Russell Wilson's relationship with the Seattle Seahawks has seemingly been revealed to be quite strained over the last month. Wilson went on a post-Super Bowl media tour where he took all of his issues with the team public. Seattle's front office was apparently not happy Wilson did that, and it led to teams calling the Seahawks to see if Wilson was available to be traded. NFL Network's Michael Silver reported the conversations that were held on those calls has led teams to believe the starting price for Wilson is three first-round picks.
Up to a certain point, all this just felt like a lot of posturing. Wilson is frustrated after making an early playoff exit again and, as usual, the playoff exit was largely due to his team's inability to protect him. So he breaks character and tells the outside world exactly what he would like fixed. The Seahawks organization has never been a fan of that sort of thing, so of course they're going to be mad, and teams are going to call because even the smallest indication of a crack in the foundations means ambitious GMs will call to see if they can get Wilson, just in case.
Seattle says no, they mend fences with Wilson behind closed doors, and the 2021 season begins in earnest. That was the most likely outcome for all this.
At least, that's what I thought until The Athletic published a behind-the-scenes expose today about Wilson and the Seahawks. In the article, co-reported by Michael-Shawn Dugar, Mike Sando, and Jayson Jenkins, Wilson's frustration with Pete Caroll's philosophy and how their mindsets clashed during the 2020 season was far worse than anyone knew. Most importantly, there was this line when discussing the possibility of a Wilson trade:
"Wilson and Carroll have won at least nine games in each of nine seasons together. They have made the playoffs every season but one, won a Super Bowl and lost another. But the Seahawks haven’t reached the NFC Championship game since 2014, and Wilson’s frustration has escalated to the point that his camp has broached potential trade destinations with the Seahawks. According to sources, those teams include ones mentioned in La Canfora’s column the day of the Super Bowl: the Dolphins, Jets, Saints and Raiders. Some people around the league think a trade could happen, if not this offseason then sometime in the near future."
So... that sure sounds like Wilson's camp asked the Seahawks to trade him, right? In what universe would they give Seattle a list of potential trade destinations without implicitly or explicitly asking for such a trade to be executed?
Wilson does have a no-trade clause in his contract. It may be that he and his team heard the rumors of other franchises calling to inquire after a trade, just like we all did, and reached out to Seattle to tell them where Wilson would agree to go if, in fact, a trade went down. It's impossible to know for sure unless you were on the call, but the fact that it's gotten this far is quite a statement in its own right. It means Wilson does not feel at all secure about his place within the organization. Or maybe he wants out so badly that he'll give the Seahawks an updating rolodex of places he'd green-light a trade to.
Either way, this doesn't sound great for the Seahawks, does it? Maybe the unthinkable will happen and Seattle will trade Wilson, a top-three QB on a good day, because they couldn't put the right personnel around him. The game of quarterback musical chairs has never been more chaotic.