Russell Wilson Rumors: Insiders Feel Things Could Get 'Very Ugly' Without Title Push

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVJune 11, 2021

FILE - In this Sunday, Nov. 15, 2020 file photo, Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) warms up before an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams in Inglewood, Calif. Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider spend Wednesday, April 28, 2021 talking about their relationship with their starting quarterback, the result of months of silence on the subject and the fact they have just three picks in the NFL draft. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis, File)
AP Photo/Ashley Landis, File

The tension between the Seattle Seahawks and franchise quarterback Russell Wilson could reportedly return next offseason if the team doesn't contend for a Super Bowl title in 2021.

ESPN's Jeremy Fowler reported an update to the situation Friday on Get Up after Wilson previously denied requesting a trade:

"There's a feeling around the league that if Seattle is not at least on the cusp of a Super Bowl this year that this could get very ugly once again. Because there are two issues that happened a few months ago. Russell Wilson was straight-up frustrated because he felt his name was floated in trade rumors even a few years back. And then this offseason, he had ideas to try to get the Seahawks back in the Super Bowl. He wanted to present them to the team, he was calling them up, saying, 'Hey, what are we doing here, there?' He felt like that was met with resistance. That they weren't hearing him. So there was straight-up consternation.

"Since then, Pete Carroll has had several productive talks with Russell Wilson. Wilson was involved in the hiring of [offensive coordinator] Shane Waldron. He talked to Waldron during the process; he likes some of the moves they've made in free agency. So Seattle has tried to meet him halfway. Things are much better now, but his contract is very much tradable next year, where the dead money on the salary cap gets cut in half to $26 million."

Wilson went on a media tour in February where he aired his grievances with the organization, ranging from a lack of protection from the offensive line to not having enough input on personnel decisions to build the roster around him.

The seven-time Pro Bowl selection had already become the focus of trade rumors after CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora reported the Seahawks might have been "willing to budge" if the right "Herculean offer" came along during the offseason.

No trade was made, and Wilson said Thursday his comments were "a little blown out of proportion" as he vented frustration about not being able to compete for a championship.

"I did not request a trade. I've always wanted to play here," he said. "The reality is, I think calls were getting thrown around and this and that, and I think that's just the reality, but at the end of the day the real reality is that I'm here, and I'm here to win, and I'm here to win it all."

The 32-year-old added that he worked through any lingering issues with Carroll and general manager John Schneider, and now he's ready to move forward.

"So I think the reality is, is that we had to have a lot of conversations," Wilson said. "We had some great ones along the way. It made our relationship stronger, really—me and Pete and John. ... The greatest thing about it all is that I'm here. I'm ready to roll. I'm more focused than ever."

Wilson is under contract through 2023 as part of a four-year, $140 million contract, but as Fowler alluded to, the amount of dead cap space a trade would leave drops from $39 million this offseason to $26 million next offseason. It could give the Seahawks a little more flexibility if the issues resurface.

That said, it sounds like the University of Wisconsin product, who led the Seahawks to the Super Bowl XLVIII title at the end of the 2013 campaign, is focused on getting the team back to a championship level.

Wilson completed a career-best 68.8 percent of his throws last year for 4,212 yards with 40 touchdowns, another career-high, and 13 interceptions across 16 games. He ranked eighth in ESPN's Total QBR.

Seattle will kick off the regular season Sept. 12 when it visits the Indianapolis Colts.