It took two games.
When the Russell Wilson saga reached its peak earlier this year, we talked about this inevitability.
If there wasn’t a proper resolution, this would linger into the season and be a cloud hanging over the team.
Such a resolution, in my eyes, was simple. Either you make a trade or you recommit to your quarterback in the way of a new contract. They are two extreme outcomes, obviously, but that’s how serious things got. And there needed to be a line drawn otherwise this season would be impacted.
At the very least restructure his deal to create cap space. They could’ve done that at any point. It would’ve been a big statement because it would make it virtually impossible to trade Wilson next year. Instead, they’ve well and truly left that door open. Make your own mind up as to why.
The Seahawks chose to stay silent during the media storm. Clearly they hoped everything would go away. Then Pete Carroll and John Schneider conducted an intelligence-insulting press conference where they claimed it was all a media creation and a whole lot of nothing.
You know, despite the Athletic article which appeared to be sourced from the team and the subsequent agent-led response to Adam Schefter, listing Wilson’s four preferred trade destinations.
So despite the forced ‘Pete and John crash Russell’s press conference to show they’re best buds’ routine, there was always a danger that once the season started — this whole saga would re-emerge.
Cue the Brock and Salk podcast this week — with the main subject matter being Carroll and Wilson’s relationship. Salk started the broadcast by claiming he’d spoken to the connected Gee Scott to ask about how things are between the two. ‘It’s all anyone (in the building) is talking about over there’ was the response.
“Something’s going on” claimed Salk.
How will Wilson respond to Carroll’s couched finger pointing about his fourth quarter performance against Tennessee? Why was that second half so reminiscent of late 2020? Who is to blame? The player? Or is it more than that?
Especially, as pointed out by Salk, since Carroll’s peculiar answer to a question last week about Shane Waldren’s influence on the Indianapolis win.
“He’s open-minded to do things that we’ve done in the past”
Think about that for a second. What has the new offensive coordinator brought to the table? Here’s an invitation to give him some praise. The one thing that stands out? According to Carroll, it’s the fact he’ll do things they’ve always done.
That answer was all the more alarming in the aftermath of the Titans game — where the offensive game-plan appeared to be directly transported from 2020.
That’s not to excuse Wilson, who should’ve played better late in the game. Yet if you feared Waldren and Wilson weren’t going to be handed the keys to the offense — this wasn’t a reassuring Sunday.
Meanwhile, Colin Cowherd — connected to Mark Rodgers and the Wilson camp — is busy announcing on his show that the Seahawks don’t do anything well if it doesn’t have the quarterbacks prints all over it.
“Russell Wilson fools you into believing Seattle is a well-oiled machine”
Welcome to the 2021 Seahawks season. Where wins will quieten the noise temporarily and defeats will open up all the old wounds from the off-season.
I think Carroll and Wilson have done an admirable job trying to move forward. But they didn’t really have a choice, did they? For the Seahawks there wasn’t a trade scenario that was tempting. And if Wilson had pulled an Aaron Rodgers — well, Rodgers is still in Green Bay, isn’t he?
What choice did anyone have but to crack on?
Making a statement about having a newly brilliant relationship and all that jazz sounds good but it felt like an attempt to put the toothpaste back in the tube.
I suspect both share resentment. Wilson over the direction of the team and lack of post-season success. Carroll and co for the way he voiced those concerns so publicly.
That doesn’t just go away.
This is how the entire season will be played out. Either the Seahawks will win and keep a lid on this for a moment or two. Or they lose and we get this. If the season ends in glory — salvation. Maybe. If it’s more of the same (or worse) then change will be inevitable. Either in the form of Wilson being dealt, Carroll retiring or maybe both.
It feels like the team is facing a six month period that could determine so much for the future of the franchise.
And sure, you could argue a 710 ESPN podcast and Colin Cowherd isn’t exactly the thundering jungle drums of the mass international media. It’s a start though, isn’t it?
The Seahawks play Minnesota (A), San Francisco (A), LA Rams (H) and Pittsburgh (A) next. There’s potential danger ahead, not just in terms of record, but in terms of the noise that could surround this team.
Either they’ll come out of this stretch stronger and ready to push back against this talk. Or things are going to spiral and the noise will grow and grow.
This is a major stretch of games in the Carroll and Wilson era.
Make no mistake though, this is the cloud they’ll play under for the rest of the season. Winning at an elite pace will be the only antidote.
If you missed yesterday’s stream with Jeff Simmons, please check it out below:
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