The Seahawks’ top decision-makers spent a large portion of their predraft news conference Wednesday answering questions about the offseason drama surrounding quarterback Russell Wilson.
Coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider both claimed that everything is fine after Wilson voiced frustration with the organization and appeared to demand greater input in personnel decisions.
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“There was some stuff that was said that had to be dealt with, and it has been,” Carroll said. He added that he and Wilson have been speaking on a regular basis.
Wilson told The Dan Patrick Show last February that he was frustrated about being sacked and hit so much over the years. He also said in the interview that he would like to have more say in which players the team adds.
“I want to be able to be involved, because at the end of the day, it’s your legacy, it’s your team’s legacy, it’s the guys you get to go into the huddle with — and at the end of the day, those guys you’ve got to trust,” he told Patrick (per ESPN.com).
His comments led to speculation that Wilson’s relationship with Carroll was broken and the Seahawks were responding by talking with teams about their franchise passer. Carroll and Schneider both tried to say that there was little to no possibility of them getting rid of Wilson.
The highlights of what the two had to say.
Schneider on reports that he discussed a Wilson trade with the Bears:
“There was a number of teams that called after that media blitz that happened, right? But no, I never actively negotiated with anybody, with any team. Did people call? Absolutely, but I’m not going to get into specific teams. There was never, ever a conversation. You know, people think that trade talks happen, you know, like, hey, you start negotiating right away. There’s a lot of calls that are very, very periphery calls. Unless you’re dealing with trading a seventh-round pick for a player that may be getting cut that’s going to be on the (waiver) wire or something like that, those happen very quickly. Yeah, no, there was no active negotiations going on.”
Carroll on whether the Seahawks are committed to Wilson:
“Russ has been our quarterback for a good while and we’ve got a long contract with him, and when all of the conversation went about trades and all that, I knew what the truth was: We weren’t trading Russell. We plan on him being here for a good while — I don’t know how many years it is now — but we’re in great shape and a long future ahead of us is shared. Russ knows that and I know that. We’re very clear about it. It’s why it was really obvious that we just had to sit back and let, kind of, the media take its course with the topic, and we did. We’re in good shape and both very clear about that.” (Wilson has three years remaining on the four-year, $140 million contract extension he signed in 2019.)
Carroll on whether Wilson now has more input in personnel decisions:
“No, because Russ and I have been in conversation about stuff that I think might be defined as that and we’re talking about stuff. He’s been here 10 years, whatever the heck it is, so we’ve had a lot of conversations. I’ve had a lot of conversations with a lot of guys. I talk to guys all the time. I want information. I’m not standing here like I have all the answers. I want all of the input I can get to make the decisions I make. Russell’s been through a lot with us and he’s got a good perspective. He doesn’t have all the answers, at all. He has his opinions at times and I’m fine with dealing with that, just like I was with other players that have been here in the past. It’s not any different. He never made a statement that he had to do that or had to have more say-so. That never happened. None of that happened. We never talked like that.”
Carroll on why the Seahawks didn’t try to publicly squash the rumors:
“It’s maybe frustrating to people that we didn’t comment to help you (media) get off the hook of where you thought things may be going, but that’s part of just not playing the media conversation (game). I learned from Bud Grant a long time ago. I’m strict about it. I’m really strict. I said (to Wilson), ‘You will not hear a peep out of me. And you can do that, too, and just let the stuff that’s being said go.’ But it’s hard. It’s hard for people and not everybody can do that. It takes real discipline to do that and it’s a learning process and hopefully, Russ will always be better for it because he’s been through a lot of that and hopefully other guys can learn from that as well. The power comes from knowing really the truth and knowing what’s going on. I’m not not sharing the truth. The truth is he wasn’t getting traded. He’s on our roster and he’s signed up for a long time around here and anything that could ever take place was so far out there that could ever happen, it was not even worth considering. Unfortunately, that’s kind of how it went.”