And then it actually happened after all: Russell Wilson leaves the Seahawks and moves to the Denver Broncos. He was officially introduced in Colorado on Wednesday (16 March 2022). And although the rumour of a trade had been around for more than a year, many Seahawks fans were still shocked more than a week ago - when it finally happened. The Seahawks without Wilson is comparable to the idea of FC Bayern without Thomas Müller.
- Seattle Seahawks (@Seahawks) March 16, 2022
In exchange for the services of Russell Wilson, tight end Noah Fant, defensive tackle Shelby Harris and quarterback Drew Lock join the Seahawks. The Seahawks also receive two first-round picks, two second-round picks and a fifth-round pick. Along with Russell Wilson, a fourth-round pick from the Seahawks also goes to Denver.
The right to decide for himself if and where he is traded was granted to Wilson in his contract with the Seahawks when his contract was extended in 2019. Therefore, he could now decide for himself where he goes. According to ESPN reporter Brady Henderson, the Broncos were his desired destination.
Russell Wilson and the Seahawks: Painful separation
According toESPN, however, the Broncos were not the only ones interested in Wilson. As many as twelve teams are said to have made the Seahawks an offer for a Wilson trade. In the end, head coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider opted for the offer from Denver - also because they had no choice but to respect Wilson's wishes.
The reasons for this separation are manifold. On the one hand, Russell Wilson has been demanding more say in personnel decisions and a better O-line for a year. On the other hand, he has not been able to deliver top performances in the past two years - even though his finger injury last year definitely contributed to this. In the end, Carroll, Schneider and Wilson have not been able to agree on many issues. A painful separation is the result.
For many Seahawks fans - especially in Germany - the Seahawks and Russell Wilson belong together, young fans don't even know the Seahawks without the quarterback. It will take time for the fans to digest this shock. After all, John Schneider and Pete Carroll went one better. The day after, the only other remaining player from the 2013 Super Bowl team was dismissed. Bobby Wagner will probably not play for the Seahawks next season either.
10 years of greatness. #ThankYouRuss
- Seattle Seahawks (@Seahawks) March 16, 2022
Seattle Seahawks: Who could follow Wilson and Wagner?
The decision to part with both Russell Wilson and another franchise legend, linebacker Bobby Wagner, points in one clear direction: the rebuild. The savings from the Wilson trade are virtually zero for this year due to the players who are moving from the Broncos to Seattle in return, but Seattle will save a lot of money in the next few years. The firing of Bobby Wagner, on the other hand, has a direct impact on cap space. Seattle will save more than 16 million dollars next season.
Thus, Seattle will now have 39 million dollars - including the cost of rookie contracts - at its disposal to lure players to Seattle in free agency. The problem is that Seattle will no longer be an attractive destination for free agents after Wilson's departure. Without a good quarterback, the chances of success in the NFL are not high. So it could be that it will be difficult for the Seahawks to bring players to Seattle. A little more financial leeway in negotiations will help.
The personnel change at the quarterback position may also have an impact on players who are currently still under contract in Seattle. Players like wide receiver Tyler Lockett, for example, could soon follow Wagner and Wilson. On the other hand, it will be important to convince key building blocks for the team like DK Metcalf, Darrell Taylor, Jamal Adams and Jordyn Brooks of the plan for the future. This is especially true for DK Metcalf - whose contract ends after the coming season.
Seattle Seahawks: Rookie or veteran?
For DK, one thing in particular will matter besides the money: Who will throw the balls for the Seahawks in the future?
That's the question John Schneider and Pete Carroll have to answer. Drew Lock, in all likelihood, will not be the long-term answer. That leaves the Seahawks with two options, broadly speaking. They trade picks for an experienced expensive quarterback or pick a quarterback in the draft.
It remains to be seen what Schneider and Carroll will decide. What is clear is that Carroll is already 70 years old and a complete rebuild with him is hard to imagine. On the other hand, it is hard to look forward to a possible signing of quarterbacks like Deshaun Watson or Jimmy Garoppolo.
Carroll and Schneider: an unpredictable duo
The hope of Seahawks fans should be that the Seahawks go for a college quarterback. There is too much to be said for young blood, who can also be had at a much lower price. The Seahawks don't necessarily have to decide on a quarterback this year. They could also wait until next year and give Drew Lock a chance this season.
Statements from Owner Jody Allen, Head Coach Pete Carroll and General Manager John Schneider on the trade of Russell Wilson.👇🏼 https://t.co/Zqhg8g1Q9p
- German Sea Hawkers (@SeaHawkersGER) March 16, 2022
It is currently not clear in which direction the Seahawks are moving. Pete Carroll and John Schneider can be trusted with anything. It is entirely possible that Carroll will choose the path that leads his team back into the circle of title favourites as quickly as possible. Whether that is possible in the short term, regardless of the solution at quarterback, can certainly be questioned.