Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks have enjoyed a happy marriage since Wilson was selected by the franchise in the fourth round of the 2012 NFL Draft. Wilson helped Seattle win a Super Bowl and grew into one of the best quarterbacks in the game in the years since; in some seasons, he was the sole reason the Seahawks were above .500.
Wilson put together another great year in 2020. He started off the season absolutely scalding and could be found near the top of everyone's MVP rankings before he fell off as the season went along. Seattle still ended up in the postseason as winners of the NFC West before losing to the Los Angeles Rams in the Wild Card round by the score of 30-20. Wilson couldn't get anything going all day thanks to the defensive front of the Rams and was sacked five times while only throwing for 174 yards, two touchdowns, and a pick.
Thus ended the first season of Wilson's contract that slotted him among the highest-paid QBs in the league, as he rightfully should be. Wilson went to the Super Bowl on Sunday after winning the NFL's Walter Payton Man of the Year Award, announced on Saturday. Wilson, while on a Zoom call today answering questions about winning the award, was asked about a report from Jason La Canfora that he was "growing increasingly frustrated" with the team's inability to protect him in the pocket.
Instead of deflecting or giving a non-answer as many professional athletes in his position would, Wilson was shockingly honest. Per Gregg Bell of the Tacoma News Tribune:
"Is Russell Wilson frustrated with the Seahawks? “I’m frustrated on getting hit too much. I’m frustrated with that.” That’s what Seattle’s $140 million franchise quarterback said Tuesday, after a national report Wilson “has grown increasingly frustrated by the Seahawks inability to protect the 8 time Pro Bowler.”"
"Speaking during an online Zoom call put on by the NFL for winning its Walter Payton Man of the Year Award Saturday, Wilson had the chance to refute the report Monday night by CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora. It said “Wilson’s camp” was frustrated with his lack of consistent pass protection in Seattle. Instead, Wilson confirmed it. “At the end of the day, man, I’m frustrated. You want to win, you know,” Wilson said. “I think that’s part of the process, you know.” He laughed. “Hopefully that answers it for you,” he said."
This does not indicate Wilson doesn't want to be in Seattle anymore or anything too outrageous. But it's surprising that Wilson would take that frustration public, even after the team reportedly made him upset by firing offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer. He doesn't have a reputation for particularly juicy media quotes. Whatever Wilson's thoughts are on the state of his team, he rarely hands them out freely like he did here.
It is perhaps notable that this quote hit the digital airwaves only hours after Wilson appeared on the Dan Patrick Show as a part of the media appearances he's been doing this week. In that interview, Wilson expressed his view that players like himself should have input on the roster decisions for the team.
It's not exactly trouble in paradise yet. Seattle isn't and shouldn't be at DEFCON1. But Wilson is taking his issues into the public in ways he never has before, even if nothing he's said so far could be considered a strong indictment of the plans Pete Carroll and John Schneider have in motion.
If I were them, I would attempt to improve the mood of my star quarterback by throwing a large sack of money at free agent left tackle Trent Williams and go from there. But that's just me. If the Seattle brass don't agree, we could see more Wilson quotes making the rounds in the future.