Russell Wilson is letting you know what he thinks

Colin Cowherd and Russell Wilson have a relationship. It could even be a friendship. Wilson has appeared on Cowherd’s show several times. He’s regularly promoted Seattle’s quarterback and even dabbled in a classic bit of ‘media negotiating’ a year ago by suggesting Wilson would be a good fit with the Giants in New York.

Days after Antonio Brown published a video showing he was working out with Wilson, we now have this. A new Cowherd take. This time he compares Wilson’s situation to that of Patrick Mahomes. He makes the reasonable case that everything is built around Mahomes in Kansas City. He’s consulted on draft picks, the scheme — everything.

In Seattle, Wilson is a highly valued member of the team. After all, they made him the highest paid player in the league. Yet it’s still very much Carroll’s vision, philosophy and approach to team building. Wilson fits within Carroll’s structure. That’s not to say he’s imprisoned in some kind of highly undesirable situation. Carroll and Wilson have been good for each other, even if that’s often forgotten these days.

Yet Cowherd suggests, again — quite fairly — that Wilson might look at Mahomes’ arsenal of weapons, input and focal point nature and be a little envious.

It’s also possible that this is another reveal into Wilson’s current feeling about the team. We’ve already had his call for superstars at the Pro Bowl and the very public display of interest in playing with Antonio Brown. Now this.

That’s not to say Wilson put Cowherd up to it. He might’ve done. Who knows? But it’s perfectly fair to wonder if Cowherd’s take is the result of a conversation or series of conversations with Wilson. This seems like more than an educated guess or projection. It’s very possible Cowherd knows exactly how Wilson feels and the quarterback is happy for his friend in the media to let us know about it.

And let’s be right here — Wilson is well within his rights to feel that way.

Park the scheme and philosophy stuff for a minute. Carroll has earned the benefit of the doubt that his approach to football works. He’s had a lot of success and deserves credit for that. Even if you wish for more of a Kansas City philosophy on the field — you can still respect that Carroll knows how to win. And if Wilson is the most important part of Seattle’s success — you can make a strong case for the culture Carroll cultivates being #2 on the list.

Let’s focus on team building instead. The Chiefs have invested heavily in their offense to provide Mahomes with an O-line and weapons. They even went out of their way to restructure Sammy Watkins’ contract this year rather than make an easy cut.

In comparison, what has Wilson got to work with? They’ve rebuilt the O-line with a career backup, a right tackle benched by the Jets and padded the depth with reclamation projects or younger players. They signed Greg Olsen — who turns 36 next year and has spent the last two years contemplating a broadcasting career. That was a positive move for Wilson but it’s fair to wonder how much juice Olsen has in what could be his final season.

His clamour for Antonio Brown is a cry for help. He wants more — and he deserves more. You only have to look at the 2020 draft. It was loaded with skill position talent and yet they were forced to use their first two picks on the defense because they didn’t address the problem in free agency. That can’t have gone unnoticed.

Supporting the quarterback isn’t just about an O-line and skill players either. It’s about a defense. The Chiefs have done a great job plugging holes and providing the kind of complimentary unit Mahomes needs. Kansas City doesn’t have a great defense — it’s simply good enough. They’ve been pro-active — adding players like Frank Clark and Tyrann Mathieu. Injections of quality. The kind of moves Seattle hasn’t made this off-season.

The Seahawks’ pass rush was inept in 2019 and could be even worse this year. There are question marks in the secondary too and yet they’re paying $25m for two linebackers and then spent their top draft pick on the same position.

They spent $60m in cap space this off-season and still their biggest and most glaring holes remain. Optimists keep insisting they’re far from finished but the money has practically run out and the options are thin to make serious improvements.

Wilson isn’t daft. He’ll be just as aware of all this as we are. He’s a winner and he wants to get back to the Super Bowl. The questions we ask about their off-season, he’s probably asking too.

Slowly but surely the curtain is being pulled back and we’re starting to learn about some of Wilson’s apparent dissatisfaction. It doesn’t mean he’s going to lead a mutiny or become a problem. This is the time to make a point though — before the season really begins. He should speak out too if he’s concerned. I doubt the team will have much of an issue with him doing so either.

That said, Wilson needs proof that the franchise is as ambitious as he is after a seriously underwhelming off-season. The next 12 months will be interesting.

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  1. Joe Hawk

    I saw Cowherd’s video earlier and thought he was fair and spot on. He also had a harsh comment for the old fashioned offense that the Hawks run, too. I also agree that the last several years of roster construction has been a head-scratcher.

    I would love to think that Pete and John would see this and at least take some of it to heart. No doubt they are already familiar with such criticism. I think that Pete is a very good coach, but he’s being given credit for success that was earned by the brilliance of Russell.

    I actually came here to see if you had written an article about Jake Heaps revelation that the hawks are deep in trade talks for Jamal Adams.

    • Rob Staton

      I have written about Jamal Adams and Seattle recently and for me the situation hasn’t changed. Heaps has suggested they’ve had internal discussions, right? But that’s the case for every player who might be available via trade. There’s nothing to suggest the Seahawks are seriously pushing for this or ‘deep in trade talks’. It sounds like they’ve simply touched base with the Jets.

  2. Adog

    If Carrol was ten years younger…I would be concerned about Wilson’s suggested media pandering. However if it’s true that Wilson is trying to influence/comment the front office through the media…I am not too concerned since once Carrol goes…they might as well sell the team to Wilson. I’m intrigued as to what kind of superstars Wilson wants? He already has two star wrs in lockett and dk. Maybe he wants his own version of tyREEK hill? Did george rr martin really base a character on him? Fascinating!

  3. Navyguy

    Pete will get the message, I don’t think it’s a big deal, RW took a giant leap last year silencing all his critics and Pete is a defensive coach. I don’t think it’s been years & years of wasted time, I believe last year was RW’s 1st year making all the calls at QB years prior he wasn’t audibling much. He got DK they only need 1 more WR. Had they drafted an OL round 1 there’s no way that guy would be ready to play this year there’s no way anyone can complain about that. My fear is RW is saying all the young WR’s suck besides DK but even if that’s true Seattle doesn’t have much invested in them. Hopefully he’s just saying dump David Moore & spend the 3 million on someone else.

    • Eran Ungar

      Lockett is still there…

  4. Chri

    Apparently Jake Heaps has sources that Seattle is actively pursuing Jamal Adams. With that, and reports of yesterday that Clowneys best situation is still staying a Seahawk, that would definitely be interesting.

    • Rob Staton

      Was there a report suggesting that? Or was it just Bob Condotta suggesting the odds are increasing he returns because nobody else is stepping up to the plate?

      The problem Seattle has is finances. They’ve spent nearly all of their cap space. It’s a nice thought to think they can add players like this. They might still be able to land Clowney with a bit of shifting around. But not both.

      • Robbie

        I heard this today on Jakes show. He was adamant about having a source in the organization saying they were actively pursuing him. I don’t know if I buy it.

        • Simo

          Don’t know if I buy it either. Unless Heaps’ source is in the Jets organization, how would a member of another east coast team know who’s inquiring about Adams? I can’t imagine all the teams have that information.

          Seems like a bit of conjecture, trying to stir the pot a bit at a time when there’s not much NFL news!

  5. William C

    Remember when Pete said he was coaching the Pro Bowl to “recruit”? Lol

    • Rob Staton

      I do. It’s one of the reasons why I thought this was going to be a very active off-season.

  6. SpringsCoHawk

    Rob, thanks for the new article and posting the Cowherd video.

    I have always appreciated how Colin draws lessons for life from sports for all of us living the non-sports life. His lesson for today from the post, “Be competent and hard working and you can be successful too, even if you aren’t brilliant or extremely talented.” Really it was a slam against GM’s and scouts who believed Dak and Stafford were better Quarterbacks than Mahomes and R. Wilson.

    Yeah, Colin has had some harsh criticism of Seahawks organization for not appreciating and treating Wilson with appropriate respect. I agree with his point that Wilson has not been given same level of supporting cast and input into team building as Chiefs for Mahomes.

    I highly doubt that R. Wilson is using Cowherd to get his desires for team building across to Schneider or Carroll, or to let us all know what he really thinks. But perhaps.

    Carroll definitely has a different philosophy for offensive schemes and style than Chiefs. The Chiefs draft Clyde Edwards-Helaire while the Seahawks draft DJ Dallas and pick up Carlos Hyde. You could make an argument Seahawks would have been supporting Wilson more with potential superstars with Jonathan Taylor keeping within their own style. I think looking back you can say letting Frank Clark go while Chiefs pick him up is example of Chiefs investing in balanced supporting staff.

  7. Strategicdust

    if I was Russell. I’d be up in arms myself. Your division foes have all become tougher while your team spent 60 million dollars without filling their needs with anything but journeymen and you still have pressing needs on both offense and defense. We’re left hoping that Clowney will take a vastly reduced contract and that Brown and Gordon will sign cheap contracts to bolster a perilously thin wide receiver core. And that’s if everything goes right. Yikes!

  8. Nathan

    I’m with Russ all the way on all this up until his support of Antonio Brown. It’s one thing to try to be there and mentor a person who has major issues. I’m all for that. But wanting him and trying to help get him back in the NFL, hell on his own team, when there is no way in hell he has gotten the help he so desperately requires given the short amount of time since his latest showing of his gross character? This is the first time I have ever been disappointed in Russell Wilson the man.

    Pretty much every reason besides on field production is why you wouldn’t want AB.

    But besides AB, yes I would even support Russ going full mutiny and using all of his power to demand change to make the offense more like the Chiefs. He could make demands, he could go public he could go to the “owner” he could do it all and I’d be okay with it. We have the more experienced, slightly better version of Patrick Mahomes but how do we use him? That’s the problem.

    I’ve even said in the past before his contract was up that I wouldn’t blame him for a second if he wanted to hit FA and see if he could find a different team that would take full advantage of his talent.

  9. Robert Las Vegas

    Rob you are exactly right on this article Kansas City defensive isn’t elite. They have Frank Clark and Chris Jones and Honey Badger and hmm who else bunch okay guys. They. AFC playoffs. Houston scored 31 points. Tennessee. Got 24 points. Basically they average of giving up 28 points .thats not great is it. I can make an argument that Derrick Henry. Carried Tennessee offensive for two playoff games by game three he was pretty beat up.. Anyway does anybody remember when the seahawks jumped out to 21 point lead at half-time.why does the offense doesn’t start up until second half.the offense is frustrating and for the record i am in favor signing AB more weapons can’t hurt

  10. Nick

    I get this frustration. But, in truth, this is probably one of the deepest WR groups Russ has ever had to work with. Lockett, DK, Moore, Dorsett, (Gordon?). And his RB situation is one of the deepest/multi-faceted he’s had in years. Carson/Hyde/Penny? Yes please.

    The OL is where I think it’s fair to be upset about the lack of star power. Duane Brown is the best of the lot—but for how long? Damien Lewis hopefully becomes a stalwart at RG. But he’s a rookie and he’s going to face Aaron Donald and Kinlaw twice a year.

    I would just love a top 10 O-line unit for a couple of Russ’ prime years!

    • jWILL

      There’s a pretty steep drop off from the two top receivers, and everyone else. I’d go as far to say that the only offense David Moore cold possibly be the 3rd option is this one, and this one alone. Usually, you want your 3rd guy to be a reliable safety valve. Moore, Turner, Dorsett… these are literally the opposite of that notion.

  11. charlietheunicorn

    So are we collectively calling for a “let Russ cook” offense during this already wacky NFL year?

  12. Seahawk65

    I have a hard time believing Russ is sending messages through the media. Really? He’s easily the most important player on the Seahawks. Until last week, he was the highest player in the league. Andy Reid reportedly asked his QB which RB he’d like the team to draft in the first round. Are we really to believe their is no such dialogue between Wilson and management? Of course, Wilson isn’t going to have final say over the roster, but if he wants a player, all he has to do is say so. That doesn’t mean it will happen. But he has the ear of the coach and GM. He doesn’t have to send a message through the media.
    There’s problems, or at least questions about this roster construction, no doubt, and there’s certainly room in terms of talent acquisition for the addition of Brown, Gordon or Adams. Maybe Russel is even dissatisfied with talent level around him. But, my money is on the belief that Russel has the intellect, communication skills and respect to discuss it openly with team management.

    • Rob Staton

      Russell has used the media many times before during his contract negotiations.

      So yes, Russell is willing to send a message through the media.

  13. Charles

    Thanks Rob,
    Great article! Too bad Wilson and the Seahawks feel the need to go to the media to get the results they feel are needed to be successful 🤦‍♂️.
    Love the physical brand of football of Pete’s vision. The problem occurs when the incorrect pieces are being forced to complete the puzzle. The circle of toughness isn’t the same. The Seahawks are not tough on defense, have injury prone running backs and although one of the best quarter backs, Russell commands a good chunk of salary cap. Makes it tough for the organization for sure. Better scouts, player development and overall coaching? Not sure what the answer is…. Really enjoyed last 10 yrs of success! Here is to the future…. Go Hawks

  14. UkAlex6674

    Yeah I tend to agree with the comments above. You would think Russ doesn’t need to operate in that way and has open dialogue ongoing.

    • Rob Staton

      I don’t see why people would be surprised by this.

      What if the organisation aren’t listening? And he’s used the media plenty of times in the past. As have the Seahawks.

  15. Sean

    Rob, first let me say that I really appreciate your blog. One question: you keep saying that the Seahawks don‘t have much money left to spend and I agree that they invested a lot of money in second of third tier players.
    But you have to look at the guarantees. I guess they handed out these contracts knowing that they could easily cut these players if, and that‘s the big if, they want to sign any star players. Only Olsen, Finney, Shell and Irvin have much money invested in them and they are all expected to start. But the Seahawks have all the money in the world, they just need to come to terms with the right players. Wanna sign Clowney, Brown and trade for Adams? Just cut McDougald, Hollister, Ogbuehi, Moore, Jackson, Hunt, Bellore, Hill and maybe Hyde. You can then extend Lockett and suddenly you looking at about 25mil additional cap space. And that‘s without touching Wilsons contract. Your depth would take a hit but I wouldn‘t loose sleep over losing any of these players.
    I‘m not saying they will do this nor that they should, just saying that money really isn‘t an issue and they basically just spend half of their available money yet.

    • Rob Staton

      They’re not going to cut 6-7 players to sign one.

      They might restructure contracts or cut someone like Branden Jackson. But they are not hacking away at the roster to save $1-2m here and there.

  16. Robert Las Vegas

    Rob i have quick question do you think the Seahawks have been a tad concerned with next year cap being uncertain?since we a bunch of last year of there contracts or free agents next year?

    • Rob Staton

      I think all teams are wary of the financial consequences of coronavirus. But I also think it’s a convenient excuse for a lousy off-season when lots of other teams — some much more financially conservative than Seattle — have been a lot more pro-active.

  17. Georgia Hawk

    One thing that has been sitting on my mind is the seeming switch from genius to dunce in the matter of a season.

    Going back to the years leading up to the SB and “That Play,” it seemed everything JS touched turned to absolute gold. Sure there were some misses, but the nailed its far outweighed the missed its. I mean, look at some of the players we take for granted like Baldwin, Kam, Browner, Maxwell, KJ, etc. These guys all started out as depth projections, maybe replacement level starters. All of them out played their draft positions or perceived value exponentially. Baldwin and Kam are Seattle icons now, yet at the time they were almost afterthoughts. Every player they touched hit their projected ceiling, THEN BLEW THE ROOF OFF! FA pick ups looked like genius moves in retrospect: McDaniel, Avril, Bennet, McDonald…

    Then “That Play” happened.

    Since then its like players they pick up struggle to even hit their projected floors. Im not saying by any means it is related, just that it sticks out as the turning point to me. Yes, there are still a couple guys that hit like (we still hope) DK and Griffin, but it doesnt feel the same. The FA additions have been particularly jarring in how badly they turned out. Some, like Lacy, were downright horrible.

    Im not saying all this in absolutes, I fully understand there are always exceptions both ways. But it does feel like a certain magic just isn’t there anymore. Whether it is a change in scouting personnel, philosophy, game play philosophy….I don’t know. It just feels like that magic touch just isn’t there.. As a result they seem to be knee jerk reacting more and more rather than trying to get ahead of the curve like they did in 2013 with Bennet, Avril, and Harvin.

    They ran out of RB, TE, and to a certain extent OL last year. Now its like they said “That can’t happen again, get EVERY body you can and make sure that never happens again. I hear Olsen had a dream about playing again, get him out of retirement right now!”

    “Coach we have 14 TEs already…”

    “I don’t care, after Olsen we are going to draft two more.”

    • Rob Staton

      Yep — the decision making and team building has been head scratching since 2014. A lot of moves haven’t come off. There’s been some bad luck but also a lot of poor choices.

      • Georgia Hawk

        Bad luck I can accept and deal with. Bad moves/choices? Just…..why?

        • Rob Staton

          That’s what we have to study and critique.

        • Simo

          I’m convinced every team makes some bad choices and deals with some amount of bad luck. This is just a normal part of building an NFL team.

          At least part of the Hawks problem appears to be they aren’t hitting as big on middle/lat round draft choices like they did in the past. Not nearly as many Kam’s , Sherm’s, Baldwin’s, Maxwell’s, etc. There is the occasional Carson or Poona, but not like several years ago.

          One could argue that even their high round draft choices have been either poor or middling lately. Pocic, Barton, Blair, Collier, etc.

  18. Mike

    Gotta love Colin. Guy has the sports media shitshow figured out.

    I just gotta question JS. We used to applaud his late round picks turned into gems, but how often has that happened recently? Carson certainly counts, but who else really has ascended beyond backup to low level starter since the heyday? Every GM gets lucky at least once every few years. Besides, is this really something he can take credit for, or is it developmental coaching that gets the most out of them.

    Then you look at our first round flops. Name one first round pick that is above league average starter. We got DK in the second round. By sheer dumb luck. That wasnt great GMing, it was a league-wide fluke on a guy thought to be a first round pick that fell.

    Since i played pop warner football, there has been a saying “football is won in the trenches”. The Seahawks success has matched that exactly. You would think a GM would know that. Its the ABCs of football. But his actions dont match that. It started with dismantling the O line after the superbowl. Jimmy graham? Then it has been the degrading of the d line. Every offseason is a reaction to the failure of the previous season. FA is always bargain hunting. Its nice when you capitalize on random circumstances the Texans or Lions gift you, but that isn’t consistent or sustainable. Whats wrong with more superstars? They elevate your bargain hunting redemption projects. If you only get mediocre players, who is really going to play above that level. Who will challenge or mentor others? Theyll just play slightly better than the next mediocre guy. So when you get a star, why is it always 1-2 year prove it deals for everyone? Its like paying rent month to month…the rent increases. Lock em down for 4 years, and if you want, trade em 2 years in. Sure it may go bad, but when it hits you have an asset. Its like investing.

  19. Dlep

    Let Russ Cook

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