‘It’s kind of unnecessary’: Avril on Seahawks potentially moving on from Wilson, Carroll
After winning 12 games and the NFC West in 2020, expectations for the Seahawks were very high heading into 2021.
But as we enter the final game of the 2021 regular season, the Seahawks are last in the NFC West at 6-10 and will not make the playoffs for just the second time since 2012.
Someone who is “very surprised” with how this season has unfolded is legendary Seahawks defensive end Cliff Avril. He shared his thoughts on what happened in 2021 and what he thinks should happen with the team going forward during an interview with 710 ESPN Seattle’s Wyman and Bob on Friday.
“With all the talent (the Seahawks have) … you talk about Russell Wilson, you talk about coach (Pete) Carroll, Bobby Wagner — when those guys are on the field, you grow accustomed to seeing nothing but wins, you grow accustomed to championship-type football,” Avril said. “Kind of watching the season, it just (looks like) they got a little chip in our armor, I think, and, it’s kind of hard to watch to be honest with you.”
The Seahawks play in arguably the NFL’s best and most talented division, but did they have enough talent on the roster heading into this season to be successful?
“The personnel going into the season, whether you’re talking about Jamal Adams, (Quandre) Diggs back there, talking about the guys up front, whether (it’s) Carlos Dunlap and looking forward to Rasheem Green and some of those guys, obviously Bobby Wagner in the middle of that defense, and then you flip to the other side, you talk about Russ and (Tyler) Lockett and DK (Metcalf), I mean, they’ve got weapons, they’ve got the personnel that they need to be able to go out and win ballgames,” Avril said. “But we cannot negate the fact that Russell Wilson’s (injured) finger is on his throwing arm.”
Wilson’s injured finger is probably the biggest storyline from this Seahawks season aside from the fact that the team has lost double-digit games for the first time since 2009. Wilson suffered two major injuries to the middle finger on his throwing hand in Week 5. The Seahawks lost that game and went 1-2 in his absence. Then, after missing those three games, Wilson was back on the field but wasn’t himself and Seattle dropped the first three games upon his return.
The fact that Wilson played at all after the injury really stood out to Avril.
“Most doctors and specialists I’ve talked to say that they’re actually surprised that he made it back this season,” he said. “So that kind of showed early on as well in how he played. So I think that played a huge, huge role in how the season went.”
Wilson is at the center of maybe the biggest NFL offseason storyline, which is whether he will return to the Seahawks in 2022.
Wilson has been productive from a numbers standpoint, but he has had his share of struggles and obviously the team isn’t winning.
Whether Wilson is traded ultimately comes down to his own decision as he has a full no-trade clause and the team has been vocal about wanting to keep him in Seattle. But some fans have clamored for change throughout this down season, including at the quarterback position.
Avril, who played with Wilson from 2013 to 2017, doesn’t agree with those fans at all, as he showed on Twitter late last month.
I’m gonna say this once more… if you’re a real fan you don’t ask for change after one bad season out of 10! #JUSTMYTHOUGHTS
— Cliff Avril (@cliffavril) December 30, 2021
Avril said it’s “unreal” that people think trading Wilson would be a good idea for the Seahawks.
“Every record you can think of for the Seahawks he’s probably broken,” he said. “(He’s) the most winningest quarterback, I think he’s a top-five most winningest quarterback in his 10-year run. I mean, the list is long as far as the success that he’s had.”
A common argument among Wilson’s detractors is was carried to his Super Bowl title and other postseason success early in his career Marshawn Lynch led a top-ranked rushing attack and the team’s defense being among the best in the history of the game.
Avril, who was on those teams and was a key contributor on that legendary defense, said that not having a top run game or defense shows how great Wilson is since the Seahawks have won a lot of games these last few years.
“None of that has been around the last couple of years. And they still have won double-digit games,” Avril said. “They might not have gone far in the playoffs per se, but they still are winning ball games and we can’t negate that.”
Avril believes many Seahawks fans have “gotten spoiled” with the level of success Wilson and the team had in his first nine years to where one down year makes many believe change is necessary.
“Don’t forget, the grass is not greener on the other side,” he said. “The guy you guys have is pretty special.”
Avril said he’s asked all the time about whether Wilson could be traded and whether Carroll could be fired or retire after this season. Like with Wilson, Avril says Seahawks fans shouldn’t be wishing for life after Carroll.
“Is that a real question? Twelve seasons and you have one bad season and everybody’s like, ‘Oh, we change.'” Avril said. “No, the grass is not greener on the other side. If this is a consistent thing for the next three years, OK, now we’ve got to have that conversation. But one bad season? I feel like it’s kind of unnecessary.”
Listen to the full interview at this link or in the player below.