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Russell Wilson: Drama came from now-gone frustration. 'I hope I play my whole career here'

News Tribune, Tacoma, Wash. logoNews Tribune, Tacoma, Wash. 6/10/2021 Gregg Bell, The News Tribune (Tacoma, Wash.)

Jun. 10—RENTON — Russell Wilson sat with his wife Ciara in a suite in Tampa. They were in the stadium watching Tom Brady win yet another Super Bowl.

Wilson stewed watching Brady in Florida that Sunday night four months ago. Stewed and steamed.

Brady won his sixth ring that evening.

Wilson still has one. It's from the 2013 season that was his second in the NFL. That's now eight years ago.

"When I'm at the Super Bowl, watching the Super Bowl, I should be pissed off," Wilson said Thursday.

That, the Seahawks' franchise quarterbacks says now, was the genesis for the manufactured drama he and his agent helped fuel this offseason. You know, the national football soap opera about him supposedly having a chance (that never existed) to be traded out of Seattle this winter and spring.

"I did not request a trade," Wilson said Thursday, multiple times in his 30 minutes of talking with the media as the Seahawks' voluntary organized team activities ended. "I've always wanted to play here. ...

"Things change in sports, But in my heart of hearts, I love this city. I love this place. I love everything about it...

"My mind is so focused on us doing it again...for the city, us winning it all. ...

"And I think unfortunately it got a little blown out of proportion, a little bit."

More than a little bit.

And Wilson and his agent did part of the blowing.

Days after watching Brady win it all again in February, Wilson stated his frustration with the Seahawks., It was during an online call with Seattle reporters arranged by the NFL about Wilson winning the league's prestigious Walter Payton Man of the Year award.

"I'm frustrated with getting hit too much," Wilson said Feb. 9.

He also noted that day he's been sacked more than any other NFL quarterback the last nine seasons.

Then his agent, Mark Rodgers, told ESPN the quarterback has not asked the Seahawks to trade him—but if they did, Rodgers had given Seattle's decision makers four teams which Wilson would accept a deal to: the Cowboys, Bears, Saints and Raiders.

Wilson wasn't getting traded, because the Seahawks never were going to deal him.

They take risks. They are unconventional. Heck, Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider drafted a supposedly too-short quarterback in the third round out of Wisconsin in 2012 then turned the team over to him in that first training camp—and ever since.

Video: Wilson trying to clean up offseason of rumors (NBC Sports)

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But they aren't that franchise-dooming crazy.

A national frenzy of made-up drama ensued, anyway. Each offseason day brought a different, wild-as-Animal-Planet reason Wilson was playing anywhere but Seattle in 2021.

Yet Wilson is back where he's been for the last nine years, on the field this week leading the Seahawks through voluntary OTAs.

Meanwhile, the nation's offseason football circus has moved on—to Green Bay. NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers is skipping mandatory Packers minicamp, putting his future there in question.

"I've always wanted to play here for my whole career," Wilson said.

"I think there were some unfortunate frustrations after the season. Obviously, you want to win it all, and do it all and do everything you can, you know?" he said, smiling.

"In terms of the trade talks: anytime you play professional sports, there's always a possibility of something happening, right? I think that's just the reality. I think there were a lot of teams out there that people were saying that I was going to, or would go to, I requested a trade.

"I did not request a trade. I've always wanted to play here.

"The reality is, I think calls were getting thrown around, this and that. I think that's just a reality.

"But at the end of the day, I think the real reality is, I'm here. And I'm here to win. And I'm here to win it all."

Pressed twice more on what the purpose was of approving his agent nationally sharing four other teams Wilson would play for instead of Seattle, the quarterback said: "I think there was a lot of confusion. ...

"There was a whole thing that I requested a trade. And that's just not true. I didn't request a trade."

Wilson chuckled and said, "everything kind of started from there. And then, obviously, tons of teams were calling, and I think the reality was that I really didn't want to go anywhere else. I wanted to play in Seattle. But, if I had to go somewhere these are the teams I would go to, consider.

"At the end of the day, I have a no-trade clause, right?"

Wilson said for him, "a great conversation" with Carroll, a series of one-on-one talks this offseason with him and one with Schneider, left the quarterback and his only NFL coach and team on better terms than they've ever been.

"We're on the same page," Wilson said. "We are here to do what we are meant to do. And that's to win it all.

"I'm excited. ...Coach Carroll's and my relationship couldn't be stronger on it."

That uncharacteristic comment about being frustrated at getting hit too much was widely, and logically, viewed as a slam of his offensive line.

"Not at all about the offensive line," Wilson said. "I think I also mentioned that the reality is that I can do better, too (getting the ball out sooner)...

"Listen, (left tackle) Duane Brown is one of my closest friends, man. That's guy's everything to me," Wilson said.

Then he characteristically lauded the rest of his starting linemen and most of the offense, in fact.

"I love my teammates. ...I'm going to do everything I can to win. Everybody on this team knows that about me. ...

"I'm excited, man. I'm more excited than ever," Wilson said.

"I'm here, I'm ready to roll...I feel faster. I feel stronger. I feel better than ever. I feel more dangerous than ever.

"You know what heals all things? Winning."


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