K.J. Wright: Russell Wilson Wasn't Held to 'Same Accountability' as Rest of Seahawks

Adam WellsSeptember 21, 2022

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - DECEMBER 02: Russell Wilson, left, and K.J. Wright #50 of the Seattle Seahawks look to meet Minnesota Vikings players after the game at CenturyLink Field on December 02, 2019 in Seattle, Washington. The Seattle Seahawks won, 37-30. (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images)
Alika Jenner/Getty Images

Despite the team's long run of success during Russell Wilson's 10 seasons as the starting quarterback, it's not hard to find former Seattle Seahawks teammates who will go on the record about issues they had with how he was treated compared to them.

Appearing on Richard Sherman's podcast, former Seahawks linebacker K.J. Wright explained that Wilson "wasn't held to the same accountability" standard as everyone else on the roster.

The Volume @TheVolumeSports

"He was not held to the same accountability as the rest of us"<br><br>—<a href="https://twitter.com/KJ_WRIGHT34?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@KJ_WRIGHT34</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/RSherman_25?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@RSherman_25</a> on how Russell Wilson received special treatment under Pete Carroll <a href="https://t.co/9M2w9gYXww">pic.twitter.com/9M2w9gYXww</a>

There have been indications over the years that multiple members of the Seahawks, particularly during the Legion of Boom era, were not happy with the treatment they received compared to Wilson.

In a September 2018 story for Sports Illustrated, Greg Bishop and Robert Klemko noted the season after the Seahawks won the Super Bowl, 2014, marked the beginning of the end for the franchise's run of dominance.

One member of the Seahawks at the time told Bishop and Klemko that head coach Pete Carroll "protected" Wilson and they "hated" it.

"Any time he f--ked up," the player said, "Pete would never say anything. Not in a team meeting, not publicly, never. If Russ had a terrible game, he would always talk about how resilient he was. We’re like, what the f--k are you talking about?"

The Seahawk player also used an analogy of a pack of wolves to describe the difference in treatment between Wilson and everyone else: "It’s as if Carroll sent his pack out to hunt but kept one wolf back, and that wolf still ate when the others returned with food."

In the wake of Seattle's 17-16 Week 1 win over the Denver Broncos in Wilson's first game after being traded, players from the previous era of Seahawks football were quick to make posts on social media apparently directed at the star quarterback:

Doug Baldwin Jr 🌹 @DougBaldwinJr

<a href="https://t.co/qolD451XTU">pic.twitter.com/qolD451XTU</a>

Richard Sherman @RSherman_25

Idk…. But i cant wait until my next podcast. <a href="https://t.co/MHz0P1Z8kt">https://t.co/MHz0P1Z8kt</a>

Richard Sherman @RSherman_25

So goal to go situations are tough…..

Despite the frustration expressed by Wright and Sherman on the podcast, it's not unusual for teams to go out of their way to protect a franchise quarterback in any way possible.

The Seahawks from 2012 to 2016 might be the last team in the current era of the NFL that can say it was genuinely led by the defense. That group led the league in points allowed for four consecutive years from 2012 to 2015 and ranked third in 2016.

Wilson wasn't always the driving force of the offense, especially in his first couple of seasons, because Marshawn Lynch was at running back. But he had several key moments for the team in those early years. He was instrumental in Seattle's fourth-quarter comebacks in NFC Championship Game wins over the San Francisco 49ers in 2013 and Green Bay Packers in 2014.

Would the Seahawks have even gotten to the Super Bowl in those years without Wilson? It's always hard to try giving individuals credit for a team's success, even if it sounds like Wright and Sherman simply wanted Wilson to be given the same treatment they got.