SEATTLE SEAHAWKS

What the Seahawks, Russell Wilson said about his trade to Broncos

Mar 16, 2022, 5:01 PM | Updated: 5:22 pm
Seahawks Broncos Russell Wilson...
Broncos QB Russell Wilson addresses the media in Englewood, Colo., on Wednesday. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)

The Russell Wilson era of the Seattle Seahawks officially ended Wednesday when the trade sending the superstar quarterback to the Denver Broncos was announced.

Rost: Russell Wilson’s complicated Seahawks legacy

Along with that announcement came the first opportunity to speak about the deal for Wilson, who had a press conference in Denver, and three key members of the Seahawks front office: head coach Pete Carroll, general manager John Schneider, and team chair Jody Allen. The latter three all released statements in a press release, and Carroll and Schneider had a press conference of their own in the afternoon.

So what’s the real story behind why after 10 years, the quarterback of the Seahawks’ only Super Bowl championship team has ended up on another roster? Read selected quotes from Wilson, Carroll, Schneider and Allen below.

Russell Wilson, Denver Broncos quarterback

Did Wilson initiate the trade from the Seahawks to Denver?

“I did initiate it. It was definitely mutual along the way. There’s definitely been a lot of conversations… I’m happy to be here, it’s all I know. Obviously I’m happy about the 10 years I’ve had, but I think that, you know, we’ll have to read about it later. We’ll have some fun – maybe when my book (comes out) one day, we’ll have some good stories.”

What was the 2021 season and offseason leading up to the trade like?

“I had both feet on the ground in Seattle, all the way throughout the season. Obviously I unfortunately injured my hand and everything else, and I was, you know, so focused on winning there and trying to figure out how we could get better and win that process. As the season ended, obviously, there’s a process of that and trying to figure out, ‘OK, what’s next, what are we going to do next?’ I was super excited about what we could do there, and then things started kind of changing a little bit in the sense of, you know, maybe something would happen. And so once I kind of figured out that different teams were calling and there were some possible thoughts around that… I was, ‘OK, you know, maybe it’s time for me to go a different direction.'”

Why the Broncos?

“I think that knowing that the situation probably… there’s going to be a change, I wanted to make sure that it was the right fit for me and for my family. Obviously, as I mentioned earlier, Denver was a place that has meant a lot a lot to me over the years, but to know that this is a winning football team – you know, if I was going to waive my no-trade clause, it had to be to a winning football team and these guys are winners back here.”

Now that Wilson is in Denver:

“I came here for one reason. I came here for one reason, and that’s to win. That’s what I believe in. So every day, what you’re gonna get from me is that mentality, you’re going to get that juice, you’re going to get that energy, you’re going to get that focus, and we’re going to do it together. All the guys back there, we’re going to do it together. That’s what it takes. But we’re here for one thing &nash; it’s to win. It’s to win at the highest level often, and I’m excited about it. I’m excited about the journey, and Broncos country, let’s ride.”

Jody Allen, chair of the Seattle Seahawks

Statement from the Seahawks’ press release:

“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. 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.”

John Schneider, Seahawks general manager

Statement from the Seahawks’ press release:

“Russell has been a tremendous player, leader, and member of our organization since the day we drafted him in the third round in 2012. His tireless work ethic has helped make him one of the most successful QBs in NFL history and we thank him for his many contributions on the field and in the community.

“When it became evident that Russell was interested in playing elsewhere, we used that opportunity to explore the market, allowing us to acquire three quality players, tremendous draft capital, and create salary cap flexibility. We have a clear vision about the direction of this team, and this is an exciting time for our organization.”

Did Wilson, who is under contract through 2023, rule out signing another deal with the Seahawks?

“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.”

Pete Carroll, Seattle head coach

Statement from the Seahawks’ press release:

“This has always been a challenging time of year where we have consistently maintained a competitive approach to getting better as a team. As Jody stated, Russ’ desire in doing something different afforded the organization an opportunity to compete in multiple ways. He has always been the ultimate competitor whose leadership and consistency helped shape our culture. Our franchise has won a lot of games and we will always be grateful for the exciting moments and incredible records.”

How the trade came about:

“I said a million times, you guys, I had no intention of moving on with quarterback. I love Russ and loved him in the program, and 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, ‘OK, there’s a business opportunity here, we can see it. Now we have a chance to take a look.’ And we did, you know – we took a look. And we’re surprised at how good a deal came to us… To me, it’s not about blaming anybody or forcing the issues in any particular (way). 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.”

A second chance for Wilson:

“You know, Russell was looking for a second shot. I think, as I look at it now, he was. ‘Is there something else out there?’ … He gets a second shot at the NFL. We wish him the frickin’ very best. He did awesome stuff for us here in Seattle. He was a great player for us. But now his second opportunity, look what he’s gonna do with it. He’s gonna fly, he’s gonna do great stuff, and we support him and wish him well.”

Trade a result of opportunity, not relationship:

“I don’t think it could have happened in the fashion that it happened had we not had the depth of relationship.

“… It wasn’t about relationship. It’s about opportunity. It’s for that opportunity, and I know Russ may describe it differently. But I really, as I watched it all take place, I think Russ was really open for another chance and to see what could happen. And he’d seen a lot of great players and great athletes do a lot of great things by making that move somewhere in their career, whether it was the quarterbacks that we know of, what happens in the NBA, baseball guys do it – you know, he’s just seeing that happen. And, you know, I think intrigued him, and so it made it available after a long discussion, a lot of time together and all of that, that we were eye to eye. We both (were), ‘OK, alright, let’s go down this road and see what happens.'”

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