RENTON, Wash. – Russell Wilson, who joined several of his seasoned Seattle Seahawks teammates in covering the last week of organized team activity, was the latest indication that tension between the organization and their quarterback has eased, at least for the time being.
That was all Wilson said Thursday when he first spoke to reporters since his public criticism resulted in a dramatic start to the off-season as well as calls from other NFL teams about a possible deal.
Not that Wilson, as frustrated as he was then, wanted to be anywhere else.
“Obviously I love Seattle, I love to play here,” he said on Thursday after the Seahawks’ tenth and final OTA. “I’ve had a great career here so far. Of course I always wanted to play my entire career here. I think there were some unfortunate frustrations after the season. Of course you want to win everything and do everything and do everything you can. I think everyone on our team does that. You want to win it and I think unfortunately it got a little out of hand. “
Two days after the Super Bowl and a month after the Seahawks’ last early exit from the playoffs, Wilson said he was frustrated with all the hits he had taken and expressed his desire for more say in staff movements. These comments surprised the Seahawks; They came after Wilson and trainer Pete Carroll worked closely on the election of Shane Waldron as the team’s new offensive coordinator.
The drama peaked later in February when Wilson’s agent Mark Rodgers told ESPN’s Adam Schefter that the quarterback would accept a deal with only four teams. Wilson, who has a no-trade clause, said Thursday that this was made public because he wanted to clarify the record, that he didn’t request a trade and, while the rumor mill simmered, to clarify where he would be playing if Seattle would keep him busy.
General Manager John Schneider said in April that he had received calls from Wilson but had not “actively negotiated” with anyone.
“There was a lot of people, there was a whole thing that said I had requested a trade and that’s just not true,” Wilson said on Thursday. “I didn’t get a trade. I think it all started from there and then obviously a lot of teams called. … I didn’t really want to go anywhere else. I wanted to play in Seattle, but if I had to go somewhere, that’s them Teams I would go to are considering … I had a great chat with Coach Carroll, I also had a really great chat with John. Coach Carroll and I spent a lot of time one-on-one. We’re here for to do what we’re supposed to do and to win it all. I’m excited. “
Wilson said those talks strengthened his ties with Carroll and Schneider. As for his offensive line, Wilson said that he did not intend his comments on his pass protection as criticism of their game, that they did not understand them as such and therefore that he did not need to have conversations to clear the air.
This group returns four out of five starters from last season. The exception is right guard Gabe Jackson, whom Seattle acquired for a five-round pick from the Las Vegas Raiders. Wilson called Jackson a “spectacular football player” and said he did not know if the deal was the result of public pressure he put on the team to improve their O-line.
The Seahawks gave Jackson a new deal that lowered his cap and, for the first time under Schneider and Carroll, added invalid years to several contracts to relax their caps. To that end, Wilson said he was ready to convert his salary into a contract bonus, as he did in 2017, to make way for another addition. He even pointed out the possibility to Carroll. However, the Seahawks are reluctant to restructure Wilson’s deal due to the future impact of the cap.
Wilson and several other Seahawks veterans reported earlier this week after not participating in personal work for most of the offseason volunteer program. Wilson said they wanted to sign up for next week’s mandatory minicamp. Since his attendance was limited to virtual meetings (as well as makeshift exercises with Seahawks skills in his San Diego area home), Wilson didn’t meet Waldron in person until Monday.
Waldron, a former Los Angeles Rams assistant, installs a crime that is expected to borrow heavily from Sean McVay’s system. This includes leaning on the fast pace Wilson has long preferred.
“He has a great understanding of the game,” said Wilson. “It’s super exciting for us to be together. I had a great conversation with him, several conversations with him during the process. I really believe in him. I believe in this football team.”
Still under contract for three years, Wilson had an interesting answer to the question of whether uncertainty about his future could return in the next off-season.
“I think things can of course change in sport at any time,” he said. “That’s just the reality. Everyone knows that. But I think for me, my heart of the heart, I love this city, I love this place, I love everything about it. … Ultimately, I love the fans, I love my teammates, I love this coaching staff, I love this building. Every time I come here I get excited just to get ready again. Every morning I wake up, wake up to win and wake up to win another Super Bowl for the Seattle Seahawks, that’s my mission.
“I’ve always been able to divide myself, from the highest highs in life to the lowest of the lows at times. The reality is that my mind is so focused that we’re doing it, doing it again for this city, and.” win everything. ” . It takes a journey, it takes a lot of hard work, it takes a lot of learning, it takes a lot of great moments, including some difficult ones along the way. But I know we can do it again. So for me personally, I hope I play my whole career here. “