RENTON, wash. – Russell Wilson joins several of his veterans Seattle Seahawks teammates in reporting to the last week of organized team activities was the latest indication that at least for now, the tension between the organization and its quarterback has abated.
So too was everything Wilson said Thursday when he spoke to reporters for the first time since his public criticism led to a dramatic start to the offseason as well as calls from other NFL teams for a possible trade.
Not that Wilson, as frustrated as he was at the time, would be anywhere else.
“Of course I love Seattle, I love playing here,” he said Thursday after the Seahawks ’10. and last OTA. “I’ve had a great career here so far. I’ve always wanted to play here in my full career, of course. I think there were some unfortunate frustrations after the season. Of course you want to win it all and do it all and do everything. you can. I think everyone on our team does it. You want to win it and I think unfortunately I think it was a bit blown out of proportion. “
Two days after the Super Bowl and a month after the Seahawks’ latest early exit from the playoffs, Wilson said he was frustrated with all the hits he has taken, declaring his desire for more influence on staffing. These comments caught the Seahawks off guard; The remarks came after Wilson and coach Pete Carroll worked closely together to select Shane Waldron as the team’s new offensive coordinator.
The drama culminated later in February when Wilson’s agent Mark Rodgers told ESPN’s Adam Schefter it quarterback would accept a trade with only four teams. Wilson, who has a trade-free clause, said Thursday that it was made public because he wanted to set the record, that he did not request trade and – with rumors buzzing – to clarify where he would play if Seattle were to deal with him. .
General manager John Schneider said in April that while receiving calls to Wilson, he “never” negotiated actively with anyone.
“There were a lot of people, there was a whole thing that said I had asked for a trade, and that’s just not true,” Wilson said Thursday. “I did not request a trade. I think all sorts started from there, and then obviously a lot of teams called … I did not really want to go anywhere else. I would like to play in Seattle, but if I had to go somewhere, these are the teams I would go to, consider … I had a good conversation with Coach Carroll. I also had a really good conversation with John. Coach Carroll and I spent a lot of time together one-on-one. “We are here to do what we have to do, and it’s to win it all. I’m excited.”
Wilson said those conversations made his relationship with Carroll and Schneider stronger. As for his offensive line, Wilson said he did not intend that his comments about his passport protection were criticism of his linemen’s play, that they did not take them as such, and that he thus did not need to have any conversations to clear air.
This group returns four of five starters from last season. The exception is the right guard Gabe Jackson, which Seattle acquired for a fifth-round pick from Las Vegas Raiders. Wilson called Jackson a “spectacular football player” and said he did not know if this trade was a result of the public pressure he put on the team to increase its O-line.
The Seahawks gave Jackson a new deal that lowered his cap fee and for the first time under Schneider and Carroll added invalid years to multiple contracts to ease their restrictions on the cap. To that end, Wilson said he was willing to convert his salary into a signature bonus, as he did in 2017, to make room for yet another addition. He even took up the opportunity for Carroll. However, the Seahawks are reluctant to restructure Wilson’s deal due to future branching of the ceiling.
Wilson and several other Seahawks veterans reported earlier in the week after failing to participate in personal work in most of the volunteer offseason program. Wilson said they wanted to give themselves a boost up to next week’s mandatory minicamp. With his participation limited to virtual meetings (as well as makeshift drills with Seahawks-skilled players at his home in the San Diego area), Wilson had not met Waldron face-to-face until Monday.
Waldron, a former Los Angeles rams assistant, installs an offense that is expected to borrow heavily from Sean McVay’s system. It includes leaning into the fast pace that Wilson has long preferred.
“He has a great understanding of the game,” Wilson said. “For us to be together is super exciting. I had a good conversation with him, several conversations along the way with him during the process. I really believe in him. I believe in this football team.”
Wilson, who is under contract for another three years, had an interesting answer when asked if the uncertainty about his future could return next season.
“I think at any time in sports, of course, things can change,” he said. “It’s just the reality. Everyone knows it. But I think for me, my heart, I love this city, I love this place, I love everything about it … In the end, I love fans, I love my teammates, I love this coaching staff, I love this building. So every time I come up here, I get excited, just to be ready to go again. Every morning I wake up, I wake up to win and wake up. up to win another Super Bowl for the Seattle Seahawks.That’s my mission.
“I have always been able to divide, from the highest of the heights of life to the lowest low sometimes. The reality is that my mind is so focused that we do it, do it again for this city and we win it. It takes a journey, it takes a lot of hard work, it takes a lot to study, it takes a lot of good moments – some hard ones along the way too. But I know we can do it again. So for me personally, I hope I play my whole career here. “