If the 2020 NFL season was Russell Wilson’s swan song in a Seahawks uniform, fans are in for a rocky road leading into an uncertain future.
All the successes and excitements of the last decade will be for naught.
Sure, winning the Super Bowl after the 2013 season was the sweetest moment for many Seattle sports fans in a generation. But that’s small solace when you place it alongside all the other seasons in the past ten years, most of which involved the Seahawks’ not winning the ultimate prize.
For eight years it has felt like Seattle was clawing back to that mountaintop it reached when the Hawks were the toughest team in the league, with fierce players like Marshawn Lynch and Richard Sherman. Russell Wilson played the role of the golden-lipped leader. He could say or do no wrong.
Not so much anymore.
What is going on now to precipitate this possible departure by Wilson after playing nine seasons here in Seattle?
For the past several weeks, Wilson has gone public with his disappointment with the way that Seattle is managing its team, from the plays it calls to the players it keeps on its roster. Wilson, like fans, is tired of coming close but not coming close enough to winning it all. Fair enough. But nobody thought Wilson would actually request a different team.
Adam Schefter is reporting that Wilson has identified several teams he would play for if he gets traded. They include the Las Vegas Raiders, the Miami Dolphins, and the Chicago Bears. None of those seem like world-beating teams, but perhaps that’s the point. The Seahawks were nothing special before Russell Wilson arrived in 2012. Maybe he wants to be a part of that kind of magic once again. And he doesn’t seem to think that’s possible here in Seattle.
Which brings us to the elephant in the room. There’s no personality more closely associated with this franchise that Russell Wilson.
Unless your name is Pete Carroll.
Carroll, it could be argued, is the genius mastermind behind this team’s Super Bowl victory in 2014. He is the golden-boy—albeit with wrinkles—coach who has accomplished everything at both the college and pro levels. Despite his sunny disposition, however, he’s an old school coach who likes to run the ball on early downs and pass deep on later downs, if necessary. It’s a great plan when you have Seattle’s old defense and Marshawn Lynch in the backfield next to Russell Wilson. But the game has changed since 2013. There are new quarterbacks like Patrick Maholmes who think nothing of tossing the ball deep on first down.
So what will happen? Will Wilson stay or go?
At this point it might not matter. Meaning, it’s hard to envision Russell Wilson wanting to be traded and the team not letting him walk. It’s even harder to imagine him sticking around and being happy.
The unfortunate part about Wilson’s time in Seattle is that eventually we may just remember him as the guy who won a Super Bowl once. Time will wash away the fact that he almost won at least one other Super Bowl here, and gave this team hope that he could do it over and over again, at least during the regular season.
In the worst of all possible worlds, Wilson goes somewhere else and wins a bunch more rings. If that happens, we may not want to remember him at all.