Russell Wilson Rumors: Insiders Feel Things Could Get ‘Very Ugly’ Without Title Push

AP Photo/Ashley Landis, File

The tension between the Seattle
Seahawks and franchise quarterback Russell Wilson could reportedly
return next offseason if the team doesn’t contend for a Super Bowl
title in 2021.

ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported an update to the situation Friday on Get Up after Wilson previously denied requesting a
trade:

“There’s a feeling around the league
that if Seattle is not at least on the cusp of a Super Bowl this year
that this could get very ugly once again. Because there are two
issues that happened a few months ago. Russell Wilson was straight-up
frustrated because he felt his name was floated in trade rumors even
a few years back. And then this offseason, he had ideas to try to get
the Seahawks back in the Super Bowl. He wanted to present them to the
team, he was calling them up, saying, ‘Hey, what are we doing here,
there?’ He felt like that was met with resistance. That they weren’t
hearing him. So there was straight-up consternation.

“Since then, Pete Carroll has had
several productive talks with Russell Wilson. Wilson was involved in
the hiring of [offensive coordinator] Shane Waldron. He talked to
Waldron during the process; he likes some of the moves they’ve made
in free agency. So Seattle has tried to meet him halfway. Things are
much better now, but his contract is very much tradable next year,
where the dead money on the salary cap gets cut in half to $26
million.”

Wilson went on a media tour in February
where he aired his grievances with the organization, ranging from a
lack of protection from the offensive line to not having enough input
on personnel decisions to build the roster around him.

The seven-time Pro Bowl selection had
already become the focus of trade rumors after CBS Sports’ Jason La
Canfora reported the Seahawks might have been “willing to budge” if the right “Herculean offer” came along during the offseason.

No trade was made, and Wilson said
Thursday his comments were “a little blown out of proportion” as
he vented frustration about not being able to compete for a
championship.

“I did not request a trade. I’ve
always wanted to play here,” he said. “The reality is, I
think calls were getting thrown around and this and that, and I think
that’s just the reality, but at the end of the day the real reality
is that I’m here, and I’m here to win, and I’m here to win it all.”

The 32-year-old added that he
worked through any lingering issues with Carroll and general manager
John Schneider, and now he’s ready to move forward.

“So I think the reality is, is that
we had to have a lot of conversations,” Wilson said. “We had some
great ones along the way. It made our relationship stronger, really—me and Pete and John. … The greatest thing about it all is that
I’m here. I’m ready to roll. I’m more focused than ever.”

Wilson is under contract through 2023
as part of a four-year, $140 million contract, but as Fowler alluded to,
the amount of dead cap space a trade would leave drops from $39
million this offseason to $26 million next offseason. It could give
the Seahawks a little more flexibility if the issues resurface.

That said, it sounds like the
University of Wisconsin product, who led the Seahawks to the Super
Bowl XLVIII title at the end of the 2013 campaign, is focused on
getting the team back to a championship level.

Wilson completed a career-best 68.8
percent of his throws last year for 4,212 yards with 40 touchdowns,
another career-high, and 13 interceptions across 16 games. He ranked
eighth in ESPN’s Total QBR.

Seattle will kick off the regular
season Sept. 12 when it visits the Indianapolis Colts.

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