Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider said star quarterback Russell Wilson was never in danger of being traded earlier this off-season.
Carroll and Schneider spoke to reporters Wednesday for the first time since Wilson publicly voiced his frustrations. With the franchise in February. Among those complaints were all the hits and sacks the eight-time Pro Bowl selection has taken over his nine seasons with the organization.
“There was some stuff that was said that had to be dealt with, and it has been,” Carroll said. “So Russ is in a great place right now, and he’s been in a great place throughout the off-season. We have communicated throughout all of the things just like I always have.”
Wilson made his frustrations known during an appearance on The Dan Patrick Show and in a separate interview after he was named Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year. Those comments marked the first time he publicly expressed major grievances with the organization, which drafted him in 2012.
Schneider said a “number of teams” called after Wilson went public with his frustrations. The executive, however, said he never actively negotiated with anybody.
Carroll echoed Schneider’s comments and said there wasn’t a major problem between the team and Wilson, only a problem of navigating the headlines that resulted from the signal-caller going public with his unhappiness.
“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,” Carroll said. “It’s hard for people and not everybody can do that. It takes real discipline to do that and it’s a learning process. Hopefully Russ will always be better for it because he’s been through a lot of that.
“… The truth is that he wasn’t getting traded and he’s on our roster and he’s signed up for a long time around here. Anything that could ever take place was so far out there that could ever happen that it was not even worth considering.”
Carroll also said he regularly seeks input from Wilson and other players on the Seahawks’ roster. Noting that Wilson never came to him and demanded more say in personnel moves. Wilson’s perceived lack of say in acquisitions was among his public complaints.
Shortly after Wilson’s frustrations were detailed two months ago, his agent, Mark Rodgers, told ESPN that while Wilson hasn’t demanded a trade, he would only accept a move to the Chicago Bears, New Orleans Saints, Dallas Cowboys or Las Vegas Raiders if the Seahawks were to deal him.
“I had made a clear statement to Russ: ‘Let’s just shut down and be quiet on this stuff,'” Carroll said. “We don’t need to say anything, we know the truth of what’s going on. When that came out, that kind of got over the top in that it opened up some other conversations that didn’t need to happen.
“That was an example of why we’re quiet and why we don’t say anything. It was so meaningless because it had nothing to do with what was going on. It gave another little byte in there that people could talk about and I wish we would have avoided that is what I’m saying.”
Despite Wilson’s grievances, Carroll said the veteran quarterback “is as jacked up as he’s ever been” for the 2021 season.
“He’s in the process of turning over our new offensive stuff that is different from the past. and things that we need to learn,” Carroll said. “He’s totally after it and doing a great job; his mentality is strong and his conditioning is right. He’s doing a great job.
“So things were said, things were said. And sometimes you have to deal with stuff and that’s how we take care of our business. We’re in a fantastic place right now and really excited about this team, this season and this draft coming up.”
The Seahawks selected Wilson in the third round of the 2012 draft out of Wisconsin. He has recorded 33,946 passing yards, 267 touchdowns and 81 interceptions in 144 career games with the team.
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