This week played out like just about any other in June over the past decade for Russell Wilson and the Seahawks, with Wilson leading Seattle's offense during organized team activities as the team gets ready for the upcoming season.
It was not, however, a typical offseason when it came to Wilson and the Seahawks, not when for a while his future was one of the biggest stories in the NFL as rumors and reports surfaced about the possibility of Wilson being traded.
But just as was the case when Pete Carroll addressed the topic last month, saying Wilson and the Seahawks were “in a fantastic place," Wilson said that while there indeed was some frustration for him and the team following an early exit from the playoffs, things are good between him, his teammates and the organization. Wilson also made it clear that he never requested a trade, even if the reports did lead to some teams making calls to Seattle to find out about the Pro-Bowl quarterback's availability.
"I love Seattle, I love playing here," Wilson said Thursday. "I've had a great career here so far. I've always wanted to play here for my whole career. Obviously there were some unfortunate frustrations after the season. Obviously you want to win it all and do it all; I think everybody on our team does. We all want to win. I think unfortunately it got a little bit blown out of proportion."
And throughout his half-hour long press conference, Wilson repeatedly made it clear that his focus now is not on whatever transpired over the course of the offseason, but on winning and on getting the Seahawks back to the Super Bowl.
"My ultimate goal is to win," he said. "I get paid to win, I get paid to find a way, I get paid to for us to be able to make a play, continue to find ways to win, and we've done a lot of that over the years. And the mission is to continue to do the same, but do a little bit more. The reality is that the only thing I'm focused on is winning and doing whatever it takes to win. That's why I wake up every day and lace my cleats and train every day. That's what my teammates are doing too, so that's what I'm looking forward to. In terms of the trade talks, I think anytime you play professional sports, there's always a possibility of something happening, I think that's just a reality. There were a lot of teams out there that people were saying that I was going to, or I requested a trade—I did not request to trade. I've always wanted to play here. The reality is that I think calls were getting thrown around and this and that, that's just a reality. But I think at the end of the day the real reality is that I'm here and I'm here to win, I'm here to win it all."
As for the report from ESPN's Adam Schefter that Wilson's agent gave him a list of four teams to which Wilson, who has a no-trade clause, would accept a trade, Wilson said that while he had no desire to be traded, that list was in response to teams putting out feelers about a potential trade.
"There was a whole thing saying I requested a trade, and that's just not true," Wilson said. "I didn't request a trade. I think everything kind of started from there, and then obviously tons of teams were calling, and the reality was I didn't want to go anywhere else, I wanted to play in Seattle, but if I had to go somewhere, these are the teams I would consider."
Throughout the offseason, Wilson, Carroll and just about everyone else involved stayed quiet on the topic, but Wilson said, just as Carroll did last month, that the two were in frequent contact, and that their relationship is as strong as ever.
"I had a great conversation with Coach Carroll, had a really great conversation with John (Schneider) too," Wilson said. "Coach Carroll and I spent a lot of time together one on one, and we're on the same page. We're here to do what we're what we're meant to do, and that's to win it all. I'm excited, I'm excited about who we have, the guys we have, I'm excited where we are. Coach Carroll and my relationship couldn't be any stronger. My focus is to win. Winning is everything to me."
Wilson also said things are good between him and his offensive linemen, something that became a topic of conversation after he made comments early this offseason that he was frustrated with being hit so much, a statement some took as a criticism of his offensive line.
"Not at all about the offensive line," he said. "I also mentioned that I can do better too. We're all trying to find ways to win, we're all trying to find ways to be better. Duane Brown is one of my closest friends, that guy's everything to me. I think about D-Lew (Damien Lewis) and what a player he was last year, he's going into his second year. I think about a guy like (Ethan) Pocic, who has been tremendous up front, and how smart he's been. I'm excited about Gabe Jackson, he's been amazing in the Zoom calls, he's been amazing in his approach. How tough he is—I've watched lot of film of him—just how good he has been. Then obviously (Brandon) Shell over there at right tackle. And we've got a lot of other guys who can play as well… I love my teammates."
Ultimately, Wilson plans on this odd offseason being just a footnote in his illustrious career because he knows that if the Seahawks have a great 2021 season, what happened in February and March won't matter.
"You know what heals all things?" he said to a question about all that went on in the offseason. "Winning."
And looking into the future, one he expects to include a lot of victories, Wilson sees himself playing for the Seahawks for a long, long time.
"I love this city, I love this place, I love everything about it," he said. "… For me, personally, I hope I play my whole career here. That's my mission, that's my goal."
Photos from the Seattle Seahawks' organized team activities held on Thursday, June 10 at Renton's Virginia Mason Athletic Center.