Should Seahawks let Wilson have more of a say in personnel decisions?

Dec 16, 2021, 3:59 PM

Seahawks Russell Wilson Pete Carroll...

Quarterback Russell Wilson warms up while head coach Pete Carroll of the Seattle Seahawks looks on before a preseason game against the Las Vegas Raiders. (Chris Unger/Getty Images)

(Chris Unger/Getty Images)

With the Seahawks at 5-8 and just one loss away from clinching the team’s first losing season since 2011, a lot of questions, naturally, are starting to swirl regarding the future of key members of the franchise.

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Star quarterback Russell Wilson is one of those key members whose future doesn’t appear as set as it once did, especially after he caused quite the stir last offseason when he made comments about the Seahawks’ pass protection and later when it was reported he would OK a trade to four teams.

Part of Wilson’s supposed frustration reportedly lies not just with pass protection, but with him apparently not having as much say in the direction of the team, such as when it comes to who some of his teammates will be.

Mike Salk spent much of Wednesday trying to figure out whether or not Wilson should have more of a voice within the Seahawks when it comes to personnel decisions.

Salk pointed to Wilson’s  interview with Dan Patrick last February, which was where he discussed pass protection.

Patrick asked Wilson if he was involved in personnel decisions, to which Wilson replied “not as much.”

Patrick then asked Wilson if he wanted to be.

“I think it helps,” he said. “I think it helps to be involved more. I think that dialogue should happen more often in my opinion.”

Fast forward to December, and Salk said it’s fine if Wilson wants to be more involved, but the bigger question is whether the Seahawks going forward should let him.

“That’s where it gets to be a lot more complicated,” Salk said on The Mike Salk Show.

Salk said from management’s perspective, it could especially be tricky.

“Do I trust that if I tell Russell he can be part of this and then I don’t go along with every one of his decisions that this doesn’t get worse?” Salk said. ” … And if you’re Russ, do I trust that the management ahead of me or above me is able to make decisions without my input?”

At the end of the day, Salk said that any issues between Wilson and the Seahawks come down to one thing.

“This is a matter of trust.”

“The more I think about whether Russ should get more of a voice in personnel decisions comes down to what is the relationship between these guys and how do they view each other?” Salk later said. “And do they trust each other?”

Salk said that people in the Seahawks organization specialize in different things, and that’s where they should focus on. He also said that businesses and teams don’t run best in a democracy.

That’s not to Say Wilson can’t be involved in some form, Salk said.

“Is there an opportunity to seek some advice, seek some consultation to ask him the types of things he wants? Absolutely,” he said. “It depends how big of a voice Russell really wants. Does it make sense to talk to him? Yeah. I would hope that (general manager John Schneider) and Russ or (head coach Pete Carroll) and Russ have a good enough relationship where they do talk (about that). But it also requires Russell understanding the way management sees him and what they see as his strengths and weaknesses and what they want to put around him in order for him to succeed. And I don’t know if he wants to hear that. Most people don’t.”

With trust potentially being a reason why the Seahawks don’t let Wilson have more say in personnel, Salk said that that may be because of how things played out when Wilson and the team negotiated his last two contract extensions.

Wilson’s agent, Mark Rodgers, is a baseball agent and Wilson is his only NFL client. Salk believes that Rodgers went into those negotiations like it was a baseball deal and as a result “he made it as ugly as it could possibly be.”

“Mark Rodgers drove such a wedge between Russell Wilson and the people who run the Seahawks that it makes it really hard for that trust to exist,” he said.

Listen to the second hour of Wednesday’s Mike Salk Show at this link or in the player below.

Brock Huard

Salk got to talk to former quarterback Brock Huard about this topic during Wednesday’s Mike Salk Show and later on this week’s Brock and Salk Podcast.

“I think he should have the opportunity to have a limited say,” Huard said Wednesday morning. “Should he have power in those decisions? Should he sit in the war room or should he sit in the draft meetings? Absolutely not … He is the quarterback and we’ve talked about this – he should do his job and do it incredibly well.”

Huard played with Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning in Indianapolis and said that the Colts would bounce ideas off Manning because of who he was and because of his extensive college connections, but it was clear to him that Manning wasn’t a major decision maker within that building.

On the podcast, Huard said that the Seahawks should absolutely make sure that they at least respect Wilson’s voice.

“After 10 years of being in the organization and being around football players, I think one of his great trademarks through his career (is his ability to elevate people around him),” Huard said. ” … I think he has a respected voice. I’d think John Schneider and Pete Carroll would respect his play, respect his work ethic, respect his commitment and all of those things and maybe say, ‘Hey, what do you think of this? Do you have any insight on that guy?'”

Huard said that no quarterback should be in “the war room” in terms of drafts and whatnot, but in terms of free agency, he understands why Wilson would want to make his voice heard.

“When it comes to free agent acquisitions, there’ve been a ton of swings and misses,” Huard said. “So if you’re (Wilson) and you’re his side, you’re saying, ‘Hold on a second. This hasn’t been great. The track record hasn’t been tremendous in some of these. How about you at least utilize me a little bit. How about you reach out to me with some of the names of the people you’re talking about.'”

Listen to the Brock and Salk Podcast at this link or in the player below.

Matt Hasselbeck

Huard wasn’t the only former NFL quarterback that Salk discussed the topic with on Wednesday as he also spoke to legendary Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck.

Hasselbeck said that one of his former quarterbacks coaches, Clyde Christensen, would tell every quarterback he worked with that the best way for a quarterback to succeed is to focus on being the best player on the planet rather than worrying about what they’d do in terms of being the general manager, head coach or offensive coordinator. Christensen currently coaches Tom Brady on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and he worked with Manning and Andrew Luck in Indianapolis.

“I think it’s great advice because on a team, it’s the old Bill Belichick thing (of) do your job,” Hasselbeck said. “If everyone just does their job at a high level, the team is very, very successful. And that’s a hard thing to do.”

That’s especially hard to do, Hasselbeck said, when you see aspects of the team struggling and you have ideas on how that could be improved.

“But that is not as helpful for culture or for focus as the Belichick way,” he said.

“I don’t know what specifically is or is not going on in Seattle, so I can’t really say (anything) to that, but this broader topic of quarterbacks being also the GM, I think for me it comes more down to the relationship and trust,” he later said.

But when it comes to Wilson, he does think the Seahawks should at least be able to have a slight say in what’s going on.

“A voice? 100%,” he said. “Every franchise quarterback should have a voice and you should know what makes them feel comfortable.”

Listen to The Matt Hasselbeck Show at this link or in the player below.

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Should Seahawks let Wilson have more of a say in personnel decisions?