An attempt to properly explain the Russell Wilson saga

It’s time for Pete Carroll & Russell Wilson to put their cards on the table

When Mark Rodgers told Adam Schefter that Russell Wilson wanted to stay in Seattle, despite revealing four potential trade destinations, I believed him.

I genuinely think Wilson’s preference is to stay with the Seahawks.

I don’t think he wants to be a player who forces his way off one team to join another. He has put down roots in the city. He’s worked tirelessly in the community.

He’s a Seattle sports legend. He’s synonymous with the Seahawks.

What we’re witnessing at the moment is a very public and deliberate holding to account — with the consequences of failing to act laid out for all to see.

This is a complex story that requires care, attention and consideration.

Too much of the narrative has been restrictive and basic.

There’s been dismissive, limiting language from some.

Why would the Seahawks trade him?‘ is a fair question ask. But you also need to be prepared to delve into the reasons why it might happen, and why this is dominating the news agenda, rather than just immediately writing it off as a non-story.

Others have perhaps gone too far the other way in suggesting there’s no coming back from the seemingly perilous position both parties find themselves in.

Again, it’s worth really thinking about the information we are receiving.

This is my best attempt at an explanation.

It’s clear Wilson doesn’t share Pete Carroll’s vision. He wants to play a certain way on offense and believes, not unfairly, that a quarterback of his quality should have more input in play-calling and scheme.

Just look at the language used by Wilson during his end of season press conference:

“Coach Carroll and I, we have to be on the same wave length”

“The next 10 years are super critical… and the legacy I want to be able to create and do. It’s vital, critical, super significant that I’m part of this process”

“We’ve got to put our foot down on the gas… I think we should score 24 points before the half, get ahead. We can do that — no matter how we do it. Let’s go win. Let’s start early.”

“We can’t settle for anything less than winning it all”

Alternatively, Carroll spoke of his willingness to win 17-14, stay in the game and keep it tight. Despite a somewhat indifferent end to the season, where the Seahawks were beating bad opponents unconvincingly, Carroll regularly dismissed concerns about the offensive production, the struggles with third down and the inability to adjust. He became increasingly agitated by probing questions and didn’t seem to enjoy the suggestion that they were anything other than on the right track — having put a sharp end to ‘Let Russ cook’ after disappointing losses in Buffalo and LA.

The contrast couldn’t be more stark between the two. There’s a clear disconnect in how both individuals see the path to future success.

It also seems clear Wilson is concerned about how competitive the team has been.

Since their last appearance in the Super Bowl in the 2014 season, only six NFC teams have failed to qualify for the Championship game:

New York Giants

Ten teams have been within a game of the Super Bowl. The Seahawks are not one of them. The company they keep in the list above is inglorious.

They’ve only won the NFC West twice in the last six seasons. In the last four years, they’ve won just one playoff game.

Meanwhile, you can argue the Seahawks have become increasingly reliant on their quarterback. Without him, it’s unlikely they would’ve consistently qualified for the post-season.

The once-great defense has wilted. They’ve gone from being ranked 5th to 11th to 16th to 26th to 22nd. That final ranking, 22nd, was boosted by a late-season resurgence in 2020 coinciding with hardly a murders row of opponents. In the first half of the season, the defense was on a record-pace for all the wrong reasons.

Defense is supposed to be Carroll’s speciality, yet the unit has been stalling for some time. The Seahawks have struggled to develop star players. When they’ve allowed good players to depart, they’ve toiled in replacing them. They’ve squandered draft picks, only to then spend even more resource via trade.

The best example of that was using the #47 on Marquise Blair, a safety, in the 2019 draft. Within 18 months, they’d spent further picks on Quandre Diggs and Jamal Adams — the latter costing a kings ransom.

It’s not just a defensive issue either. While all this is going on, Wilson can rightly complain about Seattle’s inability to provide him with a high-performing O-line, a strong running game and an arsenal of weapons.

That’s not to imply he’s had a totally awful situation. The pass protection improved at the start of last season, before regressing. The addition of D.K. Metcalf was a positive, as is the retention of Tyler Lockett. They spent big on the tight end position, even though they struggle to find a way to make them a feature within their offense.

Yet it’s perfectly plausible to argue that had the Seahawks created a great O-line, running game and delivered a proper #3 weapon (at tight end or receiver) — there’s every chance, even with a not-great defense, for Wilson to lead this team deeper into the playoffs.

So there’s a combination of bad personnel management, a clash of philosophy and perceived underachievement by the team.

Further to that, Wilson clearly has raised his concerns privately and they’re not being acted on. So what other choice does he have but to speak out?

Would you rather he stew quietly and just be a good little soldier? Meanwhile, he watches his career pass by and we all get to wonder what could’ve been?

It speaks to the lack of accountability within the franchise that he has to go public to instigate change.

We’ve talked about this for months and now the national media are starting to touch on it too. The Seahawks are in a holding pattern with ownership. A sale is expected within 3-5 years. Until then, Jodi Allen and Vulcan Sports have basically passed the keys to Pete Carroll. He is responsible for the football operations and it’s not clear whether anyone is challenging any decision he makes.

He’s been given a five-year contract extension and the likelihood is this situation will continue until a sale is completed, years down the line.

Mike Florio discussed the matter in an article earlier today:

Some in league circles believe the Seahawks essentially have become a corporation, with Vulcan Inc. (founded in 1986 by Paul and Jody Allen to oversee the family’s diverse business activities) and not Jody Allen running the team.

By all appearances, Vulcan isn’t actively running the team. Instead, it appears that Vulcan Sports and Entertainment (a division of Vulcan Inc.) defers to coach Pete Carroll as the de facto CEO of the Seahawks subunit. Indeed, Carroll is both the coach and the executive V.P. of football operations. Which confirms that he’s the ultimate football authority with the Seahawks, a team that has no direct or indirect ownership meddling of any kind.

Wilson’s issue isn’t with the team, the GM or the franchise. It’s with the man at the top. As several people have spelled out — Brandon Marshall, Colin Cowherd, the reporters in the Athletic article — this is an issue with Carroll.

This is what Cowherd said two weeks ago:

“Russell Wilson, I can tell you this, isn’t happy with Pete Carroll”

“He likes his team mates, he likes Seattle — it’s a Pete Carroll thing. The offense is outdated. I’ve had three different Seattle players tell me they feel like they’re running a 1980’s offense.”

“Since the death of Paul Allen, Pete Carroll has unquestioned power. In my opinion, it’s a lopsided franchise where the coach has too much power over the playbook, too much power over his quarterback, has too much power over the franchise and too much power over John Schneider.”

Wilson speaking out is as much about trying to hold Carroll to account as it is anything else. Who else is capable? What can John Schneider do, exactly? Short of nearly leaving the team and joining the Detroit Lions, as was rumoured a few weeks ago. Was that in itself a similar nudge to the powers that be?

The person with the serious clout to initiate change and get things done, is Wilson. The most important player. The person hardest to replace in the whole organisation.

Without him, you’re talking about a franchise-changing impact. Your focus immediately turns from trying to find a solution at left guard to needing to find a franchise quarterback. I don’t need to explain how significant that is.

Three weeks ago, Wilson made it be known that he was dissatisfied. He spoke publicly about the O-line while his agent did the rounds with the big names in NFL reporting.

The response from Seattle? Silence.

Brandon Marshall revealed on Friday that Carroll and Wilson haven’t talked for two weeks.

If you speak out privately and nothing changes, then you speak out publicly and nothing changes — where do you go from there?

There’s only one direction.

I think the on-the-record, four-team trade destination revelation was the final warning. If you won’t listen now, we’ve got a problem.

Because eventually this will go from being an attempt to initiate change to a player asking to leave.

So for all the contrasting reports of how likely a trade is at this point, the only thing that matters is whether the Seahawks are listening to Wilson.

Because if they aren’t, he will go somewhere else.

It’s as simple as that. The moment a franchise quarterback requests his release, there’s no going back. He can’t lead this team next year. At that point, you are facing a complete restructure of your franchise.

He is flirting with that because he is desperate for Carroll to listen, so that he can stay in Seattle and believe in this project.

But in order for the parties to continue working together — it’s going to take Carroll conceding on several factors.

He’s going to need to cede some control of the offense to Wilson and Shane Waldron. He’s going to have to go back on what he said after the playoff loss to LA and embrace playing with tempo with a focus on aggression and point-scoring, not game-management and keeping things close.

He’s going to have to somehow avoid interfering if there’s a bad game or a bad stretch.

He’ll need to invite Wilson into the inner-sanctum of scheming and game-planning.

When you think about it, it’s not really a big price to pay for having a franchise quarterback. Ask Matt Nagy if he can live with these terms in Chicago. Hey Nick Sirianni, you need a franchise quarterback in Philly. Can you live with them having a big say in the offense?

It’s not even a question for most other teams.

Peter King told a story last week about the time he sat-in on a meeting between Sean Payton and Drew Brees. They were discussing a game-plan and Payton put black dots on his call-sheet, noting all the plays Brees wanted to run in that particular game. There were about 40 plays.

When King asked Payton how many they would run on game-day, he responded: “Hopefully all of them.”

Is it any wonder New Orleans is on Wilson’s list?

And it begs the question — why would you pay your quarterback $35m a year if you aren’t willing to let him have a big influence on decision making?

Frankly, this is also the change fans should hope for. Carroll’s way of doing things hasn’t enabled this team to take a step towards Championship caliber. You could argue, Wilson has propped up Seattle’s coach and his vision for years as the defense regressed and the post-Marshawn running game struggles ensued.

It feels like it’s time to mix things up a bit. Is there really anything to lose at this point? Because every season seems to end in the same way.

Wilson’s trying to initiate change. He’s having to do it through the media, with the consequences laid out, because the quiet conversation in private approach hasn’t worked. Neither has the drip-fed warnings through the media that have been going on for the last 12 months.

So forget the various reporters tweeting on the likelihood of a trade. This is all it comes down to.

How important is Wilson to Carroll?

If he has no interest in rebuilding and searching for a new quarterback, then he has to bite the bullet and make concessions to Wilson. That can happen very quickly, a truce can be formed and everyone can move on.

If he’s unwilling to change and sees his plan and philosophy as more important than any individual player — and if he’s unwilling to concede ground — then they need to initiate a trade.

There’s no middle ground here. There’s no awkward ‘wait until next year’.

Don’t linger on the $39m dead cap hit. His dead cap hit next year is still $26m. It’s hefty either way. If you make the trade now, you create $37m in space next year.

The Rams swapped Matt Stafford for Jared Goff despite being $33m over the cap. The Eagles dealt Carson Wentz while being $43m over the cap. We can’t define what is truly possible any more, however unconventional.

The Seahawks can deal Wilson and find themselves in the comparatively comfortable situation of only being $5m over the cap, with nearly $160m of cap space to lend from in 2022. It’s not as restrictive as some are making out.

The seriousness of the threats in the media are growing.

Going to the #1 NFL insider and telling him, on the record, the four destinations you’re willing to be traded to, is not insignificant. That was a raising of the stakes.

And those stakes have been gradually raising week-by-week as the Seahawks fail to meet Wilson’s desires.

If there’s no progress in the coming days, it’ll be something else. Maybe even a trade request.

What isn’t going to happen is a situation where this just all blows over and everyone cracks on.

So what’s it going to be? Because this can’t go on for much longer. The Seahawks can’t endure weeks and weeks of back-and-forth about the future of their quarterback.

Both parties need to put their cards on the table and sort things out — one way or another.

But make no mistake — Wilson is doing what really needs to be done. Something needs to change in Seattle. The personnel decisions have been poor for too long. The philosophy hasn’t delivered playoff results for years. The team is treading water.

Personally, I think it’ll be a crushing assessment of the Seahawks under Carroll if he feels he has to leave.

Suddenly Carroll’s legacy in Seattle would be under fire, more so than even Wilson’s.

Because if he leads the team back into the wilderness having forced out the franchise quarterback, all for the sake of preserving his own philosophy, it’ll do far more damage than any decision to throw the ball at the one-yard-line ever could.

Free agency starts in two weeks. This needs to be solved before then.

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  1. Canadian Hawk

    I’m wondering at this point could Russell even win back the trust of his team and specifically his OL?
    Has too much been said?

    If we keep Russell we don’t have the draft to significantly upgrade the line.
    We could restructure contracts (Bobby) and make some trades (Jamal) – but in PeteWorld how likely is that? (Perhaps with Bobby, think it’s unlikely with Jamal).

    I just think the ship may have sailed.

    • Rob Staton

      We don’t even know that he’s lost any trust.

      I doubt Brandon Shell and Damien Lewis are going to go on the war path. There’s every chance Duane Brown simply agrees with Wilson.

      • TomLPDX

        That’s my feeling as well, and Russ did take ownership of his own role in all of those sacks and hits.

        • Ryan

          He did? Other than a throwaway line — “Oh, I have to do better, too” — I didn’t see anything like that. I think people recognize that for what it was, a guy who realized he went too far and then tried to make it seem like he was still a good guy.

          If he’s taking ownership, why is he even bringing it up publicly? (Yes, I read the article. It’s rhetorical.)

          • arias

            Because taking ownership is not the same thing as having input and a voice running his own offense.

          • John_s

            Russell Wilson has 100% not taken ownership for his part in all the sacks. After those three awful games of turnovers he said I know I’m great I want to be great and I will be great in the future.

            Until Wilson can take ownership of the fact that he makes some piss poor decisions, he refuses to check to his outlet and he refuses to use the middle of the field and integrate his tight ends, you’re not going to get anywhere. Pete sees all this too and he’s catered his passing offense to Wilson’s strength which is a beautiful deep ball

            • Jonny

              Could not agree more with this. It seems like this articles puts all the blame on Pete and ignores the role that Russ plays in it. What evidence is there that Russ’s ideas are any good? What I hear from him is that he wants to play every drive in hurry up. I don’t see how that’s sustainable. How well does he understand and is able to read defenses? Is he still working to improve or is he content being a celebrity in the offseason? It was a few seasons ago that supposedly he was going to dive deep in understanding defenses with Pete to try and take it to the next level. Russ has not shown, imho, that he is in the same league with the other elite QBs at game understanding. He is fantastic at extending plays and throwing deep, but still lacks many other elements of the game that the other great QBs seem to have (reading defenses, throwing short, intermediate, hanging in the pocket, consistency, etc).

              It seems like Russ took a lot of flack the 2nd half of the season, really for the first time ever (even the SB loss was on Bevell and Pete), and now is out to change the narrative. Russ’s image is clearly one of the most important things to him and he’s clearly not liking the attention to his performance over the 2nd half of the season.

              I also get the feeling that Pete doesn’t think Russ is as good as Russ thinks he is. And if so, clearly Pete is focused on his legacy as well, and does not want to give into somebody who may not actually even know what he’s talking about with scheme etc. This seems to be a battle of two over inflated egos. Not likely to end well.

              One thing I have not heard mentioned, but would not at all surprise me, is if Russ was privately strongly against the Jamal Adams trade and was not happy that he wasn’t consulted. It’s not a stretch to guess that if the team is giving up that much draft capital that Russ would prefer it to be for one or more offensive superstars. We’ve all heard him talk about his desire to see more offensive superstars, so I wonder if that was a big piece of his disagreement with Pete and the rest of the season followed in kind.

              Regardless, thanks for covering this Rob!

              • Rob Staton

                It seems like this articles puts all the blame on Pete and ignores the role that Russ plays in it.

                It doesn’t apportion blame to anyone.

                It’s a summary of what Wilson’s issue is, some explanations on what he’s thinking and what the consequences of not acting are.

                It contains some fair criticisms of the Carroll era. But that’s fair game IMO.

                What evidence is there that Russ’s ideas are any good?

                What evidence is there that doing the same thing year after year will yield different results?

                What I hear from him is that he wants to play every drive in hurry up. I don’t see how that’s sustainable.

                That’s not it at all, to be fair.

                Russ has not shown, imho, that he is in the same league with the other elite QBs at game understanding. He is fantastic at extending plays and throwing deep, but still lacks many other elements of the game that the other great QBs seem to have (reading defenses, throwing short, intermediate, hanging in the pocket, consistency, etc).

                He’s not flawless by any means but I do think this is a bit of a short memory. Look at what he’s achieved in the last nine years.

                Russ’s image is clearly one of the most important things to him and he’s clearly not liking the attention to his performance over the 2nd half of the season.

                Or maybe he just saw what we all saw — a football team a mile of serious contention and a coach visibly agitated whenever anyone questioned the way they were playing.

                I also get the feeling that Pete doesn’t think Russ is as good as Russ thinks he is.

                Then why give him a $35m a year contract?

  2. cha

    Well reasoned Rob. Thank you!

    One thing I just realized – news of the PC extension broke right after the Buffalo game if i recall correctly. Right in the midst of the sequence that led to him wrenching the offense back.

    Have to wonder if that might have emboldened Pete to reason that ‘we are going to do things my way.’

    • Big Mike

      Wow, very damning.

    • arias

      I seriously doubt it. He had 41 attempts against Buffalo and 37 the next week against the Rams. He was clearly still trying to cool those two games and just didn’t play very well.

      • arias

        cool==cook. typo.

      • cha

        It’s worth noting in both of those games the defense gave up 17 points on their first 3 drives. Because the defense was so poorly prepped by PC, I might add.

        So the Seahawks are naturally going to be passing more. Not just because there’s some philosophical push and pull with the coach and QB.

        • John_s

          It wasn’t that PC didn’t get the defense prepared it was that Dunbar was playing 10-15 yards back and Buffalo chewed him up. Later on it was noted he was playing with a bad knee

          • Chris

            Pete as much as confirmed that the defensive coaching was unprepared when he expressed surprise at how much Buffalo passed and eschewed the run.

            • Hawkdawg

              That comment alone left me shaking my head. Up to that point, the Hawks had demonstrated an historically bad pass defense. And he was surprised the Bills wanted to throw so much, with a QB that was rising fast, with a true gun for an arm?

              That was disturbing.

              • Rob Staton

                A low point in the Carroll era, really.

          • cha

            No dice.

            PC had DJ Reed in the slot and Linden Stephens, Ryan Neal, Jayson Stanley and Damarious Randall on the bench available to sub in for Dunbar and he chose not to.

            That game was a disaster of bad defensive coaching. And Pete’s response was to reel the offense back in.

            There’s no way that didn’t deepen the divide.

  3. TomLPDX

    I keep thinking about how Sean Payton and Drew Brees would spend the evening before a game going over the game plan, allow Drew to pick the plays he is most comfortable with that Sean has selected for the upcoming game. Peter King wrote about it last year I think. It is a true partnership within the bounds of coach/player. I’ve never heard of the Seahawks doing that and in fact we often hear about how Pete has vetoed a play call in the heat of battle, causing confusion and discord and at times a delay of game penalty.

    Pete has to be aware of his own legacy and should be willing to trust in those around him, including his prize QB. I hope he can see the light

    • Big Mike

      Very good point Tom.

  4. Happy Hawk

    Thanks again for the great insight Rob! I agree that PC and RW need to come together on a process and scheme that they both “own” to win. They have both benefitted from the other during their time/careers in Seattle. You are also right that if PC doesn’t make concessions then a separation is inevitable. The question will be how dug in are the two? and can they see a mutually desirable way forward. IMO losing RW means everyone loses. It is bad business but maybe this reality check backs both sides off the launch buttons.

    • John

      Everyone but Russ will lose. We need Russ more than he needs us. Cowherd made a great point that stars land on their feet. It’s foolish of Seahawks fans to think that they or Pete are so instrumental in Russ’ success. He would go to another team and be a huge star. We would go back to sub .500 which is what Pete’s career was before Russell Wilson. Pay attention to what happened in New England.

  5. Mick

    Rob, I think you nailed it. I think this is also why KJ Wright said that Russell won’t be going anywhere. RW cares less about leaving (the reported 60% chance he’s staying is also quite big if you ask me) and more about how the team is managed. I find it reasonable from him to ask to be involved. I don’t know how to interpret the silence from Pete and John though: is Carroll going to let the OC do his work and manage attack, and is John going to sit down with Wilson and discuss the targets for FA and draft? or does it mean “we don’t care, say what you want until you end up going beyond the line of reconciliation and we have an excuse to accept a trade offer”?

    I don’t worry too much about what the team thinks of Wilson now; it’s quite possible that more players in the team feel the same so they will definitely back him up. And I doubt for example Brown isn’t aware that the LG and the C are not doing the most of what they should.

    • Scot04

      KJ said als long as he’s a Seahawk, Wilson’s not going anywhere. Well very good chance KJ is gone and won’t be a Seahawk. ( No team discount )

  6. Chris

    Very thorough and comprehensive article, Rob.

    Thank you for all you do to make this site one of the first places I check for Seahawks info.

    • Rob Staton

      Thanks Chris

  7. Frank

    This feels like it’s entirely telling a story from RW point of view. Of course offensive players want big stats to get big paydays, and although it really shouldn’t things like the HOF are affected bye statistics that don’t accurately depict how beneficial you are to the team.
    It’s would be really interesting even if just as a thought experiment to look at things more from Carroll’s point of view, especially since he’s the guy that makes the ultimate decision. I’d venture that he feels like most of the concessions he’s made to Wilson are why the Hawks have failed to be a great team instead of just a really good one. I don’t necessarily think RW game at this point of his career is irreplaceable as it applies to what Carrol wants to do to win. Stylistically he may prefer someone who is more of a rushing threat, to really establish pounding the rock. I believe the last contract had more to do with being forced into it as with the Sherman contract, than believing the QB position demanded a elite passer. Don’t get me wrong, I think Carroll would rather keep him than deal with the uncertainty of having to find a new PG to run his team, but if Wilson isn’t willing to play the style that Carroll thinks is the way to win championship isn’t it time to truly establish control over the direction than to be pulled into mediocrity bye having the team direction split?

    • Scot04

      Pulled into mediocrity?
      Carroll’s stubbornness is keeping us in mediocrity, not Wilson.
      Carroll’s way continues to get us early playoff exits.
      In regards to offensive players wanting stats and big contracts.
      Well we had to scheme to get Adams his numbers on defense, and now he wants to get paid as a weapon.
      So Carroll will scheme change for a Safety, but won’t make concessions for his Franchise QB. Seems pretty crazy to me.

      • Roy Batty

        And I don’t remember Russ having any input on previous draft picks. You look at the last 5 years and it’s a near wasteland of nothing tangible to build around for the first two rounds. The lone outliers are Reed and DK, and DK was the luckiest thing to happen to this franchise since Russ was drafted. Did they really need to draft Blair ahead of DK? Brooks is good, but I need more snaps to make a real judgement.

        I’m waiting for some kind of press conference where someone, anyone really, comes forward to state that the relevant parties have met and all this has been worked out. I have near zero faith this will happen, but one can hope.

        Essentially, no press conference happens and FA starts, then Russ is gone. Russ will sit and watch as teams rebuild, retool and invest a lot of money. And he with seethe.

        • AlaskaHawk

          Every year it’s two new guys on the offensive line. Where is the continuity? And where is the star running back to fit Pete’s vision of running the ball. They haven’t had one since Lynch retired. Carson did okay but he probably won’t be extended. I don’t think the foundation of the offense has been addressed because they were too busy whiffing on the defensive picks.

      • Frank

        We schemed up numbers for Russ and DK until teams figured out they only have to cover deep and outside against Wilson and provide a some pass rush to break the Hawks offense. Blame the offense coaching if you want, but historically the more Russ throws the higher percentage of time he turns it over. The defense made a dramatic turn around for the second half of the season when protecting the ball became a priority. DK was right, they got figured out, but it’s not the coaches fault that DK has no blinkers, or that RW invites unnecessarily pressure bye not being able to make timing throws over the middle. I just don’t think giving RW more control improves the team overall, he’s not a truly elite QB. Addams I’m really not sure what to think, he had never played as badly as last year and is a young player. I’d think he’s due a bounce back season, but if a rebuild is in order a box safety isn’t my ideal of where to invest heavily.

        • John

          If you don’t think Russ is elite then you don’t deserve him as your QB. Go back to how the franchise was before he was drafted and have fun being a sub .500 franchise.

  8. bmseattle

    This article lays it out perfectly.
    Basically, Pete is the problem.
    I think all the major problems we’ve discussed over the past several years can be traced back to him.

    Think of the difference in perceived value of Russ and Pete throughout the league.
    Almost every other team would love to have Russ as their QB.
    How many would want Pete Carroll running their franchise?

    Since there is no conceivable way to show Pete the door, it all comes down to his willingness to change his ways (really change them… not just kinda, for a few games), and cede some control.

    If he can do that, I’m optimistic about our chances to turn this around.
    If he pushes Russ out… well, it will be a terrible indictment of his leadership skills.

    Russ is doing what needs to be done.
    The fact that it’s come to this, isn’t a good sign.
    I fear that Pete will stubbornly hold on to his “philosophy”.
    If so, prepare for even more frustration going forward.

  9. Strategicdust

    Nice article, Rob. It really has become quite clear this is a struggle for control and a legacy. Both Pete and Russ seem determined that their way is the best which doesn’t bode well. Without that system of checks and balances, there’s no one to make a decision and put an end to this. As we’ve learned more about this situation as well as previous stories about Pete over extending himself into front office decisions, i believe it’s time for Pete to step down as the coach of this team. Move him into an organizational role for the rest of his contract ( basically make him an advisor or good will ambassador) to allow him a graceful exit but day to day control needs to be taken away from him to allow this team to move forward. This team needs a reset and the flexibility to adjust to new schemes. Bring in Bienemy to coach and let’s move on to the next era of Seahawks football.

  10. Whit21

    For me when the season ended. My feelings were, i wish they didnt extend pete. I felt like it was over and they needed a new coach. Now i think this reinforces my initial reaction.

    Its either trade russ or fire pete. I dont think theres much left to move forward with now..

    Even the new Orleans mayor is making a gross video trying to lure russ and ciara to NO on espns site.. it was despicable..

    Theres no good options left here.. we all know pretty well what trade compensation is gonna be.. dead cap.. ect. Even if they do better on offense.. its not gonna get better.. and that sucks.

    • Roy Batty

      I don’t look at the mayor’s video so harshly. Russ had his agent publicly state that NO was one of his destinations. A player puts that out for all to see, then it’s fair game.

      As for Pete, you and me and most on here agree he is the problem. Without Russ under center the last 6 years, this team doesn’t make the playoffs. Without Pete in charge, this team would have focused on actually building around their franchise QB.

      Unfortunately, Rob and others have hit the nail on the head. The Seahawks are Pete Carroll’s team. Ownership has checked out of the building and won’t return until the new owner walks through the doors at the VMAC.

      • Whit22

        I see what youre saying about the mayor, but I still disagree. Its not the same as a relationship but still.. you wouldnt want to have problems with a significant other and someone making videos or comments and be like.. hey if you guys break up… come bring you’re family this way!

        However i am on the trade russ bandwagon and i kinda was on it last year before more of the russ’ team leaking stuff. Rob has written everytime the hawks were miles away from being legitimately comteding SB despite being in the playoffs.. you either have to work the offense around russ and let him play the way he wants or rebuild the way pete wants.. cant do it both ways..

        Especially when you havnt hit on youre top 2nd and 3rd rounders much.. mcdowell, richardson, Christine michael, nick vannett, cj procise.. and on and on.. they’ve only drafted 3 good receivers in 10 years .. im not counting richardson cause he was a reach and there was massive day 2 talent that were drafted after him..

        Theres talent where they drafted.. they just havnt hit like the first 3 years.. if yiu cant do that, then you have to pick higher in the draft..

        The rams aere the best example of trading their 1st round picks and getting talent in day 2 and some in day 3..

        Russell and pete are not getting younger.. the retool failed.. they have no firsts for 2 drafts and a db that doesnt equal Ramsey.. it may be crazy.. but trading russ, dk, and adams… might be thr only way this team doesnt implode..

        • Whit21

          Incase anyone did read my comment.. which I doubt sometimes since I write too much.. Davante Adams, Allen Robinson, and Jarvis Landry were drafted in the later and late 2nd round in 2014 after Seahawks took Paul Richardson.. because they wanted their “speed guy”..

  11. Frank

    Hypothetically if you could Trade Wilson and Addams, for what became Trey Lance, Najee Harris, Alex Leatherwood, Ben Cleveland, and get D’Wayne Eskridge with the native pick + a first next year and Cap space for some defensive help would it feel like a win in this situation?

    • CHaquesFan

      It depends on two things. Yes, it “feels” like a win for sure.
      However, if Lance busts, definitely not a win
      Similarly, I feel Adams is a vocal leader of the defense. If the defense slips and fails without Adams with Blair, again not a win,

      • Rob Staton

        What evidence is there that Adams is a leader in Seattle?

        I’m not even sure he was that much of a leader in New York.

        He has that reputation. And he’s very full on.

        But leading? I didnt sense he was leading anyone last season.

  12. Sea Mode

    Because if he leads the team back into the wilderness having forced out the franchise quarterback, all for the sake of preserving his own philosophy, it’ll do far more damage than any decision to throw the ball at the one-yard-line ever could.

    Gut punch.

    • Big Mike

      but true

      • Sea Mode

        That’s why it hurts so much.

    • Frank

      I think PC would rather retire, than to concede control. This seems like it’s been brewing for years, and might offer a benefit to both parties to go in different direction. Russ gets someplace that truly wants to put the future of their franchise on him, and PC gets to start great with a big fat stack of draft Capital, and a really great cap situation a year down the road. This could be the beginning of acquiring the stars of the next ten years. 3rd round pick turning into a good QB for a decade and a reboot of the franchise seems pretty smart to me. I’d certainly rather that than for the Hawks to see a Brady/Patriots split.

  13. Switch

    I feel like Pete is starting to bend a bit to Russ and the new NFL. It’s hard to teach an old dog new tricks. The FO has actually tried over the last year or so to make Russ happy but it still hasn’t worked. Hiring Waldron is a step I never thought Pete would take and he did it for Russ. Waldron’s offensive philosophy I believe is the perfect new school system we need to make Russ flourish and Pete’s running philosophy come into the 21st century.

    I’m holding out hope that this new offensive system will come together. If it doesn’t than Russ and Pete will have to part ways this time next year I believe.

    • TomLPDX

      That’s true as far as I can tell. Pete did let Russ cut it loose and then after some high turn-over games he panicked and reverted back to more Peteball, putting the brakes on Russ. Pete needs to take the next step and trust that Russ can right his ship and recover. It would be interesting to know what the “philosophical differences” were with Schotty at the end of the season and how they differed. That would shed some light on what the coming year will be like.

      • Big Mike

        I believe you’re right about the next step Pete needs to take in terms of trusting Russ even when a couple of bad games happen. The results since ’14 convince me you’re right. That said, I have zero hope, as in none, that Pete will do this, I do believe Russ is gone withing the next week or two.
        Prove me wrong Carroll. Crow is tasty.

      • Fudwamper

        I think a deeper dive into this topic that I am unsure if it has been discussed is about Schotty leaving and the ““philosophical differences”. What were those differences? Was Russ involved in those conversations, and if Russ sided more with Schotty than Pete, or did Russ what something completely different?

        • TomLPDX

          I’d really like to know but doubt we ever will.

    • Rob Staton

      If Pete was bending, Mark Rodgers wouldn’t be sending messages to Adam Schefter.

      On Waldron, there are reports Wilson was lukewarm on him but thought he was the best of a bad bunch. That’s not really bending.

      • BruceN

        You have to admit Waldron (from McVay’s coaching tree) would not have been Pete’s first or second choice. So he is bending but not enough. I still hope he comes around before this spins fully out of control.

        As for Waldron not being Russ’s first choice, if he’s anything even close to McVay I’ll be tickled pink. And Russ would be very happy.

        • Rob Staton

          That’s not Russ’ priority though is it?

          This isn’t about Waldron or the OC

          It’s about Pete

  14. paul difuria

    I agree that if Pete and Russ cannot get on the same page, we have real issues no matter how this plays out. You may be correct that after a great run, we are in for an era of shite Hawks football.

    But thankfully, Russ and Ciara have that covered by introducing R&C Fragrance Duo. So while it might look like poop on the field, as per the website, the smell will: blend in perfect harmony with its aromatic heart, notes of lavender combine with juicy pear blossom and waterlily conveying strength and dynamic energy.

    So that bit is good.

  15. Big Mike

    By the way, I think you’ve summed the situation up 100% correctly Rob.

    • Rob Staton


  16. Submanjoe

    Thanks for taking the time and putting in the effort to articulate all this 👌. Rare these days

    • Rob Staton


  17. Ryan

    What a great article, Rob. Amazing summation of the entire saga.

    It’s so ironic how stubborn Pete is to stick to his philosophy, even at the risk of losing a franchise quarterback, when their roster management (which he is in charge of) has seemed to abandon his own philosophy. – Where’s the power running game Pete wants? Where’s the smothering defense? Those things don’t exist, this team is held up by Russell on strings, and it’s like Pete refuses to see what kind of team he himself has crafted.

    • Rob Staton

      Thanks Ryan

  18. Switch

    I wonder if Pete has in the back of his mind that JS can find another cheap QB in the draft and start to rebuild a young defense again. He wants to play great defense and run the ball with explosive plays here and there. Does he really think he needs a super expensive QB to basically just manage the offense and not turn the ball over? Hmmm

  19. Happy Hawk

    Chicago trade scenario. I personally don’t think we should consider it.

    • Rob Staton

      It’s not good enough.

      Enjoy Nick Foles

      • Ryan

        If we’re dealing with the Bears, do you think Roquan is attainable?

        • Rob Staton

          If you’re the Bears, I think you have to consider anything at this stage.

          I would rather have Mack though

          • cha

            That would so completely be a Seahawks move though – make an ILB who is entering the last affordable season of his rookie contract the centerpiece of a mega trade. And then play him in a different LB spot.

            Can’t get enough linebackers don’t you know…

  20. SeaTown

    PC will leave the Seahawks in the same shape he left USC.

    • BobbyK

      Sadly, it’s looking that way 100%.

      That will equal his legacy of winning championships, too.

  21. JJ

    With the power Carroll has over the team how much of the decisions being made in free agency and the draft are in Schneider?

    Who wanted McDowell,Taylor, Penny?

    Who made the decision to sign 20 offensive linemen instead of getting Conklin?

    • Rob Staton

      Good questions

  22. ElPasoHawk

    Rob, I think Russ May have started with the thought of nudging Pete to cede some control of the offense, but I think he is trying to force his way out without demanding a trade. The leaks about Carroll’s kids yesterday felt like a personal shot and Pete’s #1 rule is to protect the team. All of these leaks are meant to try to make it impossible not to trade him. Management has been silent which, to me, indicates they don’t want to ruin any leverage in trade negotiations. They need teams to believe that they would be willing to keep him, otherwise the return will be disappointing.

    • Rob Staton

      Possibly. I’m not convinced Wilson was the source of that Athletic article though.

      • ElPasoHawk

        Yeah, I hope I’m wrong. I don’t like the idea of watching the team struggle for the foreseeable future. The Atlantic article source may have been Schottenheimer or maybe one of the Carrol kids which might explain the shot at them. I don’t think Carroll or Schneider would be the source.

  23. Rory

    I honestly don’t fault Pete any more than I fault Russ, in terms of their divergent views on “how best to win”. I don’t really blame either of them for having a philosophy and believing in that philosophy. It’s good to have conviction in what you believe is right. Even in this modern era of football, I think Pete can be successful at his brand of football. But so can Russell with his.

    The two things that bother me most are:

    1. A really good coach and player can’t get along and come to an agreement. If this rift persists, I worry about the Hawks struggling with identity. Is it Pete’s team? Is it Russ team? And if RW goes, are we capable of successfully rebuilding a championship roster?

    2. The approach to drafting and free agency has been bordering on the bizarre for years. I’ve had a ton of faith in PC/JS over the years, because sometimes their weird ass approach has worked. But they are losing that benefit of the doubt fast, and it’s a bummer to feel the trust eroding.

    I haven’t felt this lack of confidence in a sports team since, well, the entire Mariners existence. Is that what we’re turning into?

    • John

      Pete is sub .500 during his career before Russ.

  24. Simon McInnes

    Firstly, I heartily endorse any article that describes the Dallas Cowboys as inglorious company.
    Secondly, the thing that mystifies me is why Russell publicly made a big deal of this in a close season where the team has so little room for manoeuvre in regard to serious overhaul of any position group. It hints at a bit of panic on his part, unless this has been rumbling on behind the scenes for an awful lot longer than we know.

    • Rob Staton

      Panic is one word you could use. I prefer to describe it as him being well aware that he turns 33 in November and he doesn’t want to waste any more time in a situation that he doesn’t believe is conducive to success

    • Sean

      I’d argue he made a deal of it quietly last year and supported the Let Russ Cook campaign. They had lots of cap last year and real options. They blew it. So I don’t think it’s fair to construe this as Russ picking a bad time for the team to change. He’s probably been trying for years to no avail, so he’s trying something new. Contrast that with Pete trying the same thing over and over, even when it is not successful.

  25. BobbyK

    Wilson has propped up Carroll for too many years now. I’d be sick of it if I were Wilson too.

    I don’t believe Pete is a dinosaur like some think. I simply think he sucks at acquiring talent (something they were so good at a decade ago).

    Pete can win with talent. Most coaches can.

    Schneider does the Carlos Dunlap and DJ Reed stuff. Carroll does the Percy Harvin and Jamal Adams stuff.

    They need draft picks AND to hit on them with more regularity, but it’s hard when Pete is throwing them away. And when Pete isn’t throwing them away, he’s preferring Malik McDowell over TJ Watt and Rashaad Penny over Nick Chubb. Think of how much better the state of the franchise would be had it not been for those two horrible decisions.

    Basically, I wish Pete Carroll would get out of his own way and stick to coaching. I think I’d feel much better with Schneider in charge of the long-term vision. Pete has no long-term vision anymore. I’m not trying to be insensitive one single bit, but I know plenty people who are Pete’s age who are dead. Once you get to a certain point (an 80-some year old neighbor told me last summer), you start thinking about the past and not the future.

    • Rob Staton

      I think it’s clear Pete is a master motivator and culture builder.

      But I think it’s also clear for a while that he needed less power, not more.

      Run the defense. Focus on that — and being the figurehead.

      Let someone else run the offense. Let John run personnel.

      • dcd2


      • Ryan

        I’d be really interested to see John run personnel. Let’s see if all this ‘being too cute’ stuff on draft day is John or not.

    • dcd2

      I agree with pretty much all of this.

      They have been getting progressively worse at drafting, FA and any high profile trade for years. In the last five years we would have been better off taking a poll of SDB regulars for the picks. Last year we’d have probably had Jonathan Taylor and Chase Claypool or Raekwon Davis. Instead we took an off-ball LB who played about 30% of defensive snaps and a broken EDGE who never came close to sniffing the field.

    • Dingbatman

      Schneider does the Carlos Dunlap and DJ Reed stuff. Carroll does the Percy Harvin and Jamal Adams stuff.

      How do you know this? Has it ever been disclosed who has been behind which transaction?

  26. cha

    I think what I struggle with in this whole saga is Pete Carroll has in many ways abandoned his core principles in so many areas.

    -being the bully on both sides of the ball

    -being able to coach lesser-talented players on defense to the point they can belong on an NFL roster

    -having a solid front 4 on the DL to take on 5 and get pressure
    -and its brother ‘keeping the play in front of you’
    -and its cousin ‘don’t take defensive risks’
    -and its other brother ‘little to no blitzing’

    -getting promising young players reps and living with the occasional mistake rather than have place-holder vets filling holes

    -the jumbo package and blowing teams off the OL in the run game, then peeling a set of plays off of that formation

    -piecing together a defensive backfield on the cheap

    Almost all of those core values have been pushed aside.

    However, on the one area where the team has honest to goodness weapons and has had success, nope, we have to put shackles on it and do it his way because that’s his tried and true formula.

    • Matt

      Pete’s reluctance to rely on younger guys has been the biggest head scratcher for me. It used to be so exciting watching a younger player find himself and dreaming of the potential player that they could become. That has now been filled by middling older free agents who “are who they are.”

      It’s becoming hard to believe in Pete’s product when he shows so much uncertainty about it himself. This is why I’m pro trade RW. Commit to a direction Pete! I don’t mind watching the team struggle while it’s clear what they are trying to build. They haven’t done that for years and it’s frustrating.

      The only person showing any conviction in this process is RW – which is why I’m on his side, even if that means “trading him.”

    • Rob Staton

      100% spot on

    • Hawkhomer

      Good points Cha.

    • dcd2

      Great points.

    • Big Mike

      REALLY well said cha

  27. Matt

    Fantastic stuff, per usual, Rob.

    It’s been mentioned in the comments above, but I agree that RW probably hasn’t lost his teammates. That said…I don’t see how things can be reconciled with PC – at least to the level where things are back at square 1.

    I just don’t see it. Maybe over the course of years it can be fixed, but does either guy view things in terms of “years,” when it comes to their career (in the sense of sacrificing)?

    I’m more than ready to move on from Pete, but we all know that’s not happening. So I think barring some miracle – they need to just get on with dealing RW. Pete is going to be here; I despise his style of football and I don’t think it works barring having a generational defense, which he will never build again; but, the denominator is not changing – so let’s go all in on Pete’s style. At the very least, we may come to watch a bad team, but one that at least has direction. I’d prefer that over the fool’s gold that has been the last 5 years.

    • Rob Staton

      Thanks Matt

      You might be right regarding PC’s and RW’s relationship

  28. STTBM

    The last few years are a primer on what happens when one guy has all the power. Didn’t we learn our lesson with Holmgren as GM/Coach? He was a far better coach than Carrol, much better at adapting, at time management, yet he failed miserably when it was all his way. Paul Allen knew things work best with true collaboration, and he saw too it that no one had all the say–in the draft, in free agency, in management…when he died, all that went out the window.

    Carrol tries to plug holes in the roster by drafting specific positions, and doesn’t seem to have a multi-year plan: it’s panic at the disco every year. Hes bringing I older retread players he knows rather than bringing in the best he can get–and he’s overpaying the. And once again, he made a terrible trade for a player who doesn’t fit his system, and will overpay him.

    It’s a failing system, and he’s dragging the ship down with himself.

    As Trump would say, “Sad.”.

  29. RWIII

    Basically what Russell Wilsonsaw is saying is that he wants Pete Carroll”s nose out of the offense. If I had to pick between Russell Wilson and Pete Carroll it is a no-brainer. I would give Pete Carroll a pink slip. Unfortunately it doesn’t work that way. Russell Wilson showed his hand. Now it’s up to Pete Carroll.

    I will say this. If Russell Wilson wants to beat the Rams. Look how Green Bay beat the Rams. The Packers ran the football up the gut(primarily inside the tackles). The Packers threw short quick passes. Green Bay kept the Rams defense off balance.

  30. STTBM

    Rob, best article on the situation I’ve read. Most paid guys keep whining about the dead cap hit, and minimizing Carrols bad free agency, trade, and draft decisions. I bet Carrol would HATE it if you were hired by the Times…I can just hear him get all pissy from your probing questions lol!

    • Rob Staton

      Thank you

      We owe it to ourselves to try and understand what this situation is about, rather than just play things down and look for excuses to avoid having uncomfortable discussions

      • cha

        Similar to what I said above, examining the whole picture, including the defense.

        I don’t think a single beat writer is talking about how poor the defense has been and how that is affecting this relationship.

        Seriously. If the defense made stops and occasionally gave Russ a short field, I bet about 50-60% of this tension would be gone. They’d have progressed farther in the playoffs, Russ would get more chances for scores and they’d be winning. Success suppresses a lot of complaints.

        Keep it going.

        • Rob Staton

          Seahawks are 5-0.

          They’re leading by 10 points with six minutes to go against the Cardinals. Wilson is on fire again.

          They end up losing the game.

          Shortly after, the wheels come off.

          People need to recognise the defense is a big part of this.

          • dcd2

            Not to mention, the way the defense was playing, we should have been 0-5 at that point.

          • cha

            Well hang on there. It just so happened in that game they didn’t have their magical strong safety in that game. I mean if he’d been there they would have won 63-0.

            • cha

              And not because he’s a good player, he just gets everyone else ‘jacked up’ and ‘brings energy into the building’

              • Big Mike

                Yep, cuz he’s a “warrior”!!

            • Rob Staton

              Doh, silly me

  31. Hawkhomer

    So there are many here in the give Russ control camp. My question to you all is do you think Russ can also change? If he continues to be indecisive and hold onto the ball and look for the big play he will continue to get hammered I don’t care who you get to block for him. Can Russ learn to throw to a spot and trust his receiver will be there? These are my 2 biggest issues with Russ. If he can’t grow also, as has been suggested that Pete does, then every team we face will simply play 2 high safety, pin their ears back and dare Russ to beat us with the short and intermediate game. Waldron played a timing offense giving the receivers the ball with a head of steam to run for those extra yards. Wilson’s strength is the deep ball. I think part of that is his inability to see his players on short crossing routes.

    I am grateful to have been able to watch Russ develop and love watching him play. In a run oriented offense which demands the defense respect the line I think he is the most dangerous qb in the league. I am not convinced that the style of ball he wants to play that brings him stats will lead to victory in the playoffs. Curious what you guys think? This is all about Russ. Pete has his own issues and I am not being his cheerleader. Unfortunately I think we have nowhere to go but down if Russ doesn’t see his own limitations. Which I am not sure he is capable of because his own desire to be great does not allow him to think he has any deficiencies in his own game.

    • Rob Staton

      “So there are many here in the give Russ control camp”

      I’m not in that camp or any other camp. I can’t speak for others. I’m just summarising the situation, why Wilson has an issue and what it’s going to take to resolve it.

      If he continues to be indecisive and hold onto the ball and look for the big play he will continue to get hammered I don’t care who you get to block for him.

      Can Wilson play better, based on what we saw in the second half of the season? Yes, he can. I’m sure he would admit that himself if pressed.

      But are we also going to ignore that he’s the main reason why they make the playoffs every year?

      I am not convinced that the style of ball he wants to play that brings him stats will lead to victory in the playoffs.

      Well, Carroll’s style of ball has produced one playoff win in four years. So I’m willing to try something different.

      • Hawkhomer

        Well, as Cha pointed out earlier I am not sure we have been experiencing Pete ball, at least the Pete ball that built our championship team, for quite some time. I think Russ feels like he needs to do it all and is more than willing to try. Both of those things are why we are where we are.

        I would love to know what it would take for Russ to be content to stay. A l.guard, center and 3rd option of his choice? I don’t think that would be enough. Input on the draft? Probably still not enough. Autonomy in play calling? That might be interesting as Russ is probably the best backyard qb of all time. I just don’t see that happening under any circumstances.

        • Rob Staton

          Well I think the article looks at what it’ll take

          • Hawkhomer

            Fair. And I don’t disagree. Love your analysis.

        • Ryan

          GREAT way to put it. Think we are all biased in this deal. I’ll admit mine, I’m unabashedly with Pete. It’s a no-brainer to me, you go with the guy that has a vision and belief about the entire team concept, not the guy who has a vision about his legacy, or his MVP candidacy, or his brand.

          The thing I don’t get is how people have decided how to apportion credit/blame. If I’m reading Russ supporters the right way, Russ has dragged an otherwise terrible team into the playoffs, but it’s Pete’s fault we haven’t actually succeeded in the playoffs, even when Russ plays poorly. Maybe it’s as you and cha have said, we are stuck in the middle where both deserve credit/blame because we aren’t fully doing one or the other.

          All I know for sure is that one way — Pete’s way — worked the best we’ve ever seen, but for some reason that is unclear to me people have decided that way won’t work any more, so he should be blown out the door so Russ can forge a new way.

          • Rob Staton

            Russ supporters / Pete supporters

            No, just analysis of the situation as is

          • STTBM

            I’m not a Russ supporter per se, either. He’s got flaws, and didn’t handle things as I would like. But I feel Carrol needed less power and to leave the offense alone aside from Russ’s issues. Much of Wilson’s performance isdues–past and present–I feel are related to Carrol: his fear of turnovers, his determination that offense should go slow to milk the clock in order to help out his precious defence, Russ refusing to fit the ball into tight windows for fear of turnovers, and his hesitancy once Carrol clamped down. All Carrol.

            Russ is a great qb: Carrol is noonger a great coach. And no one outside Bellicheat has succeeded with so much power. So that leaves me to choose RW, especially since I’ve been fed up with Carrol for years.

          • Jeff

            “All I know for sure is that one way — Pete’s way — worked the best we’ve ever seen, but for some reason that is unclear to me people have decided that way won’t work any more, so he should be blown out the door so Russ can forge a new way.”

            “Some reason” = it hasn’t been working for the better part of a decade now. The defense is getting worse with every passing year. Pete is above all else supposed to be a DB guru, yet three of our four starting DBs are from outside the organization. The drafting has been a mess.

            In terms of measuring total team success it’s hard to disentangle Russ and PCJS. But you can look at the parts that only one of them have influence over, and when you do the PCJS only parts look pretty bad, and have for a while. I think this is what it comes down to for Russ: Pete no longer has the credibility to just say “trust me.”

            • Rob Staton

              One playoff win in four years

              Defense regressing year by year

              Not developing players

              Squandering resources

              Propped up by a QB a lot of the time for the past few years

              That’s why Pete’s way is being challenged

    • Big Mike

      As I said a few days back, the spiteful side of me wants to see Russ in New Orleans playing for a creative offensive coach like Payton who is used to a short QB and has designed an offense and built an offensive line to accommodate that. I think you’d see a whole let less holding on to the ball and a whole lot more timing stuff in the intermediate range. I believe quite strongly he’d thrive beyond anything we’ve ever seen in Seattle.

      The Seahawks fan in me wants him to go to Vegas so we can get Carr back who’s at least above average.

  32. Mark T

    Congrats Rob – great article and, to echo a few other comments, the best summary of the situation I’ve read to date.

    • Rob Staton

      Thanks Mark

  33. Cysco

    What Wilson is doing by speaking publicly is bringing to light what many of us have felt about Carroll. It’s hard to know if his words are meant for the ears of Pete or Vulcan.

    Pete is a man of habit. He has his system that he has an unwavering belief is how you win in the NFL. If you don’t buy into the system you are gone (players and coaches). It’s a level of arrogance and stubbornness that explains why he has rubbed a number of star players the wrong way. It explains why the team is so poor at adjusting in games. It explains why so many questionable personnel decisions have been made. He believes it’s not the players, it’s the system.

    I don’t see any chance that Wilson will break through to Carroll. For Pete, it’s not the QB, it’s the system. The sentiment that Pete doesn’t view Wilson the way that Wilson, and most of the league views Wilson I think is true.

    The view that if Pete doesn’t listen to Wilson, Russ is gone I don’t think it the right sentiment. Really it’s – If Wilson doesn’t get in line and buy into the system, he is gone.

  34. mantis

    i remember the first 3 or 4 yrs of pete and russ was so exciting, we had marshawn, LOB, etc., i looked forward to every game. The last 3 or 4 yrs has been so unexciting that it is almost boring (even tho they were winning). Then this year happened and the first half was exciting again but reverted back to boring again. If Russ doesn’t get his way it will be boring football again whether he stays or goes.

    • Rob Staton

      i remember the first 3 or 4 yrs of pete and russ was so exciting, we had marshawn, LOB, etc., i looked forward to every game. The last 3 or 4 yrs has been so unexciting that it is almost boring

      You’re not alone there

  35. cha

    It is scary to think about the current ownership situation and think on the possibility that the only honest broker in the building to hold Pete to account (RW) is on the verge of being shown the door.

    • Rob Staton

      They’ll have to bring back ‘Tater’…

      • Rob Staton



        The timing of my comment there is unreal

        And his son is getting a job too

        • cha


          They caught the Tater

          • TomLPDX

            Also hired Deshawn Shead as an asst. d-backs coach

          • Ryan

            I got the Ron White reference.

        • cha

          Bob Condotta
          I can confirm some Seahawks coaching assistant staff changes as first reported by
          . Smith will return to a role of helping with clock and game management. DeShawn Shead being added as a replacement for Tom Donatell, who had been a defensive quality control coach.

          Does that include muting Pete’s headset on 4th downs?

          • dcd2

            Swap out his challenge flag for a Kleenex while you’re at it Tater.

            • cha

              Or make him wear a bulky coat with multiple pockets.


              • Roy Batty

                And fill those pockets with a handkerchief cannister that magicians use to pull out knotted hankies, one after another, none of them colored red.

                Comic gold.

        • ABCinco

          According to that article though these changes were agreed upon prior to the super bowl. So I don’t know if this changes anything in Russell’s perspective.

          • Rob Staton

            Sure, Tater’s coming in to be Mr. Accountability for Pete

            • STTBM

              I detest Smith, and want to puke that he’s back. He’s too conservative, and I have never been happier than when Seattle began phasing him out. Look at Bledsoes stats each year with Smith: less TD’s, slightly higher completion rate, slightly lower picks each year. Gross! Wilson needs someone who can push him, not hold him back..

              Maybe he will help reign Pete in…And Russ loves him, so maybe it’s ok…

              But bringing his kid in is grotty! Same old White Guy Nepotism Carrol is famous for. Let good DCs and assistants go, bring in old pals with no brains like Norton, bring in your kids and your old pals kids …

              That ain’t a recipe for anything good.

  36. Pran

    Honestly, philosophy is fine, this is what took Seattle to two SBs and multiple division titles and playoffs. Its just the execution that has become worse over the years in all aspects.

    Russell is challenging the status quo which was missing. Generally, ownership prefers franchise QBs over HCs. it is opposite here as we all know Pete is CEO with no ownership oversight. Hence Russ trying to find his way out as he simply cannot force change. We can ask why not work it out with Pete but differences are irreconcilable and might have been playing out for some time in the background.

  37. Christon

    Phenomenal piece Rob! I’m so grateful you are blogging about the Seahawks because this is really good stuff.

    • Rob Staton

      Thanks Christon!

  38. lyon

    Remember the improvised pass to David Moore in the closing seconds of game 17 – the one that was worth $100k to David Moore? The look on Pete’s face? In retrospect, that seems like the first public FU to Pete because you know the call was a kneel-down.

    RW has made his stand. I think he gets traded over the coming days because Pete is locked in to his own thing and pumped about it. It’ll be a disaster. Pete will turn a $100 bill into a can of beans, a fiver and a handful of change. And be pumped about it. It would be great to be wrong.

    I love the Inglorious Company – Pete’s closest comp in the NFL right now is probably Jerry Jones – too much power, insignificant results.

    It’s fascinating watching a franchise in potential meltdown. Unfortunately, it’s mine.

    Great article.

    • Rob Staton


    • BobbyK

      Unfortunately your Jerry Jones/Pete comp is pretty spot on. I wish you were wrong.

      Rumor has it the Seahawks are going to trade their 1st round pick in ’23 for a late-3rd round pick this year so they can get a SAM. Play for now. F the future!

  39. cha

    Matt Nagy and Ryan Pace are scheduled to talk to the media on Tuesday.

    Getcha popcorn ready.

    • Rob Staton


      Coaches and GM’s are allowed to speak to the media???

      When was that law passed???

      • Switch


          • UkAlex6674

            That is from last week pre-dating the 4 teams Rodgers put out there. Unlikely to be any ground breaking news?

            • Rob Staton

              Well they’re speaking on March 2nd. So someone in the Chicago media is going to ask them about Wilson. We’ll see what they say. Cha’s not implying that the press conference was scheduled for a big announcement.

              • Switch

                I guess I didn’t realize ‘ Getcha popcorn ready’ was sarcastic.

                • Rob Staton

                  Cha wasn’t being sarcastic.

                  He’s implying it’ll be interesting to listen to because they’ll get asked about Wilson.

              • cha


                This is the biggest story in the NFL right now.

                Both of these guys are weeks away from the team announcing they’ll have jobs in 2021.

                What they say or don’t say will be very interesting, and telling.

                Unless the Chicago press decides to ask them about their COVID protocols or how good they think Khalil Mack is, or ask Jim Nagy if he played basketball in high school.

                • Big Mike

                  Or how awesome Roquon Smith is

                  • CHaquesFan

                    and how he continues to be so good week in and week out

  40. Gary

    I just realized that I used to visit 6 – 8 different sites to get all the Hawks news and takes I need, but have gradually dumped them all and now I only come here. Every day. Articles such as this are the reason why. Incredible work Rob, and so grateful for your commitment and dedication to it. Sincere thanks.

    • Rob Staton

      Thanks Gary — that means a lot

      Really appreciated

    • 206

      2nd that! I remember the days when I used to get information from…. LOL

    • Roy Batty

      I still peruse those sites, but its for pure comic relief. The denial, backbiting, and self-imposed dementia. One writer posts about a total rebuild, with Pete still in charge. Another about dumping Pete and every single good player so Russ can run the show. Then there are the “borrow like a gamestop investor” against 2022 syndrom. Hardly any of them has stepped back and taken a realistic approach of parsing out the many nuances of this whole fiasco like Rob has.

      I love it.

  41. JFreeman

    The analysis is spot on. No doubt RW has addressed this internally to no avail. He is doing what he can to change the situation.

    However, this has been an issue since his first big contract. PC has never needed a HOF passer to run his offense or win championships, and RW wasn’t fully RW in the SB years.

    Play stifling defense and run the ball. That’s what PC wants to do. He has been very successful with this approach. It would be unreasonable to expect a 70 year old, championship winning coach, to change his formula, especially to one he knows contains significant weaknesses.

    It would be incompetent for PC to give in to RW’s demands, in the same way it would be incompetent to sub PC into a competitive game for a starting player. PC is the coach, and he has earned his place. RW is a young star, whose place it is on the field.

    Having said all that, I am an inclusive leader, in that I always seek the input and involvement of the team, so I would naturally have been doing that all along. But apparently PC isn’t.

    If all this is true, then a divorce is inevitable, and maybe even in Seattle’s favor (from PC’s perspective). Maybe he can then afford the defense he really wants by playing a rookie QB for cheap. Only time will tell if that’s a winning strategy.

    As for RW, I don’t see how he can expect to be successful in Chicago, although I get the appeal. Lack of weapons and a good offensive line, in particular.

    Dallas seems like a dream scenario for him, but I don’t see how he expects the control he desires with Jerry Jones looking over his shoulder.

    • BobbyK

      So you’re saying they would have won Super Bowl XLVIII with Tarvaris Jackson at QB? Jackson would have been able to beat the 49ers in the NFC Championship Game? Please tell me you’re not saying that.

      What “championship” has Pete Carroll ever won without a good/great QB? If you want to go to his USC days, fine – Matt Leinart sucked in the NFL. I’ll give you that. But he won the Heisman Trophy at USC when they won the National Championship.

      Pete Carroll is basically Marty Schottenheimer except one of those two had a franchise QB.

      • Switch

        Would we have won it with Derek Carr though?

        • BobbyK

          Derek Carr was still in college.

          • Switch


            I think you know what I mean.

      • JFreeman

        This is what I mean:

        Year yards TD int

        2012: 3118 26 10
        2013: 3357 26 9
        2014 3475 20 7
        2017 3983 34 11
        2018 3448 35 7
        2019 4110 31 5
        2020 4212 40 13

        In the first few years, including the Championship years, RW was largely constrained to a game manager role, while the defense and the running game predominated. Not to say that he wasn’t competent, or even very good in that role, only that the team’s success was not dependent on him.

        As for PC’s competency as a coach, and whether he has properly earned those championships, both in college and the NFL, I don’t know. Only that it is clear how he wants to play the game, and how he wants to structure the team. He lucked into RW in the third round, after drafting two defensive players in the first and second.

        The original sin for PC was probably RW’s second contract, and definitely the third. But I think he was somewhat trapped by circumstances, leading to the conflict we have today.

        To reiterate, I am not endorsing PC’s strategy, or its history, only pointing out what he wants to do, and when he had the most success in the NFL with a rookie QB being paid third round money while he stocked his team with defensive superstars and a mad man running the ball.

        • STTBM

          You’re looking at stats in a vacuum, and your thesis is inaccurate. How many games in the early years were won when Pete finally let Russ play, late in the half and at the end of the games?! Lots! They lost some too, not because Russ couldn’t play at an elite level, but because Pete wouldn’t let him, played his cards too close to his vest.

          Only reason Pete let him go finally is they began phasing out Tater, and the defense fell apart. Now, despite the D still not being great, Pete wants to prop it up by hamstringing the offense, making the offense more about running out the clock and wearing a team down than about scoring.

          • JFreeman

            The point is being missed. RW was limited in those early years and not fundamental to PC’s approach to football. I am not arguing that anyone else other than RW would have won the SB, and appeared in another — perhaps they wouldn’t have. What I am suggesting is that PC had the team he wanted in those years, one with a stifling defense and effective run game, one that didn’t depend on a $35mil/year future HOFer at the QB position.

            I am not saying PC is right, or that he would have been successful without RW. Only that we have seen his formula work in those years, and fail in later years when he was paying for an elite QB.

            With that historical context, I am arguing that PC is unlikely to change to suit RW, and that a trade might suit PC quite well.

            If that happens, I won’t be surprised if PC enjoys the same success next year that Belicheck experienced this one.

            • Fudwamper

              You completely left off his rushing yards and rushing TD’s. Russ was the main reason for almost all those wins except that Huston game.

            • Big Mike

              Here’s what I do know………you and the rest of us are very likely about to find out if Pete’s “formula” is going to bring success with a lesser QB. I, like ,many others here feel that Russ has propped Pete up over the last several years and think he’ll be winning far more than Seattle will after he leaves. Bottom line, I sincerely hope you post back here after next season if Pete’s formula has resulted in say a 7-9 season. And if the Hawks are much better than that I’ll be here chowing crow happily.

              • JFreeman

                Big Mike,

                Please read my last post again. I am not asserting that PC’s strategy would be effective without RW. I am only asserting that we know his formula for success (from his perspective). I am also not suggesting the Seahawks will be better off without Wilson. My last line in the last post was:

                “If that happens [trading RW], I won’t be surprised if PC enjoys the same success next year that Belicheck experienced this one.”

                So 7-9 for the Seahawks next year after trading RW wouldn’t surprise me at all.

  42. Larry

    Rob, have you had a chance to listen to PFN’s Breaking Down the Board podcast? The main host is a guy named Steve that worked 33 years as a scout. It’s released on Friday nights (US West Coast time). While the presentation isn’t the greatest (the host kind of gets off track at times), I thought some of his takes and evaluations were pretty interesting to listen to. It was nice for a change to have someone that wouldn’t sugarcoat their takes like a Daniel Jeremiah has been accustomed to. I don’t always agree with his takes, but it’s a fun listen. This week he broke down the RBs that he had scouted in person and gives tidbits on what his sources at schools tell him. Last week he talked about the QBs

    • Rob Staton

      I haven’t, I’ll check it out

  43. Sea Mode

    The reality is that PC and the Seahawks need Russ WAY more than Russ needs PC or the Seahawks. If I’m PC, that’s what gets me sat around a table with Russ, JS, and Waldron to hash this thing out once and for all, and well before FA and the draft.

    • Ryan

      If Russ ends up in Chicago with their bad OL and no offensive weapons, we’ll see about that. If he can drag Tarik Cohen and Cole Kmet to a 12-4 record, I will forever admit I was wrong to back Pete in this.

  44. Donovan

    The Ryen Russillo podcast from Thursday devotes its first 8 minutes to the RW saga. Well worth a listen.

  45. STTBM

    Carrol is so arrogant, I think he’s gonna go silent on Russ, and make Russ be the bad guy and demand a trade. I’m not falling for it: either Carrol swallows some pride or I’m not giving Seattle any more of my hard earned time or money.

    • Pugs1

      Carroll is under no obligation to speak out. He needs to try and patch things up. Russ and his camp has said what they felt needed to be said anymore comments is more proof that Russ wants out and is trying to provoke a trade.

      • STTBM

        I meant Carrol needs to sit down with Russ, not blab to media. Rumors are there’s been zero contact between Russ and Seahawks brass for two weeks…

  46. Trevor

    Incredible stuff Rob by far the most well thought out and reasonable work I have seen done on the topic to date. Seattle and national media / writers should use this as the reference point and direct people with questions on the topic to this piece.

    I the Twitter age it is nice to see a fully hashed out and articulated point of view on the scenario not restricted by the # of characters. Great stuff as always.

    • Rob Staton

      Thanks Trevor

  47. GoHawksDani

    I see truth to both sides.
    But to me it’s broken…a trade is inevitable if not this year than next.
    The roster is a mess.
    Who are the guys this team couldn’t live without?
    Brown? He’s great, but old
    Lewis was good but only played one year, lets wait and see
    Lockett? He’s awesome sometimes but also disappears for games (is that on him?)
    DK? He has crazy high ceiling but a couple of red flags (seems a bit primadonna sometimes, makes awful drops, stupid mistakes, etc)
    Reed? Nope
    Bobby? Getting older and too pricey
    Adams? No…Just no

    Are there anyone who’d really hurt losing? Maybe Russ…
    So…with at least like 20 player holes in the roster, almost 0 money and only a handful of picks, I have zero trust this team can go to the SB next year. I really doubt they can even reach the PO.

    Lets pretend Russ gets the wheel and they give him a decent LG and an OK RB.
    That is the most this team can give. Would Russ be happy with the outcome? I highly doubt. He wants to win multiple SBs. Can he buy into that in 2-3 years this team can get back to SB form? Maybe…but that’s a huge maybe.
    So I think even if they give Russ more control he won’t wait until this team gets back to being good and he’ll request a trade next year.

    But if Carroll see that this team with so few resources has really limited chance to make it in his likely last contract, he might roll the dice and try to win his way with his wanted team. It’s pretty complex and we can only see like 5% of the whole picture. But based on that I think it’s very likely Russ will be traded this year…and it’s even more likely he will be traded in this or the following year

  48. Trevor

    I am to the point now that I would like to see the following.

    -Trade Russ Raiders for (3) 1st and a 3rd + Mariotta and Jacobs
    -Trade Bobby to the Jets for their 3rd this year or 2nd next year. Saleh brings in a vet he knows to change the culture.
    -Trade Adam’s to Miami for a 1st this year and 2nd next year.

    Hawks use the draft capital this year to add solid young OL and DL studs to build the team around going forward.

    Team misses the playoffs and Vulcan sells the team during the off season. They bring in a new front office and rebuild with a 2 yr time horizon to be an SB contender with tons of draft capital and cap space to work with.

    I would sooner this and would find it more exciting as a fan than 3 more years of Russ and Pete bickering on their way to 10-6 and a first round playoff loss.

    • BobbyK

      I don’t think it would be more fun to finish 4-12 with Mariotta especially when we wouldn’t even get the well deserved top-5 pick that should come with it. Pete has created a mess.

      • Trevor

        Have you enjoyed the last 4-5 years knowing your team has no shot at the SB? That’s what we have to look forward to unless there is a massive shake up. A perennial 10-6 first or second round exit. I would sooner 4-12 with the knowledge that we are building towards having a legit shot. Everyone views things differently. I don’t cheer for a team hoping they are better than average I want a team that can win a championship and would endure a couple of crap years to get it gladly.

      • dcd2

        You’re right, but for the wrong reasons IMO. I think Mariota is a perfectly acceptable bridge QB and might even be a great fit for what Pete wants to do.

        The problem with him is his cap number is highly incentivized, to the point that we wouldn’t even save very much money if he ends up starting for most of the year. I think he can make ~$15M-$20M with playing time, wins and other performance incentives.

        No offense to Marcus, because I actually like him, but that’s WAY too much $$. Give me Gardner Minshew for a day 3 pick at $800k. He basically got benched so that the Jags could tank more effectively. His numbers as a rookie were damn near as good as RW’s SB year, and he didn’t start until week 3.

    • Donovan

      If we have to trade RW, then I like this plan. Frees up ton of cap space to invest in lines.

    • GoHawksDani

      I have my doubts about we’d get a 3rd and next year 2nd for Bobby. I think a 3rd is what we’d get for him. Big contract, ageing guy, good ILB but he’s game declined a bit

      And I have doubts about Adams too. Will be really expensive, good at blitzing but mediocre/bad at coverage, seems like a one trick pony, was hurt a lot last year. So I think a mid-late 1st is the most we could get for him. Maybe even only an early second. SEA got robbed with the trade for him…it was like something Bill O’Brien would’ve done.

      And I also don’t think the sell will happen this soon. It’s a pretty intricate process, and might take some time to finalise. BUT, I have hope with decent draft stock and money this team could get back to the SB in 3 years from now…they need to hit the draft and FA on all the right spots, but if they get lucky or get better scouting it could be done.
      2 good DE, 1 good LB, 1-2 good CB
      1 good C, 1 good LG, 1 good LT
      1 solid WR3 (who can PR/KR too), 1 durable and good RB, 1 good TE
      and a solid, game manager QB who doesn’t make crazy good throws but also doesn’t make mistakes and can move the ball well.
      Not easy, but seems doable with lets say 5 R1, 3 R2, 4 R3 picks and money to spend in ’22, ’23

  49. Robert Las Vegas

    Rob I could be 💯 percent wrong but I believe michael bennett said a few years ago that for veteran Pete carroll act gets a little old maybe there is a valid point.i mean Russ has been listening to Pete’s speech’s over and over again for 8 more quick question if DJ Reed doesn’t fumble the punt and the Seahawks beat the Rams are we still having this conversation?

    • BobbyK

      I remember Sherman saying that.

    • CHaquesFan

      If they hit their perennial ceiling and lose to the saints yes. Go any further then that, than still maybe

  50. BringBackBreno

    Reminds me a bit of when Phil Jackson was president of the Knicks. 100% belief and commitment to a potentially dated system, cronies and yes men throughout the org and a team full of players that felt like the system suppressed their talent. Hopefully it turns out a bit better than that.

  51. BobbyK

    Remember when they “reset” things and jettisoned Bennett, Sherman, etc. They even got rid of the offensive and defensive coordinators. Pete wanted to build anew. He wanted to do things “his way” again.

    Well, Carroll has done it mostly “his way” since that reset. Nothing of significance to show for it.

    Who else in the NFL wields the control he has? Nobody. Not even a meddling owner like Daniel Snyder. Pete calls plays, offensively and defensively, he decides who stays and goes, who to draft, etc. Not even Jerry Jones has that pull (because he doesn’t coach, too).

    • Martin

      Yes – like Rob’s been saying he isn’t really accountable to anyone anymore and that’s never good. Even Belichick has had Kraft interacting with Brady etc. I do wonder whether Pete will ever really leave the offence ‘alone’. His whole vision of “complementary” football almost seems to necessitate that he doesn’t do that. Who knows if that gets to the extent of him being prepared to ‘get rid’ of Wilson? I’m a little fearful that if Wilson demands a trade all ambiguity vanishes, and the Seahawks bargaining position in respect to other teams will be (somewhat) reduced.

    • king.

      Great perspective: Nobody in the modern era has as much control, without oversight, as Pete has. Owners, GMs, coaches, players included.

      Pete is omnipotent and has no accountability.

    • Big Mike

      “Absolute power corrupts absolutely”
      (and I don’t mean that in a criminal way)

  52. DougM

    If it gets to the point where Russ is going to have to be traded, do you think Pete would step back from coaching and remain in the front office? Any thoughts on any coaching replacements? I have heard 3 names: Eric Bieniemy, Brian Daboll, and Todd Bowles.

    • BobbyK

      I have no interest in Bieniemy. He’s coaching Patrick Mahomes. What’s hard about that?

      I love the Todd Bowles idea though. I have a lot of respect for him.

      • Ryan

        I’d rather have an offensive coordinator as HC.

    • mac

      I’d bring in Todd Bowles, he’d most likely be willing to hand over the offense to another coach.

    • Mick

      If he’s gonna step back from coaching, why trade Russ? He could do that before. I just don’t see it happening.

      • Big Mike

        Agree. Zero chance he steps away no matter the outcome with Russ imo.

    • Jeff

      The most likely scenario after a Russ trade is probably a couple of 6-10 (or 6-11) seasons followed. by PCJS being fired or Pete retiring.

  53. cha

    Peter King nugget from his FMIA column tonight:

    3. I think there’s a very good chance Wilson would balk at going to any of the other 28 teams if the Seahawks try to trade him there. Time will tell if “balk” means “I’m not going,” or “You’re going to have to do a heck of a sales job on me to get me to go to Place X.” For now, I hear Wilson is dug in on the places he’d accept a deal, if it comes to that.

    Also some interesting info on the 17 game schedule and Zach Wilson on a moped delivering GrubHub for extra money.

  54. Denver Hawker

    What is going on right now? So much silence from the Hawks.

    Like are they working the phones for trades? Are they working with Russ to patch things up? What are the actually doing?

    • Roy Batty

      Cleaning the crap out of their pants?

  55. Rad_man

    Said it last year when the Seahawks shat the bed in FA, this team badly misses Paul Allen and his calling Pete and John to the carpet.

    Things look pretty bad from a relationship point of view between Russ and Pete now, and it look more and more to me that Russ’s camp is spoiling the waters intentionally. I don’t think you can attack a man’s son and expect to have a good working relationship going forward. Maybe that’s not the Russ camp releasing that information, but it sure seems like it.

    The good news here is the Seahawks can find a good LG in the draft, and they can restructure some deals and do some things in FA too to placate Russ from a personnel standpoint to send a message.

    I have two remaining concerns- is the working relationship so spoiled they can’t work together, and secondly, is Russ as good as he thinks he is? I have my doubts of both.

    I have a mild concern about Pete but I don’t see him as rigid as others do. The league is a lot different than was when he won, and I do wonder if he’s fully embraced that reality. The officiating changed and he can’t play the defense he used to, and I think that has taken a while to sink in. In the same way that he didn’t fully grasp that the line blocking rule changes meant Cable’s approach was outdated too. But he did get it eventually and I think he’s seeing that in the secondary as well. I hope.

    On Russ, I just don’t see the kind of player he thinks he is. I think Russ has failed to grow in some significant areas that can make him a truly great QB. I don’t know if he can. In short, he might be a top 5-6 QB but I don’t have a lot of faith that I see a top 1-3 QB if all the offensive load is on his shoulders. And I suspect the front office has experienced the same. It’s just too frequent that he fails to make changes at the line, manipulate the defense, change the protection or check out of plays. At times it’s really brutal to watch and it has to be frustrating for the coaching staff to experience that and then hear him griping about more control. Like, dude, learn how to consistently audible and change protections before you start developing game plans, nano bubble boy. And this is without even getting to his tendencies to hang onto the ball or not hit the check down or intermediate passes on a consistent basis.

    I wonder if Russ has reached his peak already and this is as good as it gets for him. I also wonder how coachable he is at this point.

    Pete and John have not done a great job building this roster. But, I’m not convinced Russ has taken the steps needed to be the guy like he is demanding. And I think if he had, Pete would have given him more.

    • Rob Staton

      I have two remaining concerns- is the working relationship so spoiled they can’t work together, and secondly, is Russ as good as he thinks he is? I have my doubts of both.

      Well according to Ryen Russilo, yes he wants out.

      And Brandon Marshall said three weeks ago that he’s simply trying to find the classiest way to part ways.

      Pete and John have not done a great job building this roster. But, I’m not convinced Russ has taken the steps needed to be the guy like he is demanding. And I think if he had, Pete would have given him more.

      Pete and John certainly have not done a great job building this roster. Since the reset, they’ve done a decidedly awful job building the roster. They’ve wasted money, squandered picks and that’s part of the issue. They’ve increasingly relied on the QB to keep them relevant.

      Wilson doesn’t need to prove himself to PCJS. They need to do a better job putting a defense, O-line and running game on the field to support him.

      • GoHawksDani

        I agree with Rad_man. While I totally on board to let the QB chime in on the offensive strategy, I’m not sure how good is Russ in that.
        It seems like he has trouble reading defenses or reading how the play develops. He misses opportunities for completions and waits for longer developing plays for deeper routes. Maybe that’s not on him, but if Pete tells him: “Hey Russ, lets throw a bomb deep to DK”, but if he feels pressure and sees Lockett open for 8-10 yards, I doubt he’s such a good little soldier that he’d take a sack while waiting for the long play instead of the completion. So I think he has troubles with understanding this game deeply. So I’m not sure if it’d be much better to let him dictate what the offense should do…obviously Pete sucks at this also, but it’s hard to see that on passing plays when a receiver is open who’s responsible not making that play. The QB, because he doesn’t recognise the opportunity, or the coach for putting him in a spot where it’s hard for the QB to excel

        • Rob Staton

          Again, Wilson isn’t flawless.

          But people are in danger of focusing on a rough stretch in the second half of the season and ignoring nine years of brilliance.

      • clbradley17

        TE Hunter Long of BC had almost no missed catches all year – also a good blocker. Or would be happy if we were to get TE McKitty on day 3, he had the best catch % Senior Bowl week and is a very good blocker. Need an OL-like blocker to keep pass rushers off the QB, open running lanes for the RBs, who’s also a dependable receiving TE who doesn’t drop passes.

  56. Rob Staton

    If the Seahawks want a TE so badly, as has been suggested, they should acquire the necessary draft stock to be able to take Brevin Jordan in the top-50, while still being able to take a guard at #56.

    Don’t spend big money on a Jonnu Smith.

    Have a rookie on $1.6m a year over four years instead.

    Plus Jordan’s really good.

    • Mick

      Adams for a first and a third, both this year, replace him in FA or even go with Diggs and Blair. Gives you room for a TE, a RB and a LG/C in the first three rounds – not counting Wilson, he’ll get us surely a 1st for a QB.

    • clbradley17

      Excellent content and article again Rob. You’ve been so far ahead of the curve. Hard to believe that Clayton, Wyman, Brock/Salk and all the other Seahawks local hosts are not accepting reality. All I hear is “No Way!” from all of them about the possiblity of trading RW. Podcast on trade options was also fantastic to hear several alternatives to follow up on the earlier articles. One of the few caveats I have is that Abram would be an adequate replacement at safety. Most of the way through last season, Abram was “Per PFF, he’s the second-worst coverage safety in the NFL and that shouldn’t be all that surprising considering that was his weakness in college too. Abram’s lack of coverage skills and awareness is starting to become too difficult to ignore. In the most important play of the game in Week 11, Abram abandoned his assignment, leaving Travis Kelce wide open in the end zone for the game-winning score.” Why get practically the worst coverage safety in the league to replace a below avg. one?

      I still think that if the Bears and maybe the Saints are willing to give the “keys to the castle” (multiple picks and players) for Russ, then the Raiders will too, possible packaging DE Crosby with Jacobs and/or Waller, if we take less picks, either just 2 1s or we may throw another player in for a blockbuster NBA type multiple players and picks trade. I’m with Denver Hawker and wondering why JS/Pete are making no moves when they could have already started trading or re-negotiating players ahead of the FA period that starts in 2 weeks. Several other teams have already started trading players, mostly QBs, and we could have been reneg./extending or trading our players for weeks to free up cap space and acquire draft picks if we were agressive and pro-active like other teams.

      It does worry me that the only moves we made is to hire ancient “Tater” Smith, his son and Shead as coaches or consultants. When asked by Mike Duggar a year or 2 ago, Smith along with Pete’s sons and JS are the only ones he trusts to consult with on the team. Googled Smith and he’s not only been with him a few years ago on the Seahawks, but also a dozen years ago at USC and 25 years ago when he was coaching the Patriots. Smith will be 73 in a couple months and seems like another sign that Pete is set in his ways and doubling down. Just seems like they’re in another “stuck in place/fearful ostrich” mode like when they didn’t make any moves until they re-signed Russ 2 years ago or late last summer when they were waiting on Clowney.

  57. L80

    It’s way past time for the Hawks to quit drafting “Who”?……Meaning they pick people that not many had on their radar and the results speak for themselves. be it from injuries or the true lack of talent to make an immediate impact.

    Taking 3 years to get up to speed simply isn’t cutting it. Take Collier for example. He had a better year than his first (hard NOT to do), but if he was trying to impress with his play, it still leaves a lot to be desired.

    And he is just one player. This has been frustrating for all involved……They also make brilliant F.A. acquisitions, then do absolute head scratching ones. Quite obviously those have put the Hawks into a deep, deep hole and now our QB is fed up with it. To me, they have one shot this year and have very limited resources…..I don’t see it happening.

    • Rob Staton

      Lot of Wilson stuff but also some combine.

      Was pleased to see NFL scouts also agree with my comparison of Ben Cleveland to the mountain from game of thrones 🙂

    • Trevor

      I like Breer actually and I agree it was an interesting piece.

    • Trevor

      Rob when I read that article it seemed clear that Breer was getting a lot of inside information from a former team mate or the Hawks FO. I am could think when he was discussing how the Hawks treated with him with kids gloves was the comment made about Russ’s biggest fear was his wife leaving him. Pete and the staff clearly know he is insecure for whatever reason and treated him accordingly.

      No surprise when you read this that Russ went in the tank last year after Pete pulled back on the reigns when he started throwing picks last year. He lost confidence and that insecurity is manifesting itself into drama this offseason.

      To be honest would you even want a QB with that type of mind set to lead your team? No coincidence that the team went from being bullies to soft when the LOB moved on Russ became the leader given this knowledge.

  58. Ross

    Great piece, Rob. I agree 100%

    I remember late in the playoff loss to LA, after Russ had just been chased to the sideline and threw the ball half heartedly and short towards a receiver incomplete. Russ looked seriously down. Broken. It was truly the first time I have seen Russ just look visibly beaten and done with it. He wasn’t his positive self waiting for another opportunity. At the time I remember thinking he must be frustrated with how the game had gone. While true, no doubt, but now I can’t help thinking that he was frustrated with Pete and this whole situation.

    I really hope Pete can see what is happening and cede control. I’m not convinced that he has that ability, though.

  59. Switch

    Anybody think that all those weird off season moves for the OL was to try and placate Russ? If so than I don’t want Russ having any power with FO in forcing bad moves to make him happy.

    • clbradley17

      If it was up to Russ, they would have signed Conklin and he would have had great bookends at OT. Instead, JS always tries to sign 2nd or 3rd tier cheap OL for the last several years. I heard recently that as bad as Mahomes’ OL was with 2nd/3rd stringers in the SB making him run for his life, our OL #s on ESPN’s pass block % win rate was worse in 10 of the last 11 Seahawks games. No worries about RW having any power; he’s going to be on another team more than likely.

    • dcd2

      Might have been as much about COVID as anything. If they were trying to make RW happy, getting a big name like Conklin made more sense than a handful of Warmack’s, Ogbuehi’s & Finney’s

    • Rob Staton

      Yeah… I’m sure Russ was banging down the door, demanding B.J. Finney and Cedric Ogbuehi be signed at once.

      • Switch

        Really? Yeah that’s what I meant. Immediately sign Finney and Ogbuehi. Russ could have just said ‘get me some Oline help’ and the FO did what they thought was best.

        • Rob Staton

          I was being a bit sarcastic to be fair.

          Russell had nothing to do with those signings. That was PCJS trying to fill holes and depth on the cheap.

  60. clbradley17

    Pro Day Schedule at Starts Friday with Kansas, but really looking forward to seeing some tests/#s for our future LG Meinerz the following Tue.-3/9 at Wisc. Whitewater’s pro day.

    One player that was pretty good at the Senior Bowl, shut down WR Toney of FL on a play is Missouri’s S Tryee Gillespie. He shut down top 10 pick TE Pitts of FL during their game, and played great with speed against WRs Smith & Waddle and brought down Najee Harris twice near the goal line in the Bama game. Still want to get another fairly inexpensive S who can cover like Keanu Neal maybe, or John Johnson of the Rams? Check out the impressive highlights of Gillespie at 4 min to 6:47 of this Brett Kollman vid –

    Looking forward to your interview with Benjamin St-Juste Rob. Would really like to see us get him or Keith Taylor of UW late day 2/early day 3 if we acquire several picks with some trades. Both of them played very well all week at the Senior Bowl.

  61. Switch

    I just heard there is an NFL rule where a team is only allowed to trade 1st round picks in 2 consecutive years. In other words if you have two 1st rounders this year and 1 next year that would be ok. However if you only have 1 this year and 1 next year you can’t trade another 1st rounder in year 3.

    All 4 teams on the list can only trade two first round picks….This year and next year only. If it was Miami or the Jets than it would be a different story.

    • Dingbatman

      Unless they acquire more 1st round picks.

    • dcd2

      Where did you hear that?

      RG3 and Herschel Walker were both 3 years worth of 1st round picks.

      • Switch

        I guess it’s a fairly new ruling.

        • dcd2


  62. Trevor

    Read this today from Albert Breer and thought it was interesting for all the fans who say PC/JS don’t value Russ.

    Now, I can’t say how Wilson expressed that desire to Seahawks coach Pete Carroll or GM John Schneider. But I can imagine how they might react to it—since they’ve spent the better part of a decade bending over backward to accommodate their franchise quarterback, like a lot of teams in their position would.
    They’ve traded for big-ticket offensive players like Percy Harvin, Jimmy Graham and Duane Brown. They’ve fielded a generational defense. They’ve fired the offensive coordinator they won a Super Bowl with. They’ve made other staff changes to try and improve what was around the quarterback. They’ve twice made Wilson the game’s highest-paid player, doing so most recently just 22 months ago.

    • Switch

      I agree that we have tried to give what we think he wants. I actually don’t think Russ is the Brady caliber of QB to do this with. I love Russ as much as the next guy but he is getting older and slower while his best attribute is moving on the run and making big plays. I know people say his height doesn’t matter but I believe it matters a bunch and is part of the reason he can’t see in the pocket and tucks in and gets sacked all the time. He literally can’t even see over his Offensive Lineman’s shoulders.

      The problem with trading Russ this is that we are hamstrung with not having a 1st rounder in 2022. We could have just traded Russ and took the monstrous 39m dead money hit this year and tanked it next year to get a top 10 pick but that can’t happen now. We trade for Dak or Carr and they just add tons more money to cap hit so we can’t really do anything if FA worth doing.

  63. Trevor

    This comment by Breer sums up Mark Rodgers comments perfectly.

    Which gives color to what came off to some as the most passive-aggressive trade demand in sports history, with Wilson’s agent, Mark Rodgers telling ESPN’s Adam Schefter that Wilson wasn’t asking for a trade, but that he’d waive his no-trade clause for only the Bears, Cowboys, Raiders or Saints.

  64. Trevor

    Anyone know anything about Northern Iowa edge-rusher Elerson Smith? Breer mentioned in his article this morning that he would have been a star at the combine?

    • JimQ

      DE-ELERSON SMITH, No, Iowa(FCS), 6-064/262, 33-1/4“-arms, 83“-wing, 10-1/2“-hands at Senior bowl. In 2019 he had 14 sacks, leading the FCS. Also he’s a FF machine (6 in 6 games in 2020), even if he needs better hand use training and further development. See:

      He is LONG & RAW and will benefit greatly from good coaching, “A big ball of clay at this point, NFL teams will be chomping at the bit to get their hands on a pass rusher as long and athletic as Smith”. I think the 4-th round projection in the scouting report is likely pretty accurate due to coming from the FCS, a developmental player with very good upside. Also, reportedly he has a very fast get-off that helps him perform and he’s up to 262 lbs, up from his college playing weight of 245. With a pro training regimen and good coaching could be a 4-th Rd. STEAL.

      A couple of other players with “exceptional length” are –interesting– as day-3 candidates just based on size-IMO.

      OT-GREG EILAND, Miss. St. 6-076ft, 335lbs, 10 7⁄8 Hand, 88 6/8 (7.39 feet) wing, 37“-Arms.
      Per: — A “MONSTER sized’ – Rd-7/UDFA?

      TE-SCOOTER HARRINGTON, Stanford, 6-046/256, 10“-hand, 34-3/4“arm, 84-1/4“ (7.02 feet)-wing. Reportedly is a “pretty good” blocker & can catch the ball well but he’s been infrequently targeted. — An UDFA?

  65. Rob Staton

    Alex Smith being let go by Washington.

    I’ve long thought Smith would be the ideal Pete Carroll QB…

    • Denver Hawker

      Would be a fantastic signing. Draft Mills and sign Geno or another low cost vet QB.

      • Rob Staton

        I think you can with Alex Smith.

        Look at WFT.

        • Sea Mode

          Does his health worry you though? I guess he would just be a 2-yr stopgap anyways as you develop a rookie.

          Also, here’s another factor to take into account in the whole equation, RW trade potential, etc.:

          A reunion in Chicago with Matt Nagy — Smith’s former offensive coordinator in Kansas City — could be ahead.

    • cha

      Veteran minimum for 2021 with a healthy roster bonus due on the first day of the 2022 league year.


    • Henry Taylor

      I kinda feel Smith is washed, but the dots connected in my head when I saw your suggestion. And this genuinely isn’t me trying to be controversial or woke, I’m speaking purely from a football perspective.

      If we’re going to sign an ex-9ers QB, wouldn’t Kaepernick represent the best upside/cost option available? I’m sure Pete would love to be the guy that gives him another shot, I recognise he’s been out the league forever and wasn’t that good when he was, but I also genuinely believe the fact that they already had Russ was the main reason he wasn’t signed by Seattle before.

      • Rob Staton

        Smith may well be washed. I did think he led WFT well though.

        Kaepernick is finished. It’ll be five years since his last game. He’s 34 in November. And he wasn’t even that good five years ago.

  66. cha

    JJ Watt having some fun with FA

  67. JJ

    Is the NFL waiting on the TV contracts to finalize this years salary cap? If they get these done are we looking at a bigger cap this year than we expect?

    Also, anyone have an idea on how a 17th game is going to effect salaries?

    • Rob Staton

      Is the NFL waiting on the TV contracts to finalize this years salary cap?

      Yes and it seems this is virtually sorted now.

      If they get these done are we looking at a bigger cap this year than we expect?

      I doubt it’ll be much bigger, if at all.

    • cha

      Also, anyone have an idea on how a 17th game is going to effect salaries?

      From what I’ve found:

      The short answer – players will get 18 week checks (17 games + bye) instead of the typical 17 (16 + bye) in 2021 if they do move forward with the 17 game schedule.

      The extra check will NOT effect the salary cap in 2021. It will be funded from a couple of other revenue pools.

      Subject to change I’m sure.

  68. Sea Mode

    Jim Nagy
    · 3h

    One position commonly misevaluated in draft is WR. Big reason is college slots are generally matched against safeties and have tons of zone space to work with. Rarely see them have to separate or make contested plays vs sticky nickel CB, which are main NFL job requirements. 🍎➡️🍊

  69. Sea Mode

    If Tylan Wallace really ran a 4.39, then I want him for sure!

    I’m officially not paying attention to EXOS 40 times anymore, though. I think Wallace is explosive and should jump very well, but just like Bateman, I’m not seeing anywhere near to 4.3 speed on tape.

    • Rob Staton

      He is also not a 4.39 runner.

      These times are an absolute nonsense.

  70. Scot04

    Saw many asking about consecutive 1st round picks on trades.
    Here’s a write up by Florio back in 2015. Seems to explain it pretty well.
    Looks like we would be able to get the 3 consecutive years of 1sts.

  71. Scot04

    Az continues to build the trenches. Aquire JJ Watt. We need to improve our O-line

    • Sea Mode

      Well, great.

      Adam Schefter

      Cardinals are giving J.J. Watt a two-year, $31 million deal that includes $23 million guaranteed, per source.

    • Mick

      I didn’t want to hear that. Now I want Scherff, Thuney, Linsley or David Andrews.

      • clbradley17

        If we were aggressive like other teams, we would have already made several moves to trade some players and extend several others to clear cap space and get some picks. Getting things ready so we can sign not only one, but 2 of the OL, Linsley at center AND Scherff or Thuney at guard, with small 1st year cap #s like Cleveland did with Conklin last year. Instead we’re like a scared dog hiding under the bed during a thunderstorm, wanting all the noise about Russ to just go away. Get to work, PCJS!!

  72. Whit21

    With jj watt going to the cardinals…

    He put out on twitter that he was thr source.. i wonder if he was taking a shot at russ since hes now in the same division..

    And with that… is there a division with 3 better dlines than the nfc west?

    Maybe russ should be more mad about that and not the hawks o line..

  73. Jazzy19

    Well written Rob.
    I think this was a great power move by Russell Wilson, and it shows his passion for Seattle. What is Carroll going to do in his last 5 years with no Wilson? It would definitely be a lack luster finish to his career. Wilson is getting him to think about that if nothing else…. We’ll see what Pete does!

    Let’s hope Pete gives in…. we’re all Seahawk fans here, and it would make the next handful of years brutal for us fans if Wilson leaves and Carroll gets his way.

    I see what Pete is saying, yet we have such decent weapons that we don’t need to “just” run the ball.

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