is really disappointing.

A huge part of me wants Russell to understand how bad this looks, and to take ownership of it. I would love for him to acknowledge that he took a poor tack earlier in the week, to say that Brandon Shell and Damien Lewis are two really good young players, and Duane Brown is rock solid, and that Seattle has a great opportunity in the draft and free agency to add more pieces there. It is within him to do this. I think it would be a smart move to make as well as the right move to make.

Finally, what would I do if I were John Schneider and Pete Carroll?

Honesty, I would hold to my guns about not trading him. I wouldn’t deal.

I would also try in good faith to meet Russell half way. If Russell don’t like that, and it still isn’t enough, I would remind Russ and his camp that he is contracted to play for the Seattle Seahawks until 2023, and that afterwards, it is well within the team’s power to use the franchise tag for a season or two afterwards, if they so choose.

I would play hardball with him and his agent. I would compel them to play nicer by doing that, and if Russ wants to look more and more like the bad guy in this, that is his choice.

If Russ threatens to walk away from the game. I would dare him to do just that. With all of those legacy goals that he has, I would say to him, “well, we would love for you to play for us for the next several years but if you want to walk away from the game for a few years, it’s certainly your choice to do that.”

This is what I would do, and I think that it is probably a direction that they are likely most likely going to take, as well. It would probably make the most sense in all of this.

How much farther will Camp Russell take things? It could go farther, I suppose, but if Russell wants to protect his good guy image, it might have limits.

I’d play hardball with that. I’d be inclined to see what comes out of that dare. I personally doubt the Russell would walk away.

Is he going to honestly walk away from the game for three seasons and then enter back into the sport at age 35 as a free agent?

I seriously doubt that. This dude talks about legacy and titles all the time, if he takes three years off the sport, that’s going to diminish both of those things for him, and you can’t convince me otherwise.

This is why I believe it is ultimately still unlikely that the Seattle Seahawks trade Russell Wilson. They are going to play hardball with his camp and they are going to dare Russ to break further away form his good guy image.

And if they do trade Russ, it will be on their terms, not Camp Russell’s. It will be a perfect storm that creates a situation where a team that is a preferred destination for Russell offers Seattle the perfect package for them to finally move along from Camp Russell, and be done with him. Anything short of that, and Russell Wilson is not going anywhere, and Camp Russell can bitch and moan to Colin Cowherd as much as he wants.

It’s his choice to make. Who knows, though? Maybe Russell will finally wise up enough to ditch that camp.

Can you tell that I don’t like Camp Russell very much?

Go Hawks.


8 thoughts on “The Seahawks Are Probably Not Going To Trade Russell Wilson, But Still..

  1. Part of the Seahawk’s problems is that their defense got better, but other teams figured out their offense. As with all sports, adjustments have to be made throughout the year.


  2. The author is obviously about as savvy (good on people AND football – sometimes 2 diff. beasts) as they come, but I sure think that he’s got a blind spot (all but acknowledged near the end) as to the gamesmanship. Because that’s what it is…. And it surely looks very different when you’re the main man in the game than it does to an outsider. (The perceived slights over the years, paths not taken, all that stuff, which is just about invisible to outsiders.)

    BIG problem with the article – demonizing “Camp Russell” would make more sense if it were in any way plausible that they didn’t get RW’s buy-in on the core strategy of placing blame with the 2 guys “above him” in the hierarchy. Yes, it’s a “dubious” look re team-mates, but I don’t think that a few “no names” [yes, of course, they’re people and they have egos, but everybody knows who drives the train … on the field] genuinely come ahead of self-interest when (a) you’re top 5 and not really getting all the love you feel you’ve earned; and (b) not getting younger; and (c) wife may actually have a STRONG preference to live/work somewhere else.

    I think the author lacks the objectivity to see that a (VERY) professional sports organization hates betting the ranch on someone whose feet rival his arm as weapons, esp. as said QB ages. This year alone, there are 3 or 4 “similars” who were either gone or hobbled by end-of-season. We’ve heard “out of an abundance of caution” overused for a year now. Teams DO operate on an “out of concern that they have a losing record for 2-3 years because they have too many eggs in one basket.” With all the QB’s “up in the air,” I’d take the short end of even 2-to-1 odds on RW moving.

    Very last thing, GET someone to proof-read. When the “lint” gets to 5 or more in an article this length, that’s just common sense.


    • Hi Ed

      Thank you for this long critique of the piece I put together, and your thoughts. I apologize about not sifting through the lint as much as I should have before publishing, and you’re right, I could use an editor.

      You are right that I am demonizing Camp Russ. That’s exactly how I see him from a fan perspective.

      Being a diehard Twelve, I will always see things from the team’s perspective over any individual player, no matter how fond I am of the player. I’ve long seen Mark Rodgers as Mephisto in Russ’s ear. Maybe he has Russ’s best interests always in mind, I am not one to argue otherwise, but I think it is pretty obvious that in his dealings with the Seattle Seahawks, he has never had the team’s best interest in mind (and I get that’s not necessarily his job). I could go into long specifics, but I might need an editor to do so. In short, I think baseball agents dealing in football matters is really bad for the game of football, and this is the mire that Seattle is stuck in with it’s star quarterback, and I think it is getting worse.

      I think it is fair to blame Russ perhaps some for choosing to have Rodgers represent him, but I am a bit more forgiving when it comes to Russ on this. I think Rodgers swooped into his life when he was desperately looking for a new father figure, and that’s how Russ sees him. Rodgers is kind of his “Colonel” and this is an extremely powerful influence to shake.

      Ultimately, I don’t know if the team will trade Russ. I still lean on the idea they won’t and there is going to be a very stubborn game of chicken being played out. Perhaps it is best for the team to find a deal good enough to just move on, but I’m not convinced that is the path that they are willing to take right now. I would just love for each side to find middle ground. I hope that’s where they get towards.


      • Thanks for YOUR thoughtful additions. They really give an extra dimension to your already cogent and insightful post…. Maybe, I’m a little too quick to see a conflict where the difference either can’t be split or can’t be done without both sides LOSING more than they see themselves gaining.

        That is, “Let Russell cook” – however over-simplified – has what?? as a “compromise?” Let him cook some of the time? Let him cook, but not using high heat? … See what I mean? YOU ARE 100% right that – ideally – an entire organization is single-mindedly asking & answering every week, “What is best for the team?” But you are surely very smart and know how other things come into play.

        I remember the 2nd guessing about you know which play – I’m at the other end of the country, by the way. It was said that “management wanted to send a message” of some sort. I could be all wrong about motivations there, but it really DOES highlight the fact that things like winning-this-year vs. a longer view … and trying not to be too predictable … and hunches about who’s hot or hurt or ?? have a way of making coaching a lot more art and a lot less science!

        BTW, I have to think that RW compares himself to TB. Granted, their styles are almost as different as can be, but the “unfairness” of being – sometimes, a ton – on the decline at age 34 have got to get you thinking about not HAVING to turn nothing into something quite so often – and getting hit hard whether or not you leave the pocket. I could even see a manipulative person telling him that the brass knows how crowd-pleasing that scrambling is – even if it might see him with a bit of a limp at age 45. Another key similarity – must be tough when you’re aware that some significant # of fans think that “Coach” (more than star(s)) accounts for a great 10 years or more. Only one way to disprove that, really.


  3. I think that Russ most definitely sees himself in the same stratosphere as Brady. I suspect that watching Tom in that Super Bowl makes him feel all the more empowered to have things his way (which he likely knows won’t every happen in Seattle with Carroll here).

    I think it’s more that he knows that in Seattle, it will always be the Pete Carroll show, and that it will never be a situation that will be quarterback centric as he would like it to be. I think he probables admires Carroll but craves a situation where he will be coached by an offensive minded HC. That’s just my best reading. Maybe it changes with a new offensive coach, but it might not be nearly enough.

    I also think Seattle could enter into a very slippery slope caving into too many demands. Carroll’s best traits as a coach is culture building. He wants all his players to feel like they have voices and the matter. If you have one player making demands on scheme, player acquisitions, etc, that’s pretty much going to eat away at how Carroll best builds a competitive team.

    As for the whole Let Russ Cook thing, I thought it was a pretty silly movement, myself, and for the many points you just made. From my perspective, letting Russ cook is giving him a committed running attack to which defenses have to play him honest, but I’m a bit old school in that philosophy. I think that Russ has done plenty of cooking under Carroll, maybe it got a bit stagnant in 2018 and 2019, but Russ was putting up some ridiculous numbers as a passer through 2015-2017.

    Yeah, that Super Bowl play – I agreed that they had to pass, but that was a terrible call to go with that inside pick against that defense. That was not on Russ, and I don’t believe the speculation that Pete wanted to send a message. I think he wanted to win, but good lord, they needed to have changed that one up. I think that play haunts him more than anyone, and that’s why sometimes he meddles with the OC from time to time in games. Just my take.


  4. There are several very good quarterbacks. What sets Brady apart was opportunity and a strong drive to make the most of it. Wherever he goes, he makes other people try and believe.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: How I Would Handle The Russell Wilson Situation If I Were The Seattle Seahawks | 12th Life

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