To hear Russell Wilson tell it, parting with the Seattle Seahawks was a mutual decision. To hear the team tell it, that was not the case.
The Seahawks reportedly agreed to trade Wilson to the Denver Broncos last week, and the deal became official Wednesday. Seattle then released a statement from chair Jody Allen, head coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider that celebrated the quarterback's accomplishments but also indicated he was the one behind the change of scenery:
Dugar, Michael-Shawn @MikeDugar
<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Seahawks?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Seahawks</a> statements from owner Jody Allen, coach Pete Carroll and GM John Schneider on trading Russell Wilson. Sentiment from all three that Russ was driving force behind decision to part ways. <a href="https://t.co/Axf80QYSXt">pic.twitter.com/Axf80QYSXt</a>
Schneider also said the team was "under the impression" he wasn't going to re-sign after the 2023 campaign, per Gregg Bell of the Tacoma News Tribune.
Lindsay Jones of The Athletic asked Wilson about the statement, and he said the split "was definitely mutual" and added that he may provide details in a future book.
Uncertainty about Wilson's future with Seattle was not new this offseason.
ESPN's Adam Schefter reported in February 2021 the nine-time Pro Bowler was willing to accept a trade to the Dallas Cowboys, New Orleans Saints, Las Vegas Raiders and Chicago Bears.
Seattle kept Wilson, and he played 14 games during the 2021 campaign while completing 64.8 percent of his passes for 3,113 yards and 25 touchdowns with six interceptions. The numbers were solid, but they still represented a step back after he completed 68.8 percent of his passes for 4,212 yards and 40 touchdowns with 13 interceptions in 2020.
The Seahawks also went from 12-4 and NFC West champions to 7-10 and out of the playoffs.
Wilson is a franchise icon who helped lead it to a Super Bowl title and another Super Bowl appearance, but his potential exit loomed over the team for the past year. There appears to be disagreement about what happened between the quarterback and team, but attention will turn to the Broncos.
Denver is in the loaded AFC West with the Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers and Las Vegas Raiders and has been searching for a franchise quarterback since Peyton Manning retired after helping the Broncos win Super Bowl 50 to cap the 2015 season.
The 33-year-old Wilson is talented enough to be the face of the franchise and told reporters his goal is to play 10 to 12 more years and win three or four more Super Bowls. That would certainly work for Denver.