The Russell Wilson saga — an attempted explanation

Russell Wilson’s future will be a big talking point this off-season… again

Is it a story? Is it clickbait?

Will he stay or go?

What does Russell Wilson want? What do Pete Carroll and John Schneider want?

Who are the possible suitors?

This piece is an attempt to sift through the nonsense, get to the heart of the matter and flesh things out.

What is actually going on?

Does Russell Wilson want to stay in Seattle?

The answer, unequivocally, is yes — but with a catch.

Wilson is an incredibly ambitious individual with lofty personal goals in his career, which include winning multiple Super Bowls.

Ideally, that happens in Seattle. Wilson has repeatedly stated that.

Yet if he doesn’t think it’s possible, whether it’s his preference to stay or not, he is going to assess his options.

Clearly, he is doing just that.

Jay Glazer and Greg Olsen made it very clear during the season what some of the issues were. You can add to their claims the way the team has been built, the squandered resources and all of the other much-discussed problems that have led to the Seahawks winning just one playoff game in five years.

With no substantial changes being made at the top of the organisation, this increases the likelihood that Wilson is once again seriously considering his future.

But hasn’t he said numerous times he doesn’t want to go?

No, this is something mentioned a lot by fans but it simply isn’t true.

Wilson’s language has always been very careful and couched. For example, in early December he was asked about whether he wanted to remain in Seattle:

“That’s my hope. My hope’s not to just fulfil it. Hopefully I get to play here for 20 years in my career.”

Then at the end of the month, before the Detroit game, he volunteered the following quote when answering a question about Bobby Wagner’s future:

“I know for me personally, I hope it’s not my last game (in Seattle). But at the same time, I know it won’t be my last game in the NFL.”

Then in his final pre-game press conference he was once more asked whether he’d be staying with the Seahawks:

“Will that happen? I don’t know, but that’s my prayer, that’s my hope.”

“We’ve always thought I would be here. That’s been always my goal, to win multiple Super Bowls, and my plan is to be here and do that. You take every day and you just enjoy the moment.

The word ‘hope’ is the key thing here. Wilson is under contract with the Seahawks and the next few years of his career are tied to the team. There’s no need for him to say he ‘hopes’ to be here. If there was no question he was staying, he would simply outright end these rumours by stating once and for all he isn’t going anywhere.

He deliberately isn’t doing this.

Equally, there was no reason for Wilson to question, unprovoked, whether it would be his last game in Seattle as a Seahawk.

Here’s how we should parse these comments…

Wilson wants to win. He wants to succeed. And he wants to do it in Seattle.

But if he doesn’t believe the Seahawks match his ambitions with their actions, he’s going to keep his options open about playing somewhere that will.

It really is as simple as that.

This is all a media clickbait story!

This is one of the easiest arguments to dismiss and it’s frankly incredible that so many people still lazily trot out this line.

The following tweet should be ample evidence:

Mark Rodgers is not an independent rogue agent. He works for Wilson. This story was put into the twittersphere for a reason.

Now, as it happens, I think the Seahawks organisation had already indulged in a bit of media chicanery when an Athletic article was released just before Schefter’s tweet, detailing some inside-info on relationships behind the scenes.

Nevertheless, this was as close to a trade request as you’ll get without actually handing one in.

Furthermore, when the likes of Glazer and one of Wilson’s former team-mates are discussing his dissatisfaction and interest in potentially moving on, the truth is staring you in the face.

Wilson has, in my opinion, extremely justified concerns with the way the team is being run, built and led.

He is 33-years-old. He wants to attack the second half of his career with gusto and have no regrets.

For that reason, he is open to going somewhere where he feels he’ll be in a better position to succeed.

It’s not a media generated story. It’s real. It’ll remain an issue if, ultimately, Wilson isn’t dealt for the second year in a row.

So what’s happening at the moment?

I get the sense Wilson is biding his time. Potential suitors such as the New York Giants, Denver Broncos and Las Vegas Raiders are going through the process of appointing Head Coaches. Until those moves are concluded, Wilson can’t really do or say anything.

The Seahawks telling Mike Garafolo that they have no interest in trading Wilson was telling. It could simply be leverage. Or it could be a true reflection on how they feel, particularly if Pete Carroll has retained ultimate power in decision making.

Carroll has made it clear, in no uncertain terms, that he has no interest in a rebuild. By all accounts he intends to keep this current group together, improve the pass rush and ‘run it back’ in 2022.

I suspect Carroll would only entertain a trade if it somehow guaranteed the Seahawks a worthy replacement. There are none in the draft, so that means a proven veteran.

That is the main stumbling block.

It appears there are three individuals all uncomfortably placed together at the top of the organisation.

Carroll wants business as usual and probably won’t entertain a Wilson trade.

According to Adam Schefter, John Schneider is more open to the idea of a trade. This is a feeling that has been doing the rounds for some time — in part due to Schneider and Mark Rodgers being so opposed to each other. This is all validated by Schneider’s meeting with former Chicago GM Ryan Pace a year ago to discuss a trade. The deal presented was rejected by Carroll.

And then you have Wilson — who wants to see big changes at the top of the organisation and given they don’t appear to be happening, is open to being dealt.

It’s unhealthy for the organisation to have the three most important people in the franchise not aligned.

Yet because Carroll has had unchecked power, he has been able to pull rank on this issue. If he is prepared to live uncomfortably with the drama for another year — he will. And given certain members of the local media are still obliging to play this story down, defying logic, it seems Carroll will maintain his stance.

Ultimately Carroll is only viewing what he wants as the priority. Wilson’s trade value will not grow or even retain as he gets older. It’s no good trading him in a year or two if that’s an inevitability. Given the number of reports claiming Wilson has no interest in signing another contract in Seattle, it will be an inevitability.

Equally, if Wilson wants out — it’s going to be really difficult to avoid this becoming a year-long, major distraction.

Carroll loves a challenge and has dealt with a lot of drama in Seattle. You can kid yourself into believing you’re invincible — always having the answer or solution. Very few teams thrive with dysfunction and the 2021 season was indicative of the Seahawks no longer being immune to such issues.

Why doesn’t Wilson just hand in a trade request then?

I’ve been thinking a lot about this and I don’t think it’s plausible, even if he prefers to be dealt.

You can’t force Pete Carroll into accepting a trade. Thus, if Wilson’s suspicion is Carroll will resist any offers for his quarterback, there’s little to be gained by requesting a trade.

You simply end up isolating yourself and putting the team in a state of disarray. That doesn’t suit anyone — especially the quarterback if he’s forced, ultimately, to rock up to training camp having stated his desire to leave.

Implying he wants a trade or agitating for one in the media plants the seed without creating chaos. You can’t row back from a trade request. You can, as silly as it feels sometimes, blame the media and say everything was overblown if you try and plant the seed instead.

This tactic puts potential suitors on standby and allows the Seahawks to discuss the situation internally. If nothing happens, you can do what you did last year and act like it was all a big fuss over nothing.

It might be frustrating for fans but its probably best for all concerned that it’s done this way.

The simple fact is that unless Carroll can be persuaded or forced to accept a trade, Wilson’s best bet is to keep all options on the table.

Is there no way he’ll ramp things up?

This tweet from Garafolo implied he might:

“Less passive and more aggressive” could be on the cards once teams have settled on their Head Coaching searches.

If Wilson does request a trade, it would be interesting to see how the Seahawks deal with that. If nothing else, they couldn’t claim this is a ‘non-story’ like they did a year ago. It would be risky by Wilson, though.

So what’s a summary of the current position?

— Pete Carroll is 71 this year and isn’t in a rebuilding mood. Any prospective deal needs to include a pathway to acquiring a viable QB1 who Carroll believes in

— I think John Schneider would’ve dealt Wilson a year ago, to Chicago, for three first round picks. I think he probably still holds that view. So this will be about presenting an offer to Carroll that he can buy into

— Russell Wilson is determined to make the most of the second half of his career so while his ideal situation is to succeed in Seattle, increasingly he feels like he might need to go somewhere else to make it happen

— There are going to be no fixes in the draft when it comes to quarterbacks so any prospective trade, if it’s ever going to happen, will need to create a situation where Seattle can replace Wilson — and therein lies the roadblock

What is a reasonable price in a trade?

Matt Stafford cost two first round picks and a quarterback. He has nowhere near Wilson’s résumé.

The San Francisco 49ers essentially paid three first round picks for Trey Lance. An unproven rookie.

Jamal Adams cost two first rounders and a third.

The Seahawks turned down an offer of three first round picks from the Bears.

Whatever your views on Wilson’s play in 2021, or the back end of 2020, the starting point in negotiations will be three first round picks.

Anyone offering less, will simply end up having to look elsewhere.

Who are the potential suitors?

Denver Broncos

Mike Klis is well connected to the Broncos inner sanctum. Last weekend he revealed on local TV that Denver’s Plan A is Aaron Rodgers and Plan B is Russell Wilson.

It seems the Broncos see themselves in a similar position to 2012. That year they had a lot pieces, they signed Payton Manning and then ultimately went to two Super Bowls.

They have a lot of pieces again now, they just don’t have a quarterback. They are set to be very aggressive this off-season to acquire one.

Plan A might be a lot harder to achieve since Rodgers’ spat with the Packers has cooled significantly.

There was talk among Denver’s media during the season about offering their entire draft to Seattle for Wilson. They are in a strong position — with a young roster, few holes and $34m in cap space.

They can afford to pay out a lot of picks. You can’t go beyond the next three drafts — so the maximum they can offer is three firsts and some other selections if necessary. Denver, perhaps more than any other team, appears primed to do that.

The problem is — they can’t offer a quarterback. And they’re unlikely to sacrifice quality players that weaken their impressive roster.

Philadelphia Eagles

Sunday’s wildcard beatdown in Tampa Bay was the type of game where an ambitious, aggressive owner and GM look at each other and say they need a better quarterback.

Jalen Hurts is fine. He’s done a better than expected job as the starter. Yet it’s hard to watch that playoff game and believe he’s destined to lead anyone to the promise land.

The Eagles aren’t as loaded as Denver and have some significant roster holes. However, they have the benefit of owning three first round picks this year.

They could offer #15, #16 and #19 and solve a major issue at quarterback — without it impacting future draft classes. That’s a rare situation, obviously, because it’s so unusual for a team to own three first round picks.

They could also trade Hurts to Seattle. I’m just not sure the Seahawks will view that in any way, shape or form as an adequate replacement.

You could argue he’s cheap, he’s athletic, he has big hands (9 3/4 inches) and he excelled at the Senior Bowl and combine. Hurts has won a lot of big football games in his career. He does tick some boxes for Seattle.

If the Eagles were prepared to trade three first round picks to replace him though, for your starter, doesn’t that say something?

New York Giants

Having appointed Buffalo’s Joe Schoen as GM today, the expectation is he might target Bills offensive guru Brian Daboll as Head Coach.

That would likely appeal to Wilson, given the way Daboll has helped take Josh Allen to new heights.

It’s also worth noting how aggressive Buffalo have been in their front office — trading up for Allen and trading for Stefon Diggs.

Equally, owner John Mara is under a lot of pressure. Giants fans are rapidly losing faith and the franchise has become a shambles.

A big splash addition that turns the jeers into cheers would be a sure-fire way to get people back on-side.

The New York media is already calling for the Giants to bring Wilson to the east coast. That’s a campaign that will grow and grow. And while it’s true their O-line needs work, they have enough wiggle room financially to address that in free agency. The Giants have weapons, some defensive pieces and a legit franchise left tackle.

Leading NYG out of the doom and gloom would likely appeal to Wilson.

The Giants own picks #5, #7 and #36 so they have fantastic stock to offer Seattle.

Again though, there’s no solution at quarterback. And that’s the problem.

Las Vegas Raiders

Last week Ian Rapoport mentioned that Mark Davis was smitten with the idea of trading for Wilson a year ago. It seems Mike Mayock and Jon Gruden pushed back — but both are no longer in the building.

Rapoport added that Davis is keen for the Raiders to have a ‘rock star’ coach and a ‘rock star’ quarterback. He is lukewarm on Derek Carr and appears ready to make a change, depending on the coach he eventually hires and what their preference is.

This is a situation to watch because Las Vegas was on Wilson’s list of potential trade destinations a year ago.

There’s also the prospect of Seattle receiving Carr in the deal — addressing the replacement quarterback issue.

I’m not a big fan of Carr (I think he’s average) but I can imagine the Seahawks feeling comfortable with him. He would be in a contract year with a point to prove. There’d be no long term commitment.

The problem is the compensation. In the first two days of the draft, the Raiders own picks #22, #53 and #86. Given they’d be including Carr in the deal — whose value could match that of Matt Stafford (traded for two first rounders a year ago), the potential draft returns could be minimal.

Even if the Raiders offered their first round picks in the next two drafts, is that really enough to swap Wilson for Carr?

Remember — Carr has only thrown for +30 touchdowns in a season once — seven years ago. Wilson has done it five times and would’ve done it again this year if he didn’t miss three and a half games.

Wilson’s career quarterback rating is 101.8. Carr’s is 92.4. He has vastly superior numbers in terms of touchdowns, turnover percentage and wins.

So the Raiders can offer a replacement quarterback — but can they create a worthy package to entice Carroll?

Why are other teams not included?

New Orleans — this would be an ideal fit but the Saints are in cap hell, they only own the #18 pick and there’s continued speculation about the future of Sean Payton

Cleveland — I just don’t see this as a very likely proposition. In fact, I think the main reason Wilson wanted a no-trade clause inserted into his current contract is because he was linked to the Browns in 2018

Pittsburgh — they own the #20 pick, they have cap issues and it’s not really their style to go big in a trade like this. The GM is also retiring after the draft — it’s hardly right he bows out by leaving his successor with an empty cupboard

Chicago — quite aside from the fact they’re more likely to give Justin Fields a chance with a new coaching setup — they don’t own a 2022 first round pick and Fields didn’t show anywhere near enough this season to warrant ‘straight swap’ consideration. Plus he’s a turnover machine due to his technique — which Carroll won’t like

When will things heat up?

Potentially, as soon as the coaching hires are completed. The Matt Stafford trade was agreed on January 30th a year ago. It should be noted, though, that the coaching searches are taking longer than they did a year ago.

Could the Seahawks trade Wilson, then deal for someone else?

The one name that stands out is Deshaun Watson.

I don’t think it’s very likely though.

Knowing the city, I don’t think Watson would be well received in Seattle, or by a large portion of Seahawks fans, due to the allegations made against him over the last 12 months.

For some teams and cities, it would be different. For example, he remains extremely popular in Carolina due to his time at Clemson. For a desperate franchise that has spent years looking for a true starting quarterback, they might be prepared to welcome him in.

The Seahawks aren’t in that position. For some fans, it’d be a tough pill to swallow going from a big family man who is a homegrown star, to someone with Watson’s skeletons.

It’s incredibly unlikely that the 49ers would trade Jimmy Garoppolo to Seattle.

You could trade for Kirk Cousins. I suspect the Vikings would be very appreciative of a call. If they trade him before June 1st, it saves them $35m. However, you would also need to pay Cousins his base salary of… $35m. So unless he restructured his deal, you’d be paying a fortune.

It is worth noting that Carroll was reportedly very interested in Cousins going into the 2012 draft. So much so, Cousins was apparently quite agitated that Seattle selected Wilson instead of him.

Minnesota might be prepared to take a discount to get Cousins off the books — especially as they embrace a complete refresh with a new GM and Head Coach. It wouldn’t be quite like the Rams paying Goff to go to Detroit but it wouldn’t be far off.

The new Vikings regime will inherit a team that is currently $17m over the cap. It seems incredibly unlikely they will stick by Cousins’ $45m cap hit. They can’t cut him, or they’ll absorb the full amount. It has to be a trade to save $35m. Thus, they have no leverage in negotiations. They could roll with Kellen Mond next year or draft a replacement. It seems very unlikely, however, that Cousins remains in Minnesota unless he’s willing to sign yet another extension and significantly lower his cap hit.

This is one to consider. If the Vikings were willing to play ball — the Seahawks might be more inclined to trade Wilson and then strike a deal for Cousins. Like it or loathe it, that seems plausible.

I don’t think the Falcons will be realistic in any trade talks for 37-year-old Matt Ryan, especially as they have no obvious means to replace him.

The other name worth bringing up is Tyler Huntley in Baltimore. I’m not sure he’s shown enough for Carroll to feel comfortable trading Wilson. There were flashes of ability in a system that used three similarly skilled quarterbacks in Baltimore this season (and all had production). Can he replicate that same production when he’s not playing for Greg Roman? That’s a question mark.

Are there really no options in the draft?

No, it’s the worst year since 2013 to go shopping for a rookie.

There are things to like about each individual quarterback. Kenny Pickett is more athletic than people realise and he manipulates the pocket well to extend plays. Carson Strong has a dynamite arm and is capable of ‘wow’ throws. Matt Corral has some talent as a passer and Malik Willis is a big-time athlete and a strong runner. Desmond Ridder has led Cincinnati to a new level.

The problem is, each have glaring flaws too. Pickett reportedly has 8 1/4 inch hands and has to throw in gloves. We know Schneider puts a lot of stock in hand size. Strong has a lingering knee issue that could shorten his career and he has no mobility, improv or escapability in the pocket. Corral is 6-0 and 200lbs and got injured in his last game for Ole Miss. Willis’ technique is all over the place and it creates significant issues, especially with turnovers. Ridder is rail-thin, has major inconsistencies with his accuracy and endured a humbling experience against Alabama in the playoffs.

The situation might not be much better in 2023 either, although Kentucky’s Will Levis is one to watch.

So what’s a viable prediction for the coming weeks?

I think Carroll, as we sit here today on the 22nd January, has no intention of trading Wilson because he has no interest in a rebuild.

The only way that will change is due to one of the following:

1. Last week’s meeting with Jody Allen led to a shift in decision making and John Schneider now has a stronger authority on team building

2. Carroll is presented with a plan which enables the Seahawks to replace Wilson with an alternative proven starting quarterback

3. Wilson takes on a more aggressive stance that forces Seattle’s hand — and rather than Carroll opting to put his fingers in his ears as he did last year, they make a move

I think several teams are positioning themselves to make a big offer for Wilson. Denver certainly. The Giants almost certainly. I’d say the Raiders and Eagles are TBD but will consider it.

I expect, in some cases, the offers will be extremely tempting. After all, getting #5 and #7 would be very appealing — with an opportunity to draft a young offensive lineman, pass rusher or potential star cornerback in Derek Stingley Jr.

Be careful what you wish for though. This is still a quarterback league. You don’t want to replace another franchise in purgatory. That is why I am opposed to trading Wilson.

I think Wilson is realistic, sensible and very conscious of how he needs to play his hand. As noted earlier, the best tactic is going to be keeping his options open. I think we’ll see some media encouragement to flesh out potential suitors. We could see some talk and speculation about his dissatisfaction.

I don’t think he’ll come out publicly and say ‘trade me’ though, because the consequences are too severe (for team and player) if Carroll has retained his power and control and doesn’t want to make a deal.

So all in all — my prediction is a lot of speculation, a lot of talk in the media, a quarterback who likely sees his future elsewhere and one man, who has become so powerful within the organisation, continuing to do what he wants to do unchecked.

Which, funnily enough, is a big part of the problem.

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  1. Rob Staton

    Guys — I have written 11,902 words on the Seahawks between Monday and Friday.

    I’ve also produced an interview with Jim Nagy.

    All in my spare time, after completing my days work.

    Coming up I have booked weeks off my day job specifically to dedicate time to cover the Senior Bowl and combine.

    If you appreciate what I/we do at SDB — do me a favour. Subscribe to the Youtube channel (click here), share the links to my articles in other places (Facebook, forums, twitter RT’s etc) or consider becoming a Patron (click here)

    Many thanks for your support

    • James Crosland

      Is that word count with or without comments as well?!

      Already a Patron/subscriber, but by forums visits are generally limited to SDB so can’t spread the word easily.

      It looks like the potential of simmering off season, lots of potential tension/dominos, but whether any of them start a chain reaction through Seattle will just have to wait and see.

      I think Wilson making the come and get me gestures in private well away from the media eye is likely the next step. The problem he had last year was naming just 4 teams, none of which was in an ideal position, or desperate enough to move. maybe this year rather than putting it into the media, they are going to the teams he’s willing to go to and making it known we would wave the no trade clause, they just need to put the right offer together to tempt Seattle.

      I wonder whether there could be a combination of 2 of your ideas. Denver goes and gets Cousins from Minnesota, to offer as part of the deal to Seattle? 3 team trades harder to arrange, but potentially everyone comes out a winner.

      • Rob Staton

        Is that word count with or without comments as well?!

        Purely from the articles alone

    • cha

      Thanks for all the hard work Rob. Great job putting these together.

    • DT

      thank you Rob,

    • 805Hawk

      I didn’t even realize I wasn’t subscribed on YouTube! Done. Thanks for all your hard work and great content!

    • GoHawks5151

      You the man Rob. Thanks for all the coverage and time spent! It is very well appreciated

    • MychestisBeastmode

      Patreon done! Should have done it a long time ago, but I’m a cheap asshole living between two recessions and a housing/rent bubble in Seattle making disposable income a fantasy. Still, there is literally no site I visit half as much as this one for your articles and the wonderful community you’ve fostered here. Cheers!

      Also, this article feels like your “tour de force.” A great and informative read. Consolidating all of the moving pieces into on well thought out and succinct article is honestly astounding (yes long but I can’t imagine a way to include the litany of angles in a more succinct and easily digestible manner than what you just produced). Thanks again for all you do! Nobody does it better as far as sports reporting, analysis, and punditry.

      • Rob Staton

        Thanks man — for the Patreon and the kind words. They both really mean a lot 🙂

    • Blitzy the Clown

      Absolutely Rob. You’ve earned it and then some.

      My sincerest appreciation and deepest gratitude for all you do.

      • Rob Staton

        Thank you Blitzy

  2. BA

    My prediction is continued inertia. Pete has zero incentive to trade Russ, and Russ isn’t willing to play the bad guy, so in the end they’ll both be back for two more years. For Pete, a disgruntled, disinterested Russ is still better than any of the alternatives, and a couple of 10 win seasons and quick playoff exits cement his legacy in the eyes of the media and bandwagon fans. Russ, meanwhile, isn’t going to demand a trade or hold out; unfortunately he doesn’t have the demeanor of Rodgers.

    • Rob Staton

      The thing we have to consider here, though, is Wilson’s view on his own career.

      I don’t think he’s going to accept just squandering two more years, hapless, and having to lump it.

      He only gets one shot at a career.

      So while I think you’re right that Carroll has zero incentive to trade Wilson (short of being presented an alternative plan, including a new QB, that he can accept) — I also think Wilson has an extremely strong incentive to make things happen. Doesn’t mean he will but the incentive is there.

    • Paul

      This essay illustrates why Russell Wilson is ambivalent about leaving Seattle. I doubt that he asks for a trade because he’s uncertain about whether he’d be any better off.

      • Rob Staton

        I completely disagree

        You don’t give Schefter a list of four teams if you’re ambivalent

  3. Ralphy

    Wow. The Ravens have fired Don “Wink” Martindale. Perhaps the Hawks reach out to him?

    • Rob Staton

      My bigger fear is the Ravens are now competition for defensive coordinators… and Harbaugh will let his guy run things

    • uptop

      Would kill for wink, has an awesome blitzing scheme

      • Ralphy

        Thats a great point Rob. Don’t you think however that Wink good dial in a great way to use Jamal?

        • Rob Staton

          Absolutely, yes.

          Can I see him working with Pete? I can’t.

          • Allen

            We don’t have 3-4 personnel for Wink

            • Rob Staton

              I think they have ample personnel for it

              What they don’t have is a HC who would appoint someone like that

  4. cha

    I get the sense Wilson is biding his time. Potential suitors such as the New York Giants, Denver Broncos and Las Vegas Raiders are going through the process of appointing Head Coaches. Until those moves are concluded, Wilson can’t really do or say anything.

    Agree 100%. The Giants just hired a GM. Let’s let him get his pencils in a jar.

    Also if the Wannstedt comments on Cowherd’s podcast are true that RW has been in meetings with JS and PC about how to improve going forward, I think how Wilson’s comments and wishes are received in those meetings and in the near term will go a long way toward determining the next steps he takes.

    • GoHawks5151

      I’m inclined to believe Wannstedt for the fact that he has nothing to gain here. He’s been around the league a long time and has connections. I’m not sure how PCJS actually show Russ that they are listening before free agency though. They could offer an extension but we know he won’t take it. If they splurge on the pass rush and add on the OL then maybe he buys in. The draft is another point of trust. That means we are in for another month and a half of radio silence or coded messages though.

  5. BobbyK

    Some Vikings fans really like Cousins. Some blame him for everything (like having one of the worst defenses in the NFL – somehow that’s his fault).

    One thing Vikings fans all say is that Cousins is Mr. Checkdown. The Seahawks’ fans would give anything for some checkdowns, but be careful what you wish for because you’d be getting the king of it in a trade with the Vikings.

    If Wilson isn’t back next year, I’m willing to bet our QB will be (in no particular order) Cousins, Carr, or Hurts. Not saying that’s what I want – just what I think.

    • Roy Batty

      Cousins makes no sense. Unless the Viking eat a good portion of his salary, the Hawks would be hit with Wilson’s $26 million plus whatever Cousins would cost. I would assume they would be staring at well over $50 million for the QB position.

      That’s $50+ million on a one year rental, since it is the last year of Cousin’s deal.

  6. Jason

    Pretty balanced article, thanks! I do agree that he’s not going anywhere, there just doesn’t seem to be any way it would work out. Any possible scenario appears to have some kind of caveat that just blows the whole thing apart. I would say Denver or the Giants are the most likely possibilities. However, Denver just doesn’t have the capital and a Denver team with Russell is going to be very successful and any picks they give will be devalued. And the Giants, I just think it’s too much of a shitshow and Russell won’t want to go there unless they get a really good, well-known offensively-minded head coach who will not only be good for Wilson’s legacy but will attract other quality players.

    • Rob Staton

      I think the only way it happens — and some fans will let out a primal scream at this prospect — is if Carroll is willing to replace Wilson with Kirk Cousins or David Carr and the price works.

      Carr will cost a Stafford haul IMO and would seriously dent any compensation you get from the Raiders in a swap + picks for Wilson. Cousins? I’m not sure. Because the Vikings appear to be embracing a restart with a new Head Coach and GM. Saving $35m and not having to pay Cousins a $45m seems incredibly likely.

      • Jason

        Haha, primal BARF is more like it!

      • ShowMeYourHawk

        At the risk of going all “Madden” on the thought, any legs to the idea that JS could facilitate a three-way deal that sends Russ out to one of his preferred suitors and brings Watson into town? Granted, he’s got some other issues to brush aside first…

        • Rob Staton

          I just can’t see Seattle going for it — the city or the franchise

          I think a desperate team, starved of a franchise QB, will ultimately acquire Watson

          • Sneeekes

            That desperation is the key to maxing the return.
            Derek Carr’s value for instance is probably similar to Stafford’s if Seattle goes asking for him, but if it’s LV trying to scrabble together an offer, I think we get him somewhat on the cheap.

            Can’t say it excites me though!

  7. Happy Hawk

    I agree with everything Rob said – the key is to get all 3 leaders back on the same page otherwise this mess continues. I would get in a room with Wilson – listen to what he wants and try to go get it for him with our generous cap space. When in agreement – extend RW immediately and lock him up for an additional 4 -5 years. That way everyone is committed and has skin in the game. Can’t be one of the “have nots” and live in QB purgatory hell.

    • Mr drucker in hooterville

      What if one of his demands is a nonmeddling PC?

  8. Big Mike

    I don’t think there’s anyway Carroll hires Wink or Fangio. Guys like that want autonomous control over the D. Carroll WILL NOT cede control of any aspect of the team to another individual folks. It’s why I don’t believe for one second he’ll “bend” when it comes to the offense either. It’s why we’ve heard reports that he didn’t listen to his scouting dept. at draft time and forced his choices on JS on draft day. It’s why we have the peacock, he imo undoubtedly forced this trade. He made it clear from day one this was his program and he only answered to Paul Allen. He now answers to absolutely no one. The franchise imo will pay the price for this over the coming years.

    • Tomas

      Unfortunately, I think you are exactly right, Big Mike. My NFL memories go back to ‘63, when I was 10. I was shocked a few seasons later when “my” Vikings traded the great Tarkenton to the Giants. I’d hate to see Russ go the same way because of an egomaniacal, overrated coach, who is nearing retirement in any event. Crazy.

      • Tomas


  9. Big Mike

    Fantastic write-up Rob. Well thought out, well laid out and as always, very good reading. Thank you for your efforts.
    I must say my man, the American football bug didn’t just bite you years back, it burrowed under your skin and is living a quite healthy life there. To arrange time off to cover the Senior Bowl and combine speaks volumes about your love of “our” football. Bravo. Many of us fully understand. I’ve been addicted since 1964 and I know I’m in no way the only “junkie” here.

    • Rob Staton

      Thanks man

      (I’ve written another article tonight to run for Sunday… too)

  10. 805Hawk

    At this point, my hope is that Pete goes to Russ and tells him he’s giving the Hawks one more year before retirement and he wants Russ on board. Russ buys into this thinking he’ll get his offensive minded coach and will get a bit of a say in who when Pete retires. So, Russ sticks around with the belief it will completely his team going forward.

  11. All I see is 12s

    Thank you for the wonderful article Rob. As always you have your finger on the pulse provide the most thoughtful analysis.
    Unfortunately, I now live in Denver instead of my beloved Emerald City. These people are desperate. They know they need a quarterback. This would be about the only type of offer I would take and before you tell me it’s unrealistic SDB family, hear me out first.

    The deal: RW for 3 firsts, Surtain, Williams, and Meinerz- basically last year’s Denver draft.

    This gives the Broncos the HOF quarterback with all the receiving tools and most of their oline intact and most of the defense intact.
    This is the only way that ensures Seattle gets one guaranteed blue chipper(maybe 2 depending how you value Williams). It also ensures that Seattle gets major building blocks for the run game they so desperately covet. As has been discussed in depth, this year’s draft for the most is a mixed bad (listening to Daniel Jeremiah‘s podcast and mock draft today just illustrates the point that much more.) The latter to first-round picks will likely be late ones so closer to second round picks anyway.

    Denver fans made initially bristle at this idea, but if they want the major piece of their office they need to be willing to pay for it.

  12. BoiseSeahawk

    Why no love for Minshew? would he be a tradeable asset out of Philly alongside 3 2022 first rounders and a future?

    • Justaguy

      Because Minshew doesn’t win championships maybe?

    • Rob Staton

      Carroll isn’t trading Wilson to acquire Minshew

      I like Minshew but that just does not seem realistic to me. Not enough experience, not proven, Jalen Hurts is preferred in Philly…

      • Tomas

        The Steelers would be smart to trade for Minshew – they’d love him in Pittsburgh.

  13. Andy J

    What if Carroll’s intention is to win back Russell Wilson’s favor!? That is probably my guess as to the likely outcome. What I am saying is… if Wilson staying AND being content is in everyone’s interest… a) can’t minds change/evolve and b) how could Carroll best demonstrate this? This is surely wishful thinking… which I appreciate you ain’t dabbilin in no mo! If it were me:

    – media offensive about Russell Wilson’s importance to the team
    – personal offensive to include RW3 in decision-making, team-building, strategy, and woo him a little
    – hiring an inspired Defensive Coordinator
    – is there a corresponding Offensive staff person that could be added who could help out Waldron / appeal to Wilson? why is Solari still here? fire Tater?
    – be more aggressive in free agency
    – obvi, you, me, and the rest of the world want team to focus on the o-Line

    – but you’re proposing we cut Carson & trade Metcalf. and i am also w/ you about letting Everett walk. Same w/ Dissly, depending upon costs. the Patriots were able to patch and play skill positions. I think that strategy works. BUT, Wilson has clamored for weapons. He WANTED to cook. He wants some records. I am genuinely 1000% interested in this question because if team-building is in part public relations, I don’t know how this can be addressed. I’m still sold on build a solid o-Line and the rest will follow. add skill only at low-cost.

    If you were really serious about winning over Wilson… include him, praise him privately and publicly, add exciting staff. Give him a solid o-line and running game, and convince him privately that this route can lead to the SB. Commit to being aggressive in-game. Maybe add one weapon, somehow / someway.

    Financially, you could even offer to do some contract stuff. What really would entice him is a no-Franchise tag clause. It would be a bitter pill to swallow for the org, but this would move the needle for Wilson. And it clearly commits the whole gang, Wilson and Carroll, to 2-years… all-in on winning another Super Bowl. Which is what Wilson wants. Carroll, surely, deep down, wants that too.

    If Wilson is the best bet to lead you to another SB… court that fool!!

    • Scot04

      Based on PC’s comments on offseason Free-agency we’d be lucky if we even see 1 impact player coming from outside the team.
      Same we want to address the passrush, but doesn’t sound like he’s even willing to spend big on 1 top DE let alone multiple including O-line.
      My guess is Wilson was involved in the meetings & wasn’t happy with the outcome let alone Pete’s comments on Free-agency.
      I’m guessing we’ll see a similar offseason.
      Hope I’m very wrong, would love to see a switch from the last several years

      • McZ

        PC is feeding this bulls*** the third year in a row to the fandom. Yeah, they are “in it” with every player.

        I find this increasingly hard to believe. If you are the HC of a team that is clearly ob a slide, is hemorrhaging talent and being actively questioned by your franchise QB, you will ultimately have huge problems acquiring top talent. Add to this the bad offering at 2020 Pro Bowl, where any name in the market could get a feel what playing under PC means, and you have a perfect disaster.

        This team is going nowhere.

        • Big Mike


    • Rob Staton

      I did not propose trading Metcalf

      And Wilson is long past the point of being won over I’m afraid

      • Blitzy the Clown

        Also did you propose letting Everett walk? I don’t recall you advocating that either.

        • Rob Staton

          I’m torn on it. He’s flashed but he also had some big errors. Plus it’s a good TE draft

  14. Stephen

    What about this offseason plan? If Russell requests a trade, he would go for a minimum of three first round picks (whether they are in 2022 only, 2022-2023, or 2022-2024 is unclear) along with a few other picks. Then the Seahawks would take on Cousins’ contract from the Vikings and acquire two first round picks in order to give the Vikings cap space ala what the Lions did for the Rams.

    They would have 5 first round picks and Cousins would be the placeholder starter and they could even renegotiate his contract to clear up some cap room.

    • Rob Staton

      The Vikings aren’t giving you two first round picks

      • Stephen

        Fair enough. But would a day 2 pick such as a second or conditional third be too unreasonable? Vikings would be clearing 35 million off of their books, which Seattle would be taking on. Trading Russell would add a decent chunk of dead money as well, but the Seahawks would get draft capitol, some cap space, and a placeholder QB to satisfy competing in the current climate.

        • Rob Staton

          If you want Cousins I think you’re going to have to pay compensation to Minnesota. Just not much.

          • Stephen

            Who says no?

            Seahawks get: Cousins + 2022 2nd/conditional 3rd

            Vikings get: 2022 5th rounder

            Probably would have to sign Cousins to a one or two year extension to drop down that 35 million cap hit that would come in, but shouldn’t be a problem with adding one or two void years.

            • Rob Staton

              Again, there’s no reason for Minnesota to have to give anything up.

              A cheap trade to acquire Cousins is perfectly reasonable

  15. Kevin Mullen


    I don’t see how RW will want to “run it back” without some significant changes: no new head coach, no new offensive coordinator/philosophy, no prospect of a big time offensive FA willing to sign with Seattle. All our big talent acquisitions has always been via trade, not a market value FA signing.

    That said, with the preferred options of any QB being in a deal sent back to Seattle, Carr intrigues me the most. Is he not to RW level? Of course not but he’s also been unfairly criticized for the fact of his surrounding talent. That Raider offense has no where near the talent that Seattle has, especially the last few years. I’d be willing to deal him to Las Vegas if we can get Carr and their entire draft stock, plus Clelin Ferrell.

    • Justaguy

      Trade his ass is not the most poignant of fanatical expressions for an individual that held up an organization for their greatest moments

    • Peter

      I respectfully disagree on the talent level.

      Going back to 2016 i’d argue the raiders Oline was better. And the team did attempt to get him talented players. Jared Cook was still productive. Old Marshawn Lynch was more productive than Penny. The drafted Amari Cooper. Brought in Nelson Algoholor. Jordy Nelson was fairly productive for a spell. Henry Ruggs looks like he has something. Michael Crabtree was way overdrafted the year Seattle overdrafted Aaron Curry but he was actually okay for the raiders.

      Generally I think Carr is just a guy. Like Cousins. They play in the league for ever. They aren’t going to make a ton of mistakes. Their play won’t ever lift all boats, so to speak.

      Wilson unfortunately for this team and for PC is a cheat code. Pete’s “D,” has been getting softer and softer. Whether you like DVOA or some other metric, the defense has been slipping to almost bottom third for four straight years. The run game has been a problem with consistency for years. And I would argue without really crunching the numbers that the Wilson led offense won every game the team won -and- lost every game the team lost in 2020 because the rest of the team barely warrants a mention.

      Bring in Carr. Bring in Cousins. But if the team continues as it has been it will further illustrate how far off the mark this team is because neither QB “will get you wins.” May be a win. But not wins, with an “s.”

  16. Denver Hawker

    Thanks for writing this- very balanced and practical. I hope it brings the sides together a bit and everyone can acknowledge the truth of what’s been said (and not said).

    I do feel for Russ here in a way. He doesn’t have what he wants in Seattle, yet his options are so limited. George Paton values picks more than any GM, as much as I’d love to see it, it’s hard for me to imagine a trade to Denver. I know QB is the missing piece here, but Cousins could be had just as well and Paton worked with him in Minn.

    It just comes down to NY for me. I suspect terms will be exchanged and your gut is right the owner is desperate. Ultimately, it’s up to Russ if he thinks NY gives him a better chance at winning a SB.

    • Rob Staton

      By all accounts, I think Denver are aiming much higher than Kirk Cousins

      • Denver Hawker

        I don’t disagree, but I also don’t see them giving up the draft capital required to make it happen.

        • Rob Staton

          I think there’s too much made of Paton’s approach.

          He’s a second year GM. We don’t really know.

          We particularly don’t know what he’d do when faced with one missing piece and quality everywhere else…

  17. Justaguy

    “I get the sense Wilson is biding his time. Potential suitors such as the New York Giants, Denver Broncos and Las Vegas Raiders are going through the process of appointing Head Coaches. Until those moves are concluded, Wilson can’t really do or say anything.”

    To be clear I enjoy this blog and every bit of content you so generously provide Rob.

    I understand your reservations but I completely disagree on the process. If one truly believes on their path then it doesn’t matter where, how or when it happens. This is often referred to as transcendence. I would be reserved to believe Russ follows his own path not one laid by a city and certainly not by Pete Carroll.

    • Seattle Person

      I don’t know about that. If Wilson wants to leave Seattle just to leave for greener pastures then sure. If he wants a bigger market then I understand your point. However, it would make sense for Wilson to wait until those teams have settled on their coaching staff. Why would he force the issue now? What if the Giants, Broncos, Raiders blow it and hire blunders as head coaches…Wilson would have to go through the same thing as he did here.

    • Joshua Smith

      People who aspire to transcend society are usually unconcerned how people view them. They care about people in a general sense, without caring WHAT people think. Not an easy task for anyone.
      My point is Russ appears to care a great deal what people think of him.
      He has regularly spoken of his legacy. He wants to make it known he wants change, a trade if necessary. But doesn’t want see him as the “bad guy” who complained or pouted when he didn’t get his way (see Aaron Rodgers who was vilified by many). I think Rob is pretty accurate in his assessment. He may not be “spot on” as there are so many moving parts. But the thought process and insight are there.

      I’m more concerned about what Pete wants. This is likely his last contract before he leaves Seattle. He can hold on to Wilson until he leaves using the Franchise tag. This scares me because he won’t care if Wilson leaves after the next 2-3 years AFTER he does. Or if Wilson were to put his foot down and walk if he’s not traded them Pete will also leave. If Pete can get at least one more SB in the next 3 years then great. But if he doesn’t and completely alienates Russ, alienates half the fan base and then bolts cuz Wilson is gone then the Hawks and us diehards are left with nothing. No picks, no QB and watching crappy teams year after year.

    • Blitzy the Clown

      If one truly believes on their path then it doesn’t matter where, how or when it happens. This is often referred to as transcendence.

      I’m not entirely sure I understand what you mean by this, so if I apologize in advance if I’ve misconstrued you. But this sounds wholly divorced from the reality of the business of professional sports. One can’t just transcend immutable issues of pro football like cap space, trade compensation, coaching philosophies, personnel/roster construction, etc.

      Wilson can’t just point at another team, demand he be traded to them, and expect it to happen. An NFL mega trade is never that simple.

      First of all, his target team have to want him too, not just abstractly, but to the extent they’re willing to pay what Seattle will no doubt want for him. And I think Rob’s point (apologies if I misconstrued him) is that right now, the teams most likely to be Wilson’s target (for reasons like trade compensation, roster construction, coaching philosophy, etc.) don’t have HCs and/or GMs (with the possible exception of the Eagles). Those teams can’t negotiate a trade for a player of Wilson’s magnitude until they sort their executive and coaching staffs. So why would Wilson demand to be traded to one of them until they can?

  18. Ryan Purcell

    Thanks for all the hard work! Nice job laying things out. I feel like Russ is stuck. He has no options atm. Could he force a change? Probably – but not without damaging his “image” irreparably. The Seahawks can keep him for the next 4 years or so without a huge financial burden. Is he really going to burn the whole place down? I did like what Justaguy said above. “If one truly believes on their path then it doesn’t matter where, how or when it happens. This is often referred to as transcendence.” Does Russel believe in himself or not?

    • Rob Staton

      Wilson believes in himself

      He doesn’t believe in PCJS

    • jeff

      Not sure why people are concluding that Wilson’s circumstances are immaterial to him. They seem to be the whole point. He doesn’t believe in his current situation, presumably. He is looking for a better situation. I suspect the particulars of that situation are paramount.

      • Rob Staton


      • Roy Batty


        A ticker tape parade in Manhattan, Lombardi hoisted in the air, would go a long way in salving the wounds disgruntled Seahawks fas had inflicted on his ego.

        There is a reason Wilson went to the Yankees spring training. It’s the Yankees. He had no shot at actually playing MLB. He did, however, have the time of his life basking in the glow of the Yankees media, fans and stars.

        Imagine that a million fold if he were to bring the Giants back to prominence.

        He would become legend in the biggest media market in all of America.

        That, alone, would tempt him if the Giants were to go all-in on him with a dynamic offensive-minded head coach.

        • Simo

          Well said Roy! We’ll have to let the dust settle for a while yet, but it feels increasingly likely to me Russ ends up with the Giants next year. Here’s why I think so.

          -Clearly Russ isn’t satisfied with Seattle ownership deciding to run it back with Pete and John. He’s biding his time and trying to figure out the best scenario for him.
          -NY is likely to hire Brian Daboll as their new head coach. A very creative, offensive minded coach is exactly what Russ wants.
          -NY has ample draft stock to make a major trade for Russ happen, even if they don’t have a ready-made QB prospect to put into the trade.
          -The NY market will be very appealing to Russ and Ciara. Imagine the amount of non-football opportunities in that city for both of them.
          -The chance to be the savior of NY and bring the Giants back to prominence will be a huge factor for Russ.

          I hope he stays in Seattle, but I fear it is trending the wrong way!

  19. Sea Mode

    LOL. What’s the run/pass split on this personnel package? Bet they’d never see a play action QB keeper coming…

  20. Sea Mode

    A familiar name? Color me shocked…

    Aaron Wilson
    · 13h

    Jaguars special teams coordinator Nick Sorensen, a former secondary-nickel coach for Seahawks, expected to be under consideration for defensive backs position with Seattle, according to a league source

    • Big Mike

      Wouldn’t you hire the new D Coordinator before you hire a defensive position coach so he had input into who new position coaches might be?

      Oh wait, Pete Carroll runs everything and the new DC will just take orders from him anyway so I guess this makes sense.

      • cha

        Good point.

  21. Sea Mode


    • Peter

      Pretty wild coaching line up.

      Also the case could be made for coaches getting second or so shots….after someone, Shanahan or Snyder, picked RG3 instead of Wilson they also drafted Kirk Cousins in the same year. From the outside those three at the time didn’t do much with RG3 and then Kirk Cousins to get that team anywhere out of the mud.

      But here we are maybe three of the brightest in the game….we’ll see.

  22. McZ

    RW must look at this NFC divisional round with despair. Four QBs, of which he is #2 or #3 talent wise. Four franchises invested heavily in the trenches. Four teams with a balanced, flexible offense. Four teams with solid to great defenses. Any of them featuring star pass rushers. Three of the most potent secondaries.

    No, the Seahawks are not close to a championship. This is a fringe playoff team on a sunny day.

    And this is the problem, IMO. The fanbase is devided over the question, who is responsible for being fringe. How pointless is that? The question of how to get back to the top is still entirely unanswered. Rob is the sole outlet at least discussing somewhat of a plan, while the rest is simply commenting on the crap PC and JS are feeding.

    It’s a poor showing, overall.

    • Peter

      I really do get people who are over Wilson. A lot of that stems from personality and sometimes how he plays the game.

      But at the expense of being a bit of a prick, any fan who thinks Wilson and his contract are what is causing this team to be held back are either being thick intentionally or are some how oblivious to a good deal of the QB’s in the playoffs right now are not playing for some fantasy home town discount and are in fact quite pricey.

      Joe Burrows is to my mind the only one who is “cheap.” And in two years or even sometime next year he’s looking to get paid 270 million, 180 guaranteed thanks to Josh Allen’s contract.

      • McZ

        RW is the Player who keeps them a fringe playoff team. This season made this abjndantly clear. At the same time, the team as a whole is lacking talent. And that’s not because RW soaks up the cap. A team that pays 40m to a LB and a SS who cannot cover has not a problem with the cap. It has everything to do with lousy as hell scouting, drafting, player development. Having gained the reputation of being a FA career cemetery doesn’t help, either.

        It all falls back on PCJS. There can simply be no debate.

      • Gabe

        At the expense of being a bit of a prick, you know this is easily verifiable, right? Five of the eight QBs still alive are running a cap hit of no more than $11M this year. Hell Mahomes’ cap hit is lower than Burrow’s this year. The only QBs still alive carrying top 5 cap hits at the position are Rodgers and Jimmy G.

        Mahomes and Tannehill are expensive next year. Allen isn’t expensive until 2023. And yes, you can play all sorts of games with cap math, but if you go back and look at history, paying a top QB top money is simply not a winning proposition. I’d argue that’s true with top defensive players, too. It’s great to have those guys, but it’s not great to pay them record money. It just hamstrings your ability to build a team around them.

        I’d trade Russ in heartbeat a build a real team. I’d give JS control over the roster, and frankly I’d let him pick the DC. I’d trade DK and let Bobby go. If Pete doesn’t like it, he can retire. Give me Huntley or Minshew and let’s get to work.

        • Peter

          Hey i don’t think you’re a prick. Your post proves my point. Rodgers is expensive and is still in the hunt. Ergo it is possible to do.

          You lost me on expensive qb’s and defensive players? Is there a position you would pay for?

          Re: huntley and minshew. Huntley was a JAG in college and played at Geno’s level this year. If pc/js can magic up a top five rush attack and the LOB again why not just keep Geno? Per Minshew..maybe there’s a reason why this team didn’t go after an air raid qb when he came out of college? Maybe for the minshew mania why have two teams in a row gone with other QB’s when they could have kept or started him?

          • Gabe

            Sorry man, I got busy over the weekend and didn’t make it back to this.

            I think Rodgers is a pretty perfect example of what you’re likely to get with Russ. Good regular seasons and flame outs in the playoffs. Seattle has been to two Super Bowls since the last (only) time Rodgers played in the big game, and I’ve come to understand that’s not good enough. I’ve always seen the playoffs as a bit of a crapshoot. The goal is to get there, and then hopefully your team is healthy enough and gets hot in January, and you make a deep run. But if Seattle’s not been successful over the past 5-6 years, I find it hard to argue that Green Bay has.

            Anyway, apologies for the earlier comment about defensive players. I was unclear and should’ve been more precise. When I said “record money” regarding defensive players, I was talking mostly about pass rushers – the guys who command 10-15% of the cap. Over the years, the record guys have been players like both Watt brothers, Mack, Bosa, etc. More precisely, I’d be reticent to pay any single player more than $20M per year. I want to maximize the number of players I have on $10-20M/year deals. If I had 10 of those guys, I could see it being something like 2-3 OL, 2-3 DL, maybe a secondary guy or two, a WR or two, and maybe a LB. (That’s not to say that I think Jamal is worth it – I don’t think he’s a good fit and I think it was a bad trade and extension.)

            Hope that helps clarify my position. Honestly I’d be ok with Geno, other than that he’s getting old and the DUI probably means he’s gone. I’d also probably draft a QB virtually every single year, like GB and NE seemingly used to do. Ensure you have a viable backup, maybe catch yourself a good one every so often, and perhaps even create some trade capital depending on your level of success.

  23. Rob Staton

    Raiders making a push for Josh McDaniels per reports…

    There’s your rock star offensive coach…

    • Sea Mode

      Oh, whew. I read Josh McCown for a second after reading this morning about the Jags doing the Texans a “favor” by “having a conversation” with him…

      I (and probably the Texans) need my head checked!

    • Roy Batty

      Imagine the conversation Wilson and his inner circle would have if he decided to leave.

      Go to the Raiders and possibly face off against Mahomes, Herbert and Rodgers.

      Go to the Giants and possibly rule over one of the worst divisions in football.

      On the one hand you test yourself against the best.

      On the other hand you are near guaranteed a playoff spot.

      • Peter

        Pretty fascinating way to look at it. Even Rodgers should contend with this for at least a minute sans Wilson.

        Stay in the North and contend with the Vikings who ocasionally get it together and battle the hapless Lions and Bears. Or go to Denver and face a multi team race for a playoff spot.

    • CaptainJack

      Belichick tree coaches haven’t been successful as head coaches. For example Matt Patricia and Joe Judge. Why will McDaniels be different? The patriots o was completely shut down by the bills a week ago. Forgive me if I am missing something obvious… I don’t closely follow the patriots.

      • Rob Staton

        Not saying he will be different but unlike the others, he’s done it and failed — come back as a productive OC and might be well placed for round two having taken a few scars

    • cha

      They requested to interview Ed Dodds for their GM spot per Rapaport.

      • Rob Staton

        Bravo, Mark Davis

  24. Forrest

    I would take Hurts and this year’s three first round picks (or two this year and one next).

    I would also take the Giants’ three first round picks if I knew I could get Watson without giving up more than one of those picks gained from the Giants (and I knew Watson could play this year and in the future).

    I would take TJ Watt and two 1st from PIT, if I could get Cousins or Watson for minimal compensation.

    I would take Waller and 3 first from the Raiders for Wilson and Adams, if I could get Watson for minimal compensation.

    • Peter

      Feels like whatever team is in on Watson is going to give near the same haul as Wilson. Plus as you mention he may not even be allowed to play as more info comes out.

      I don’t think the Steelers are going to be wheeling and dealing for Wilson. Or anyone.

      The raiders are weird. Why would a coach come there to fix up that team but also dump so much stock? Though Davis may do it anyway. The raiders as well with Wilson might turn those picks into Seattle’s achilles heel….late first rounders.

  25. Ryan Purcell

    I did do a run through on a draft sim with ours and Denver’s draft picks for this year – a 1, two 2’s and a 3, and it was a pretty nice haul.

  26. pepoandart

    I think if we are trading Russ, one of the picks HAS to be in the future (past 2022). At least give the fans a lottery ticket to dream about, man still hurts that we gave up a top 10 pick, but it is what it is. Eagles are a very intriguing option. Hurts really does seem like a Pete type of “Point Guard” QB so he may go for it. Maybe see if you can shake four high picks from the Eagles plus Hurts. Eagles were a playoff team this year and play in a division that has seen better days. They may think they are a QB away from another SB run and there is the chance they will want to keep Russ away from NYG. An AFC team would be best from Seattle’s POV
    (see if you can get Denver to sell the farm), but I think the best offers will come from the NFC. A better option to restock Seattle’s draft picks, might be to offer DK to the Eagles for two 1st. Try and sell him as the weapon Hurts needs to take the next step. Still a lot of moving parts.

  27. God of Thunder

    One thing to consider is that any team wanting to trade for Wilson will have to ensure lots of assets. Not only to get the trade done — making the Seahawks willing — but they’ll need to show Wilson they’ve got the assets to build a competitive team. RW won’t want to rebuild.

    I’m pointing out the obvious.

    • Rob Staton

      Sure — but the Giants have two top-10 picks and another at the top of R2. The Eagles have three firsts. The Broncos are already loaded. And the Raiders could trade Carr to acquire major stock. So I think they’re all fine there.

      • JJ

        What about raiders trading carr and then maki a play for Wilson?

        • Rob Staton

          Yep — we’ve discussed that

          • JJ

            I meant getting more ammo (trading carr) then trading for Wilson.

            • Rob Staton

              I know

  28. Gross MaToast

    Admittedly, my sway over the Seahawks’ front office decision making is, at best, exceedingly limited, and, at worst, nonexistent, but I really do not, under any circumstances, want to see Kirk Cousins or Derek Carr or just about any guy they might get in return for RW. There is no untapped potential there that Shane Norton Jr is going to unleash with his dynamic offensive wizardry. I can’t see Pete accepting any of them and for a moment believing that they are championship quarterbacks capable of taking him to the Super Bowl. If those are the options, I believe that Pete’s choice, like mine, is ‘None of the Above.’

    “So, Toast,” you may ask, “what would you do?” because I like to believe that people are interested in my thoughts and value my opinions, despite years of evidence to the contrary.

    Well, I would appease Russell Wilson and that is apparently the conclusion that Pete has reached as well, if you believe Dave Wanstedt, and why wouldn’t you believe Dave Wanstedt. If they’re keeping Pete, front office better be damned certain that RW can be not only retained, but assured that Seattle offers him the best opportunity for future Super Bowls. I can only assume that Pete’s return signals that the Powers That Be in Seattle feel great confidence in the gap between Pete and RW being closed to the satisfaction of all concerned – that Pete himself has assured them that it was not only possible, but a certainty, because why would you risk losing an elite player at the toughest position to fill in sport for a 71 year-old coach who has been consistently poor-to-outright awful in his player personnel judgements over the past half-decade or more? It’s obvious, right?


    Does RW fall for it? He can certainly provide a shopping list of guys he wants to play with, but so what? He’s heard that they were “in it until the end” on so, so many guys for as long as we all have. I have difficulty believing that he places much faith in Pete’s ability to build a team around him, or to stay out of play calling duties when it matters.

    I think he ultimately asks out, and sooner than later.

    Who’s the new guy?

    Doesn’t matter. Welcome to Purgatory.

    Bobby Layne played quarterback for the Lions in the ‘50s. He was great and won three championships there. The Lions traded him to the Steelers. On his way out, Layne said that the Lions wouldn’t win another championship, “for fifty years.” That was sixty-four years ago. Self-inflicted disasters are the worst.

    • Big Mike

      You know the thing is Pete Carroll is hugely responsible for getting us that Super Bowl we all wanted. I had dreamed about since the franchise was awarded to the city in 1974. Now it’s very likely he’ll be responsible for the coming “purgatory” as you said. I can’t stand that I can’t stand him anymore but this is what happens when someone answers to no one. “absolute power corrupts absolutely”

    • TomLPDX

      Loved this post Gross. I could tell you enjoyed writing it and I enjoyed reading it.

      Big Mike, loved this:

      I can’t stand that I can’t stand him (Pete) anymore

      Nailed it!

  29. TomLPDX

    WooHoo! Touchdown Henry!

  30. cha

    Another DC spot opening up

    #Steelers DC Keith Butler informed the team he is retiring, per sources.

    Butler played 10 NFL seasons and was an assistant for 23 more, including 19 in Pittsburgh, where he was part of two Super Bowl wins. A big hole to fill on Mike Tomlin’s staff.
    2:13 PM · Jan 22, 2022·TweetDeck

    • 805Hawk

      Now that feels like a spot that Fangio would take.

      • Big Mike


  31. Rob Staton

    Appreciate all the kind words and new Patreons, guys!

  32. GoHawks5151

    Anyone thinking that you can win in the playoffs with any old QB I present Ryan Tannehill and Derek Carr. Good O Lines, good weapons, thoroughly average QBs. Please keep Russ.

    • Rob Staton

      Tannehill looks like hot garbage here.

      • TomLPDX

        He’s struggling

        • TomLPDX

          Still only a 7-point game at the end of the third. I’m not giving up on the Titans just yet.

      • Big Mike

        And why didn’t they keep running instead if giving him the chance to throw that 2nd pick?

      • Rob Staton

        That was a nice throw

        • TomLPDX

          Not to shabby for hot garbage! 😉 This is an interesting game.

          • Rob Staton

            Well, he was playing hot garbage when I typed that. I think that was a perfectly fair assessment!

            • Peter

              10/18 170 yds 1 td 2 picks…..

              If wilson did that in any game you’d be shutting down the coments here.

            • TomLPDX

              It was, and he was. He needs to get his act together. If they are going to win he needs to step up. Just having fun, Rob!

              • Peter

                Maybe giving them life now!

  33. Big Mike

    THAT’S not incomplete?
    NFL obviously trying to keep viewers. Worst officiating since the no call against the Saints that cost them the Super Bowl

    • Tallyhawk

      Unreal how in any way shape or form regarding wording of rules that that is a catch. The way the league has made a catch so complicated is just maddening!

  34. Rob Staton

    Seahawks twitter would be hammering Wilson for some of these Joe Burrow sacks

    • 805Hawk

      This. 100%.

      • Big Mike


    • TomLPDX

      This is a sacking D, they are amazing to this point.

      • Scot04

        Yep, similar offense causing the issues. But they’ll keep blaming Russ

  35. GoHawks5151

    Jeffrey Simmons….. Sigh… Woulda coulda shoulda traded up. Sad PCJS draft press conference after the first Rd that year makes so much sense

    • Poli

      Didn’t have to trade up for Montez Sweat though

    • DarrellDownUnder

      Total Stud. I remember wishing he would fall to Seattle but Ten made a great pick. I’m sure they wouldn’t have made the pick anyways.

  36. Big Mike

    Justice for the Bengals after the NFL screwed them to keep Tennessee in the game

  37. TomLPDX

    Wow! What a game! Titans blew it but Cincy overcame 9 sacks to still win the game. I hate that the Titans lost but really happy for for Cincy, if that makes any sense. (I’m an NFC guy top to bottom).

  38. Sea Mode

    Good for Burrow. I like the kid.

    • Rob Staton


      And a born winner

    • Sea Mode

      (but I’d say he’s probably going to need another 11/266/3TD performance from Chase to get past the Chiefs/Bills.
      –feels absurd to even write that statline, btw)

    • pdway

      same here. Bengals the most fun team to root for in this post-season.

  39. Tomas

    How could the Bengals have possibly let Dennis Green go, with all those playoff appearances?

  40. Tomas

    … such a terrible risk, to take a chance finding a new coach.

    • Peter

      Mike mccarthy and his very, very, very good record winders why Greenbay let him go as well.

      8 straight playoff runs aren’t good enough?

  41. DarrellDownUnder

    Think the Titans would like to have Russ?

    • TomLPDX

      Nope, Titans have their QB. He had a bad day for sure but I wouldn’t give up on him just yet.

      • Peter

        You’re very kind. Tannehill probably is their qb for the near future. I never see you say a bad word about Wilson but to see aome posts you’d think Wilson is less than tannehill with his winning playoff record abd 86 more tds, and 20 odd less ints.

        • TomLPDX

          Sorry Peter, not sure what you’re trying to say here. Russ is our QB and I’ve seen him pull out wins out of thin air. Love Russ!

          Ryan T was my QB at TAMU (before Johnny Football) and he did well. He had Mike Evans (Tampa Bay) to throw to and was tough. I’m a homer and love my guys. I’m going to root for them. I’m also an old Houston Oilers fan and wont apologize for it. I still miss our old foes from the AFC west when that was our division. To top it off, I’m a 60’s and 70’s Cowboys fan. Don Meredith, Danny White and Roger Staubach were my dudes! I still hate Terry Bradshaw because he is the enemy!!! 🙂

          • Peter

            I just meant many of “our” fans would be calling for tannehill’s end if he playrd like that instead of having your long view that it was a crummy game but titans seem to be all in on him.

            He’s improved a ton there. In tennessee.

            I was just making the connection that youre a positive poster and see a bad game for what it is.

            • TomLPDX

              Gotcha and thanks. Russ has had some really bad games but also some really good ones. I can’t imagine what it would be like to be a bona fide QB in the NFL

  42. JJ

    If I were titans I would go after a new qb

  43. Submanjoe

    I agree with boomer, kick the extra point go up 7-6. End of game you’re up 17-16 and running out the clock with Henry instead of throwing it with 20 seconds left.

  44. cha

    5 runs and 5 passes.

    Quick throws to beat the fierce pass rush.

    Tough inside running.

    A good defensive line.

    Tell me again RW is simply an egomaniac who wants a bigger market when there’s rumors about him wanting to move on.

    • Rob Staton

      Packers getting this all wrong

      Should be playing to keep things close for the fourth Q

    • pdway

      quick passes are a QB’s best friend. keeps the drive alive. Packers look so poised on offense so far.

  45. cha

    Marcedes Lewis just plowed Fred Warner like a tackling dummy.

    • CaptainJack

      LOL, that is some “old man strength”

  46. AlaskaHawk

    That was a great game. Even with all the offense, it felt like a defensive matchup.

    • pdway

      it’s a very nice plus to have a hot kicker going into the playoffs – that guy killed it today.

      • AlaskaHawk

        4 for 4 = A nice 5 round pick by the Bengals.

  47. uptop

    If we trade Russ were just best off tanking until Arch Manning leaves college

  48. pdway

    The QB disparity in this game is so striking – feels like it will take a monster game from the Niners D for them to even keep it close.

    • AlaskaHawk

      I’m waiting for Green Bay to get another couple scores and crush the 49ers spirit.
      But if the 49ers can hang in there – big kudos. It would help if their receivers would catch the ball!

    • TomLPDX

      Finally! Kittle caught one!

  49. cha

    And that’s why the Niners broke the bank for Trey Lance.

  50. AlaskaHawk

    Speaking of Tre – Tre Flowers that is , who now plays for the Bengals. I can’t believe how good he looked on the punt coverages! Did the Seahawks use him for that?

    • 12th chuck

      i remember a few good special teams plays he had

  51. TomLPDX

    Deebo is just amazing!

    • AlaskaHawk

      He must have got the wind knocked out of him.. But he might have a rib injury now.

    • Ashish

      He is but if we play for Pete he would be Dee Eskridge

  52. cha

    Just in case anyone was wondering, Alex Mack’s 2021 cap hit is $2.97m.

  53. cha

    Motioning your All-Pro LT and then not running behind him??? Kyle outsmarted himself.

  54. Mike

    2019 draft first round edge tiers:




  55. Palatypus

    Rut Roh!

  56. Hawks4life

    Yikes its gonna be a long off season for Rodgers and Packer fans

  57. AlaskaHawk

    Another Great game! Congrats 49ers.

  58. Palatypus

    I don’t State Farm Insurance is going to cover this with the Rodgers rate.

  59. Submanjoe

    What a game, 49ers defense, wow! Both number 1s out!

  60. Tomas

    Carroll vindicated – he beat the 49’ers twice.

    • BobbyK

      He’s 17-3 against the 49ers, actually.

      • Big Mike

        And against McVay?

  61. Pran

    Oh boy.. Rodgers must hate NFC W to the core.

    • Palatypus

      Oh, and now the Packers fans are like “Trade for Wilson!”

  62. CaptainJack

    I want to rams to beat TB so the NFC championship + Superbowl are in LA. Would be kind of cool.

    • Palatypus

      Yeah, I love traffic jams.

  63. Mick

    Imagine Wilson watching an NFC championship game featuring 49ers and the Rams.

    • Palatypus

      …with Aaron Rodgers.

  64. 206

    bang bang niner gang lol. I was actually rooting for the 49ers in this game.

    • Palatypus

      It made me feel dirty.

      • 206

        really says something about the dislike for the pack

    • Rob Staton

      I would never root for the Niners

      • Sea Mode

        Yeah, but they are Rodgers’ kryptonite and once they’ve taken him out for us, you just know Jimmy G is gonna keep on doing Jimmy G things. I mean:

        • Sea Mode

          (and yes, I know he was under duress at that moment, but the larger point still holds 😁)

        • Rob Staton


          The Niners somehow have the Rams’ number too

          Not sure how they’d get on vs TB

          • Sea Mode

            Would be interesting to find out. Not sure we’ll get the chance, though. Stafford to channel his inner Goff vs. Brady?

  65. BobbyK

    It’s hard for me to hate the 49ers anymore. Pete’s 17-3 against them. Even though they’re idiots, we always beat them. No matter what. I know they didn’t have Deebo last game, but that’s probably not the reason the Seahawks were 16-3 against them prior.

    The Rams are the ones I hate because they always beat us. I actually hope for an NFC West Championship Game next weekend (because I’m ready to puke if we have to watch Brady anymore). I’ll root for the 49ers and then hope the Bills beat them in the Super Bowl. I think it would be funny to watch the Bills finally win a Super Bowl at the expense of the “dominant team of the 1980s”).

  66. Scot04

    I was hoping Green Bay. We want Rodgers happy & wanting to staythere; just in case we decide to trade Russ.
    Less Available QBs then better for us.

    • Palatypus

      Okay, that kind of logic is completely unacceptable on the internet.

      • Scot04


    • Peter

      I was actually thinking this as the best outcome. Which is gross.

      Now back aboard the bengals train.

  67. Big Mike

    Guessing the ‘trade Wilson” crowd will have a field day with the 9ers win which really was more a Packers loss.

  68. Roy Batty

    I was on a video conference with a supplier in Asia, looked over at the final score of the Niners game, and exclaimed, “What the holy fu**?”

    A 5 minute explanation of American football later, everyone laughed.

    I am sooooo looking forward to watching Rodgers presser.

    His last one as a Packer.

    • Palatypus

      [Golf clap]

      • Roy Batty

        The icing on top is Jimmy G’s stat line.

        57.1 passer rating and 11.8 QBR.

        Sweet lord, that is hilarious.

        • Peter

          Almost as good as the time Wilson gifted them an endless supply of ints, and still won with some devastating passes to kearse…so sweet their tears were after that game…

    • Palatypus

      [Aaron Rodgers steps up tp the microphone]

      “I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in Snow. Time to die.”

      • Roy Batty

        Most people never realize that I am actually the hero in that movie.

        • Palatypus

          Well, in the book I’m sure it was the chicken-head knocking on the girl’s door in his underwear while holding a stick of butter.

        • pdway

          damn…never put that user name together….

  69. Sea Mode

    Nice move

  70. Sea Mode


    Jim Nagy

    Common theme in these two games today is the importance of interior pass rush. Wherever you have guys like Georgia’s Devonta Wyatt and Alabama’s Phil Mathis now just plan on them going 20-30 spots higher in April.

  71. Sea Mode


    It sounds as if Broncos defensive coordinator Ed Donatell is the front-runner to land that same job with the Seattle Seahawks. Donatell has had a couple of brief stints on the University of Washington coaching staff, so he has ties to the area.

    • Sea Mode

      Also, Raiders first choice is Jim Harbaugh. That would be more rockstar than McDaniels for sure.

      Dan Quinn top of Vikings’ list and likely Denver’s as well. Possible reunion with Bevell as OC in Denver? And with Russ…?

    • Rob Staton

      So uninspiring

      An old Pete guy

      • Rob Staton

        The same article says the Rams will push for Fangio is their DC (R.Morris) gets a head coaching gig.


        • Sea Mode

          Sigh for us. Hope our new guy is “open-minded to doing things the way we’ve always done it…” 🤮

          And for the Rams, as if they needed their defense to be any better… And get comp picks again due to the stupid new rule.

          BTW, when does cap hell finally get real for them after all their aggressive trades and contracts kicking the can down the road?

  72. Sea Mode

    Make that two BAMFs on the Bengals, haha…

    Ari Meirov

    Joe Burrow says Evan McPherson came up and said “looks like we’re going to the AFC Championship Game” right before he went out to kick the 52-yard game-winner.

    Talk about having confidence.

  73. Sea Mode

    Ok, last one for now: Packers with only 10 on the field… for the game winning FG!!

    • McZ

      Watching our opponents list for next season and the shit show of a lack of leadership and responsibility in the office, it’s abundantly clear, that we will talk about the same crap next offseason, regardless what the Seahawks do. They won’t get a sensational FA, and their draft picks are either plain bad or are souring on the benches.

      We could have easily been in business for a top 3 pass rusher, or Jordan Davis. Instead, we gifted a top 10 pick to the Jets for peacock. It’s an unbearable sin.

      RW will not be allowed to go, because PC knows he won’t go anywhere without RW. They will entertain a trade here or there, but the compensation will never be enough. Sorry, bro, we tried but couldn’t make it happen.

      So, be it. Couldn’t care less.

      What this divisional round just showed us, is that this is a QB league to get into the playoffs, but having a decent OL is a bare minimum and a very good DL plus secondary is paramount to succeed there.

      We don’t have both.

      Let’s simply endure what will hopefully be PCs last stint. Let’s hope for a baseball season, where the Mariners finally kick the Astros arse. Let’s hope, the Seahawks would then feel pressure to change.

      Josh McDaniels will possibly be gone by then. Mike McDaniel still available and possibly a SB champion as Niners OC.

      • Seattle Person

        Give the M’s a lot of credit. They knew they were heading nowhere…That’s why they blew it up. Let the rest of the division die out and rise up when those teams are on the down swing. It might take another season or two until the Seahawks realize that or get to that point…

  74. Luis Guilherme

    Good points. I usually disagree quite a bit with you, but yeah, this is not a media conspiracy. Wilson prefers to stay in Seattle as long as Seattle is willing to help him win multiple Super Bowls. It’s as simple as that.

    I disagree with Wilson, though. I mean, for a QB in this century it’s very hard to look and see Tom Brady with 6 rings and the best other QBs getting “only” 2 (Big Ben and the Manning Brothers), and Peyton Manning got the second in his retirement year, after 5 MVP seasons. Russ has yet to receive a MVP vote.

    QBs drafted together with or after Wilson to have won a Super Bowl:
    – Nick Foles
    – Patrick Mahomes

    QBs drafted together with or after Wilson to appear in multiple Super Bowls:
    – Patrick Mahomes

    That’s it. He’s the 2nd most successful QB drafted since 2012. Arguably, he’s the third most successful active QB (behind Brady and Mahomes). I love he wants to win another couple of rings. That would put him in rare company, behind only Brady, Montana, and Bradshaw. But that’s really hard. The fact that only 5 QBs in the history of the game were able to achieve that should be enough to understand that he not having 3 rings by now is not the Seahawks, Pete Carroll or John Schneider — or Bevell or Schottenheimer or Waldron — to blame.

    Long intro for a short point: Wilson should stay in Seattle. The grass is always greener elsewhere. But if he forces his hand, the Giants is the one that looks best. That said, the dearth of QBs both in the veteran market and the draft brings Wilson stock considerably higher than 3 first rounders. I mean, he’s one of the best QBs in the league, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Carr (the best of the rest) is traded for 3 first rounders. You put really well that Wilson is in another league. The best plan B is (like you put in your most recent post) Cousins. But even with other teams having all leverage, the league is so needy of QBs that I think Minnesota will end up getting good compensation for Captain Kirk.

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