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Seahawks Insider: Russell Wilson Seen as 'Declining Player' by Front Office Member

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 7, 2022

Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

It turns out Russell Wilson's trade to the Denver Broncos wasn't just about the quarterback's long-simmering issues with coach Pete Carroll.

The Seattle Seahawks also apparently believed they were selling high on a player about to hit his decline.

"So those two things," a source in the Seahawks' front office told Brady Henderson of ESPN. "A declining player and then what the ask was going to be the next time, which would have been his third time. It's like, 'No, let's play really good defense, let's run the s--t out of the ball. That's how we won a world championship.' That's what we've kept going back to."

Wilson is coming off a frustrating 2021 campaign that was largely hampered by a broken finger suffered in Week 5. He seemingly came back before he was 100 percent, missing only three games, but struggled with his accuracy before picking things up toward the end of the season.

The Seahawks were just 6-8 in Wilson's 14 starts, marking the first time in his career he'd ever finished below .500.

Much like when he was entering the draft, the overarching concern with Wilson remains his size. While he's been able to overcome his 5'10" stature for a decade with a combination of generational football IQ and mobility, it's fair to wonder if he'll be as effective once his ability to make plays out of the pocket diminishes.

"The 4.5 speed where he's scrambling and now he's running down the field for big chunks of yards, that might not come anymore," a Seahawks coach said. "But the feel for pocket presence, he's always going to have that. ... I have no reservation in saying that Russ is going to continue to compete with his style, and then as that begins to slow down a little bit, I think he'll adjust. That's just who he is. He finds a way to win."

The Seahawks appear destined to work through a rebuilding season after trading Wilson and choosing not to replace him with a high-level option. Geno Smith will start Week 1, and he'll be backed up by Drew Lock. Neither quarterback has shown the capability of even being an average NFL starter, let alone someone of Wilson's caliber.

The Broncos will have a tough slog in football's strongest division but envision themselves as a Super Bowl contender with Wilson under center. If the Seahawks are correct about selling high on their franchise quarterback, Denver might be disappointed in 2022.

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