Early in the offseason, Russell Wilson expressed on a few occasions in various media interviews that he was frustrated. Frustrated with being a spectator at the Super Bowl rather than a participant in it after a 12-4 season in which the Seahawks won the NFC West, and frustration with getting hit more than he'd like to.
From there, the big Seahawks storyline this offseason was whether or not the Seahawks might trade Russell Wilson, a narrative that got an extra boost in late February when Wilson's agent told ESPN's Adam Schefter the four destinations Wilson, who has a no-trade clause, would be willing to consider should it come to that.
But for all of the offseason reports and rumors, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider, who were addressing the media for the first time since the end of last season, said the Seahawks and their Pro-Bowl quarterback are in a great place.
"Russ has been our quarterback for a good while, and we've got a long contract with him," Carroll said. "When all of conversation went about trades and all that, I knew what the truth was—we weren't trading Russell. We plan on him being here for a good while—I don't know how many years (the contract) is now—but we're in great shape, a long future ahead of us. It's shared, Russ knows that, and I know that, we're very clear about it."
As for how far along any trade talks did or didn't get, Schneider said, "There were a number of teams that called after that media blitz that happened, but no, I never actively negotiated with anybody, with any team."
Carroll wishes that a list of potential trade destinations hadn't been put out—"It opened up some other conversation that didn't need to happen," he said… "It gave another little bite in there that people could talk about, and I wish we would have avoided that." But he doesn't begrudge Wilson for expressing any frustration right after Seattle's season ended with one-and-done playoff appearance.
"He wasn't any more frustrated than I was," Carroll said. "After watching the Super Bowl, he was asked the questions and he responded that he was frustrated—well, we all are. When we don't win the last game of the year, particularly when we were at home in position in the playoffs and had a chance, we felt like we had a really good opportunity—and health in our favor as well—It was hard. So I think that's a pretty normal reaction to be frustrated."
Added Schneider, "Pete Carroll and Russell Wilson are two of the most passionate and competitive people that I know, and passionate people say passionate things."
And while Carroll and Schneider chose not to publicly address any of this at the time, there was always ongoing dialogue with Wilson.
"We have had as many conversations as we've ever had," Carroll said. "We've talked extensively throughout the offseason. There was never a time that went by where we weren't talking in communication. We've been close for years around here and nothing changed that. We worked our way through whatever was at hand at the time. We realized—it was really obviously how a frustration comment can turn into so much follow up.
"There was some stuff that was said that had to be dealt with, and it has been. Russ is in a great place right now; he has been in a great place throughout the offseason…. Nothing has changed. Right now, he has as jacked up as he's ever been. He's in the process of turning over our new offensive stuff that is different from the past. He is totally after it, doing a great job. His mentality is strong and his conditioning is right. He's doing a great job. Things were said, and sometimes you have to deal with stuff, and that's how we take care of our business. We're in a fantastic place right now and really excited about this team and this season and this draft coming up and all of that."
As for the reports that Wilson was demanding more say in personnel decisions, Carroll pointed out that Wilson has been involved in some of those conversations for a long time, but that no such demands were made by Wilson.
"Russ and I have been in conversation about stuff that might be defined as that," Carroll said. "We're talking about stuff, he's been here 10 years or whatever it is, so we've had a lot of conversations… I want information, I'm not standing here like I have all the answers, I want all of the input I can get to make the decisions that I make.
"He never made a statement that he had to have more say so, that never happened. None of that happened."
And while this particular offseason distraction might have been a new one, Carroll and Schneider both lightheartedly mentioned that drama is nothing new to an organization that employed Marshawn Lynch for six seasons, and that featured a brash, outspoken and incredibly talented young defense, and yes, that once had to deal with receiver Golden Tate stealing some Top Pot maple bars in an early morning heist just months into his rookie season.
"We've dealt with a lot of drama now," Schneider said, before Carroll jumped in and added, "Maple Bars to Marshawn…. We've been through a lot of stuff. It's not our first go-around. We've been through a lot of stuff."
One photo from every touchdown pass, a franchise-record 40 in total, thrown by Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson during the 2020 season.