Why the Russell Wilson situation has put the Seahawks in an unfamiliar, unsettling position
Fans of the Seattle Seahawks really don’t have any recent memories of uncertainty at the quarterback position.
Seattle hasn’t always been settled under center, of course, but with the exception of one year where Tarvaris Jackson started at QB and the following offseason where a rookie Russell Wilson shocked the football world by beating high-priced free-agent signing Matt Flynn in a competition for the job, the Seahawks haven’t had a question mark at QB in 20 years.
In 2001, Matt Hasselbeck arrived in town, starting all but nine of Seattle’s games for his first two seasons and holding the role through 2010, including a Super Bowl appearance in 2005. And after the season with Jackson at QB, Wilson picked up the baton in 2012 and hasn’t missed a game since, including 16 playoff games, two of which were Super Bowls.
That’s what makes this offseason so unsettling for Seahawks fans. With Wilson clearly not on the same page as the front office and Pete Carroll’s coaching staff, for the first time in a long time there are questions about the long-term – and maybe near – future of the position for Seattle. Fans that remember the Seahawks in the 1990s know how tough it was for Seattle to find a franchise quarterback, though, and likely have no desire to see the team back in that position.
Now let’s say that the Seahawks decide that the relationship between Wilson and the front office is beyond repair. The upcoming NFL Draft is believed to have a strong class of quarterbacks, and while presumed No. 1 overall pick Trevor Lawrence is likely out of the equation, there are names like BYU’s Zach Wilson, Ohio State’s Justin Fields and North Dakota State’s Trey Lance gaining attention as the draft is now less than two months away. Do the Seahawks need to add some urgency and really start shopping Wilson to pull off a trade that can get them a shot to draft their next franchise quarterback?
Well, of course it’s not that easy, as was explained Friday on 710 ESPN Seattle’s Wyman and Bob.
Bob Stelton was joined by his old co-host Dave “The Groz” Grosby on the show, and they discussed the possibility of the Seahawks considering the drastic move of trading Wilson, receiving draft picks as at least part of the return and picking a quarterback in April. And, well, they didn’t like it.
“It’s a desperate sort of situation to be in that they’re not in right now – if they can make things work with Russell Wilson,” Groz said. “Boy, it would be great to get things figured out with Wilson because it would be better not to be with (the group of teams looking for a quarterback).”
There are a lot of teams in that boat right now in the NFL, and the truly unsettling thing about the Seahawks’ situation with Wilson is they don’t need to join them, yet the more it seems their relationship with him is deteriorating, the more doubt creeps in that the two sides won’t be able to get back on the same page.
“Seattle, you’ve got your guy,” Stelton stressed. “If you’re drafting a quarterback, you’re just hoping they end up close to what Russell is. If he’s anywhere in the neighborhood, that’s a win.”
While there have been a number of rookie quarterbacks in recent years to have success right away in the league, nobody in any draft class is a sure thing like Wilson has been for nearly a decade. And that underlines the importance of Seattle and Wilson making up, no matter how deep the 2020 QB class is supposed to be.
“An elite franchise quarterback is incredibly hard to find. It’s a rare bird,” Stelton said. “When you get it, you gotta figure out a way to hang on to it.”
“And they got it here,” added Groz.
You can hear the full conversation in the middle segment of the podcast from Friday’s edition of Wyman and Bob at this link or in the player below.