New Broncos QB Russell Wilson ‘Checked Out’ According to Ex-Teammates


Getty Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson looks on.

On Tuesday, March 8, the Denver Broncos acquired quarterback Russell Wilson from the Seattle Seahawks in a blockbuster trade that included two first-round picks, two second-round picks, and three players.

Following the deal, three writers from The Athletic (Michael-Shawn Dugar, Jayson Jenks, and Mike Sando) released an article detailing the fallout between Wilson and the Seahawks. Let’s look at some of the most noteworthy excerpts.

According to the report, Wilson’s departure was only a matter of time, and last season, some of Wilson’s teammates in Seattle “sensed” that Wilson checked out.

Sources said the Seahawks had become frustrated with the stream of leaks that consistently popped up hinting at Wilson’s displeasure or questioning his future in Seattle, even as Wilson’s production began to decline. Some teammates said they sensed this year that Wilson had checked out.

Last season, the Seahawks finished last in the NFC West with a record of 7-10. Despite “checking out”, Wilson had a strong statistical season throwing for 25 touchdowns and six interceptions across 14 games.

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Wilson Wanted to Be More Involved in Roster Decisions

According to the article, Wilson was displeased with some of Seattle’s roster decisions over the years, and he wanted to be more involved in the process.

“That’s the No. 1 thing he gets frustrated with: how much his input is valued or used inside the four walls of the (team facility),” one former Seahawks coach said. “Do they listen?”

Wilson’s frustration is understandable, as Seattle’s front office failed to put a strong roster around Wilson in recent years.

Last season, the Seahawks’ defense allowed the fifth-most yards in the NFL. In 2019, they allowed the seventh-most yards in the NFL.

Wilson is going to a much better situation in Denver. The Broncos’ defense allowed the third-fewest points in the league. Wilson has not worked with a top-ten scoring defense, since 2016.

The Seahawks’ Offensive Line Issues Frustrated Wilson

Wilson’s frustration with the front office was amplified by the team’s continued offensive line struggles.

“I’m frustrated with getting hit too much,” Wilson told reporters the morning after the game. He cited the number of times he had been sacked in his career and suggested he should have more control over personnel.

Wilson has been sacked 40 or more times in eight individual seasons, which is the most among active quarterbacks.

In 2017, Wilson lobbied for the Seahawks to acquire offensive tackle Duane Brown, and Wilson even adjusted his own contract.

As Wilson’s career progressed, he pushed for more involvement in roster decisions. From lobbying for acquiring Duane Brown — and adjusting his own contract to make room under the salary cap for the left tackle — to openly pushing for signing receiving weapons Josh Gordon, Antonio Brown and Greg Olsen, Wilson made clear his desire to be more involved.

Eventually, the Seahawks traded a 2019 second-round pick and a 2018 third-round pick for Brown and a 2018 fifth-round pick. The move paid off, as Brown was a second-team All-Pro in 2018. He was also a Pro Bowl selection last season.

Right tackle is a big need for the Broncos this offseason. With Wilson’s history, it should be their biggest priority on the offensive side of the ball.

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