During an interview Friday, Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll downplayed the trade-rumor drama that surrounded quarterback Russell Wilson earlier this offseason.
Appearing on The Rich Eisen Show (h/t Pro Football Talk's Charean Williams), Carroll referred to the trade rumors as "old news" and seemed ready to move on from them:
"It seems like really old news to talk about this because it's been such a long time. The little bit he said carried so much air time that it became bigger than life. Throughout the whole process, Russell, we've always been connected. We've always been talking. We've never not been in communication, and we weren't at all in this time either. A couple things that came out got magnified and the questions came out, and there was a couple things. He was frustrated when he was talking, just like any of us can sometimes emphasize something that's on the top of our mind, and it can be played differently than it really played itself out."
While Wilson never requested a trade publicly, his agent, Mark Rodgers, told ESPN's Adam Schefter in February that Wilson would potentially accept a trade to the Dallas Cowboys, New Orleans Saints, Las Vegas Raiders or Chicago Bears.
Rodgers also said that Wilson still wanted to play in Seattle.
Schefter reported that the Bears made a "very aggressive pursuit" of Wilson, but they were informed by the Seahawks that they would not be trading their franchise quarterback.
Carroll said Friday that a concerted effort was made by himself, general manager John Schneider and Wilson to not fan the flames publicly when the trade rumors were making the rounds:
"We've had a really good offseason of working, and there was an ongoing media discussion that I did not take part in, John and I did not, we refused to be party to that, and Russ did what he could once he saw it happening, to stay as quiet as he could because it was going to play and have a life of its own anyway. What it amounted to was I think a refocusing, making sure that we were on the same page, making sure that we were clear so that we could withstand any of the scrutiny that would come towards us, and we did that."
The 32-year-old Wilson has spent his entire nine-year NFL career with the Seahawks and put together a Hall of Fame resume during that time.
The 2012 third-round draft pick is a seven-time Pro Bowler and one-time Super Bowl champion who has led the Seahawks to the playoffs in eight of his nine seasons, including each of the past three.
He put up MVP-caliber numbers last season, completing 68.8 percent of his passes for 4,212 yards, 40 touchdowns and 13 interceptions, but the Seahawks were eliminated by the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC Wild Card Round.
If the Seahawks are going to go on a deep run and potentially win a Super Bowl during the upcoming season, Wilson figures to be the driving force behind it.