The NFL league year officially started on March 16 which meant both the Seattle Seahawks and Russell Wilson could meet with the media to discuss the blockbuster trade. Wilson hit the stage first as the Broncos introduced their new franchise quarterback minutes after they were permitted to based on NFL rules.
The Seahawks later held their own press conference but released a statement as Wilson was talking with the media in Denver.Seahawks owner Jody Allen noted that, “Russell made it clear he wanted this change.” The Seahawks also did the traditional video montage on social media and praised Wilson for his impact on Seattle.
Yet, it was Allen’s comments that drew attention and prompted Wilson to push back. Wilson was asked at his introductory press conference why he wanted a change, and the star quarterback gave his version of the events.
“Yeah, I didn’t initiate it, it was definitely mutual along the way,” Wilson responded during his March 16 press conference. “There’s definitely been a lot of conversations. This hasn’t been I initiated anything, but it [the Seahawks statement] is what it is.
“I’m excited, I’m happy to be here, that’s all I know. Obviously, I’m happy about the 10 years I’ve had, but I think that we’ll have to read about it later. We’ll have some fun maybe in my book one day. We’ll have some good stories.”
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Schneider: ‘We Were Under the Impression That There Wouldn’t Be a Long-Term Extension’
As Pete Carroll and John Schneider discussed their version of the discussions, it became clear the Seahawks were ready for a change as well. The order of how things officially unraveled remains uncertain, but Schneider admitted the organization understood that Wilson would not be signing another deal in Seattle when his contract ended after the 2023 season.
“I don’t know if those were the exact words, but we were under the impression that there wouldn’t be a long-term extension,” Schneider responded on March 16 when asked about the possibility of another Wilson contract.
Wilson had a no-trade clause in his deal which gave the quarterback full control over his future. Here is a look at the full statement from Allen that Wilson pushed back on during his Denver media session.
“While Russell made it clear he wanted this change, he made Seattle proud and we are grateful for his decade of leadership on and off the field,” Allen noted. “We look forward to welcoming our new players and to everyone being fully engaged while working our hardest to win every single day. I trust our leadership to take us into the future, and know we all wish Russell the very best.”
Carroll on Wilson Trade: ‘Everybody Had to Agree to This’
Despite these comments, the Seahawks also indicated they were open to trading Wilson. Carroll described the Broncos’ offer as a “business opportunity” that prompted the Seahawks to change their stance on Wilson.
“Well, let me start with, I said a million times to you guys I had no intention of moving on with the quarterback,” Carroll explained. “I loved Russ and loved him in the program. That’s the way I was committed to doing it, and I felt that way all the way throughout. And then the opportunity became available where okay, there’s a business opportunity here.
“We can see it, now we have a chance to take a look and we did. We took a look and we’re surprised at how good [of] a deal came to us. And how that was all, Johnny [Schneider] facilitated that with [the] work of their people and made it happen. To me, it’s not about blaming anybody or forcing the issues in any particular [direction]. Everybody had to agree to this eventually, and so we did. And really, it opened up some doorways that we didn’t think existed really at the time.”