‘Pretty despicable’: Wyman & Bob react to bombshell Russell Wilson report

Feb 25, 2023, 12:44 PM
Seahawks Pete Carroll, Russell Wilson...
Russell Wilson of the Denver Broncos (L) and head coach Pete Carroll of the Seahawks (R) shake hands after the Seahawks defeated the Broncos 17-16 on September 12, 2022. (Jane Gershovich/Getty Images)
(Jane Gershovich/Getty Images)

As we get further into the offseason, the focus should be on the NFL Draft and free agency. Instead, the football world on Friday was talking about the Seahawks and former quarterback Russell Wilson.

In a story from The Athletic centered around Wilson’s disastrous first season with the Denver Broncos, the site reported that Wilson attempted a “power move” last offseason by asking Seahawks ownership to fire head coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider to be fired, and to replace Carroll with Sean Payton, who is Wilson’s new head coach in Denver.

Bump & Stacy react to report Wilson wanted Seahawks to fire Carroll, Schneider

It should also be noted that Wilson personally denied the report on Twitter, while his lawyer called The Athletic report “totally fabricated” in a statement issued to the website.

While none of what Wilson reportedly asked for happened, Wilson was instead sent to the Broncos in exchange for three players and five draft picks, including what wound up becoming the No. 5 overall pick in this April’s draft. Meanwhile, Seattle made the playoffs in its first post-Wilson season, with longtime Wilson backup Geno Smith becoming a Pro Bowler as Seattle’s starting QB.

During Friday’s edition of Wyman and Bob on Seattle Sports, Bob Stelton and former NFL linebacker Dave Wyman had plenty to say about the report of Wilson wanting Carroll and Schneider fired.

When it comes to Wilson and other former Seahawks players, Wyman said he often thinks of them returning to Seattle after they retire to be honored during a game. With Wilson, the idea of that reunion is now more complicated, Wyman said.

“If he comes back here and it’s five years after he’s retired and he’s the one quarterback that’s taken us to a Super Bowl championship, what do you do?” Wyman said. “I mean, with this story, maybe the whole thing works out, or it just all of a sudden goes away, but I always think about those moments because this is pretty despicable as far as like trying to get the coach and the GM fired. Who do you think you are? I mean, I know he’s a great quarterback, but I just think with Russ, I think he got in over his head. I think a lot of it was (his agent) Mark Rodgers. I mean, for him to have a publicist, you’re a football player, man. You’re a football player.”

Wilson is someone who has often talked of his legacy, and while he does state he wants his team to win more Super Bowls, he’s also made it public that personal achievements mean a lot to him, too.

“He was all about wanting to win championships and everything, but then there was also that MVP thing that he was really talking about,” Wyman said. “… I mean, why was he so obsessed with being the MVP? And I think that the reason why you think about that is because he wanted to throw more. He wanted to throw the ball more and Pete didn’t want that.”

Wyman also noted that a lot of the “hatred” that Seahawks fans now seemingly have for Wilson stems from Wilson essentially forcing his way out via trade.

“(The trade) was not the Seahawks’ idea. We heard from John (during Seattle Sports’ weekly John Schneider Show) and he was saying, ‘Man, last year at this time, we were sitting here thinking Russ is going to be our quarterback,'” Wyman said.

“I mean, if you’re Pete and John and you hear from the owner that your quarterback wants you fired? … It’d be one thing if it was a crappy head coach and a GM who had struggled, but this is a pretty good team here. So yeah, that part of it is really disappointing,” Wyman later added.

Wyman also thinks Wilson and other NFL players often don’t have the right mindset, which leads to bad decisions.

“When players start talking about, ‘Well, I’m not just a football player,’ I’m like, ‘Right now you are, OK? You’re a football player.’ And some people will say, ‘Well, you think about your future and plan ahead.’ I’m like, no, I disagree with that. I think you should put every single thing that you have into just being a football player (right now),” he said. “So again, stay in your lane. (Wilson) violated that in probably the worst way in NFL history if this is true.”

Stelton said the report appeared to show Wilson is “tone-deaf,” as the story detailed how he had an office during the 2022 season on the second floor of the Broncos’ facility, and typically players don’t go to the second floor because that’s where coaches and management are. If a player goes to that floor, it often means they’re being traded or released. Wilson also told teammates he had an “open-door policy” for that office, which Stelton said likely wasn’t well received even if the intentions behind that were good.

“That’s just a tone-deaf lack of self awareness kind of statement,” Stelton said, “because I could totally see him thinking, ‘Hey, man, I’m saying the right thing here. You guys you want to come in? Come hang out or whatever.’ He’s thinks he’s being one of the guys like, ‘I’m not special, come in whenever you want, I have an open-door policy.’ Automatically it sounds like you’re management. … It just sounded completely tone-deaf and obviously it was not received the way I’m guessing he meant it to.”

Stelton noted that Wilson is saying he didn’t ask for Carroll or Schneider to be fired, and “we weren’t there, I don’t know what happened.” But if it is true, it’s a bad look, to say the least.

“If he did that, that’s as lame as it gets. I’m sorry. You go and you’re trying to go over their heads … I mean, that’s just weak,” Stelton said. “… If you’re doing that, that’s so weaselly. That is just such a weasel move to go cry to daddy, go cry to mommy and maybe act one way to somebody’s face and then behind the scenes you’re trying to sabotage them. And again, I’m looking from the outside. I don’t know what kind of conversations took place and what’s true and what’s not. But this paints a terrible picture … If you were trying to go behind the scenes and get your GM and your head coach fired, that’s just lame, man.”

Listen to the full discussion at this link or in the player below.

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