A strong free agency and draft period has apparently mended fences between the Seattle Seahawks and quarterback Russell Wilson.
ESPN's Jeremy Fowler said Wilson was "very happy" with the team's offseason during an appearance Sunday on SportsCenter:
"It started in free agency. I was told Russell Wilson was very happy with the moves Seattle made to get guard Gabe Jackson, tight end Gerald Everett, they got a receiver in the draft. And so, I'm told Pete Carroll behind the scenes heard Russell Wilson and understood his frustrations. So, he tried to keep an open line of communication with him over the last few months. They didn't necessarily have that heart-to-heart, long sitdown, but it was steady contact over those last few weeks to figure out how we can get better. Because Wilson's beef was simple, 'Hey, we're not getting to a Super Bowl anymore, I believe I can help us get there, I have some input.' And so even though Seattle does not let players dictate terms of front office personnel moves, Wilson's influence was definitely in place in this case. And so, this might not be done, but it's definitely good for now."
The relationship between Wilson and the Seahawks, particularly head coach Pete Carroll, seemed on the verge of fracturing earlier this offseason. A lengthy piece in The Athletic highlighted what seemed to be a yearslong power struggle between Wilson and Carroll, particularly over the team's offensive strategy and lack of investment in protecting its quarterback.
Wilson, in a rare public power play, said the team needed to make a commitment to getting better on the offensive line. While the Seahawks did acquire guard Gabe Jackson, he is expected to be the only new starter for the team in 2021.
Tight end Gerald Everett, cited by Fowler as a positive acquisition, has started only 11 games in four NFL seasons. Seattle did invest a second-round pick in receiver D'Wayne Eskridge, who should provide some speed out of the slot, but these were relatively minimal moves to help on the margins.
It appears the Seahawks started to repair the relationship simply by allowing Wilson to voice his concerns. Whether that carries over to adopting a more pass-friendly offensive scheme remains to be seen.
If the Seahawks remain committed to Carroll's preferred run-first style, we may hear the rumblings of discontent bubble up again.