The stories behind Russell Wilson’s departure from the Seattle Seahawks are coming out, and the most explosive is that the former Seahawks QB tried to get head coach Pete Carroll fired. Wilson reportedly requested that the team let go of coach Carroll and Seahawks general manager John Schneider, per The Athletic on Friday.
Wilson believed that Carroll and Schneider were hindering his ability to win another Super Bowl and solo accolades. Ironically, Wilson reportedly wanted Sean Payton to replace Carroll after he left the New Orleans Saints franchise. However, it would take a new team to pair Wilson with Payton, as the now-Denver Broncos QB has Payton by his side in the Rockies.
Wilson heard the revelations surrounding his departure from the Pacific Northwest and took to Twitter on Friday to clarify his feelings about Coach Carroll and GM Schneider.
“I love Pete and he was a father figure to me and John believed in me and drafted me as well. I never wanted them fired. All any of us wanted was to win.
“l’ll always have respect for them and love for Seattle.”
Regardless of whether Wilson felt he couldn’t get to the next level again with Carroll, what is clear is that he is the franchise’s choice and not Wilson. The Seahawks probably knew something the rest of the NFL world did not, as Wilson’s entry into Colorado has not been as impactful as the team hoped.
In his stead, Geno Smith had a winning record last season at 9-8 as the starting quarterback in Seattle. Smith even defeated the Broncos during their opening game for the season, which was Wilson’s Seattle homecoming as a Bronco.
Wilson came into the coach Nathaniel Hackett era in Denver, where they had a losing season, going a disappointing 5-12 and winning only one of nine games on the road. The Broncos also missed a playoff berth, and the pundits couldn’t help but ponder whether Wilson just was not the elite-level quarterback that captured the world’s attention and a championship for the Seahawks in 2014. Now, almost ten years removed from the most significant moment in his football career, many only discuss his celebrity marriage to entertainer Ciara.
Former Seahawks cornerback and member of their infamous Legion of Boom defensive unit Richard Sherman has been highly critical of Wilson now that their days as teammates are long gone. As a podcaster and commentator, Sherman has rarely held his tongue about how he feels about “Danger Russ,” and his ability to reach the promised land again.
“You have not been anywhere close to a Super Bowl letting Russ cook,” Sherman said last February during an episode of The Richard Sherman podcast. “You will not be anywhere close to a Super Bowl letting him throw 30-40 times a game, because not only are you stopping the clock, so your defense, your time of possession, your propensity to turn the ball over is going to increase.”
Wilson’s wholesome, diplomatic persona bumps up against other depictions of him as a player that can get a coach fired like he is rumored to have done to former Broncos coach Nathaniel Hackett. When Hackett didn’t make it to the end of the season, getting fired when the team was 4-11, former Green Bay Packers wide receiver Greg Jennings was one of the first to say Wilson should take most of the blame for the team’s losing season.
“Although Nathaniel Hackett has brought a lot of this on himself, Russell Wilson, oh my god, you literally got someone fired. … Wilson owes a lot of people in that organization and locker room,” Jennings said on a late December episode of the “First Things First” podcast on Fox Sports.
Russell Wilson undoubtedly wants to regain his former glories. If he is curating his coaches to get there, it may have cost him his legacy position in Seattle, and now his new tandem with Payton could mean vibrance or stagnation, to which the Broncos, like Seattle, might decide it’s not us, it’s you.