For the past two months, people have been waiting for Pete Carroll or Russell Wilson to say something to end all of the trade innuendo. We’ll hear from Carroll later this month, but Carlos Dunlap says Wilson told him he is not going anywhere.
Before agreeing to return to Seattle, Dunlap said he talked to Wilson to make sure he would remain the Seahawks’ quarterback, and Wilson told Dunlap he’s “here to stay.” Wilson has been consistent in saying he wants to remain in Seattle, but the caveat this offseason has been “on the right terms.” And his agent’s backhanded trade request almost led to Wilson becoming a Chicago Bear.
But, it sounds like he has changed his mind about being open to a trade this year. Remember, Wilson has a no-trade clause, so if he says he is staying, that is what is happening.
Let’s take a quick ride back through the timeline of this saga:
It all started in February, when Wilson and his camp – unhappy with the team response to his concerns in private conversations — put on a PR blitz to try to pressure Carroll and John Schneider to give Wilson more control over the offense, in scheme and personnel.
By early March, things had become “absolutely frosty” between the sides, and Schneider began to answer trade calls on Wilson.
Around the March 12 Pro Day for North Dakota State in Fargo, Schneider met with Chicago GM Ryan Pace, who offered three first-round picks and more for Wilson. Schneider relayed that offer to Carroll, who reportedly declined it only because he didn’t have a viable replacement for Wilson.
The league year began that next week, and Schneider and Matt Thomas did yeoman’s work over the next two weeks to reassemble – and improve – the roster.
In one of his February interviews, Wilson said he thinks the lines should always be priorities (he is right). Well, Schneider made it so, with seven of 12 signings on the lines – including Gabe Jackson, Kerry Hyder and, best of all, Dunlap.
Somewhere between March 17 and March 24, Carroll and Wilson also had a good conversation and Wilson came away thinking the coach understood what he needed.
Dunlap said his deal came together within 24 hours of Seattle making an offer. The agreement was reported March 25, so Dunlap apparently talked to Wilson on March 24.
“I did ask him obviously if he was going to be with us, because if I’m coming back, I’m coming back because I see him as my quarterback,” Dunlap said. “And he told me he’s with us and he’s here to stay, and he said, ‘Let’s go Hawks!'”
Dunlap was one of the last free agents added (along with Al Woods), so Wilson clearly was satisfied with Jackson and Gerald Everett joining Carson and the rest of the holdovers on offense (and that was before Tyler Lockett’s extension, which also excited Wilson).
Everett also mentioned on April 1 that he and DK Metcalf (and likely others) were planning to get together with Wilson for workouts in San Diego – another sign that the QB has put his complaints aside for now and is here to stay in 2021.
Brandon Marshall, who apparently still has a connection to Wilson, has flipped from his earlier stance that Wilson is looking for a “classy” way out and now says the relationship between Carroll and Wilson is “better than it’s ever been.”
Next season will be the test of that, but at least we are getting stronger signals that Wilson will indeed be here in 2021.
Dunlap added to 710 ESPN: “I believe Russ wants to be the face of the Seahawks for a long time. … I don’t foresee him leaving Seattle.”