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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