In their first comments all offseason, Pete Carroll and John Schneider waved off the Russell Wilson drama, saying they never “actively negotiated” with other teams about trading him, he never asked for more personnel control, he doesn’t have any more than he ever did, and the coach and quarterback have been talking all offseason and their relationship is fine.
Carroll and Schneider chalked this one up to a long list of drama around their team over the years. “We’ve been through a lot of stuff,” Carroll said, and Schneider added, “from maple bars to Marshawn” – a reference to Golden Tate’s infamous donut caper in 2010 and of course the rebellious Marshawn Lynch. They also said they remained mum even amid all of the reports and rumors because “we knew the truth.”
To recap how it all started: Wilson complained about lack of protection in a couple of interviews in early February, and then his agent stirred the pot by suggesting Wilson would accept a trade to one of four teams if Seattle really wanted to trade him. The Chicago Bears reportedly made a big offer in mid-March, which Carroll and Schneider declined.
Schneider said, “There were a number of teams that called after that media blitz. I never actively negotiated with anybody.”
“The truth is he wasn’t getting traded,’’ Carroll said. “He’s signed up for a long time around here (through 2023) and anything that could ever take place was so far out there that could ever happen it was not even worth considering.’’
He added, “We weren’t trading Russell. We plan on him being here for a good while. … A long future ahead of us is shared. … We’re in good shape and both very clear about that.”
The comment that opened the flood gates to the Wilson drama was his agent, Mark Rodgers, telling Adam Schefter that Wilson would accept a trade to four teams.
“When that came out, it opened up other conversations,” Carroll said. “It was so meaningless. It had nothing to do with what was going on. … I wish we could have avoided that.”
Schneider said he was talking to Rodgers as Carroll dealt with Wilson and “those conversations will remain in house.”
“There wasn’t a problem,” Carroll said. “There were a couple things (Wilson) said, and he realized how volatile the simplest of comments can be … how powerful your words are and how careful you have to be. It was a great lesson to us. For us, it was an effort in discipline.”
Schneider said, “Pete did a phenomenal job of talking through everything with Russ.”
“It was really obvious how a frustration comment can turn into so much follow-up,” Carroll said, adding that the media “speculation” made it a bigger deal than it should have been.
He told Wilson it could be a “long issue in the media” and also told his QB, “Let’s just shut down and be quiet on this stuff.”
Schneider added, “I’m really proud of everybody in the organization for staying the course, staying quiet.”
Even though Wilson said publicly this offseason that he wanted more personnel input, Carroll said, “He never made a statement that he had to have more say-so. That never happened. We never talked like that.” The coach also said nothing has changed in Wilson’s influence on the roster.
Carroll said he listens to all of his players. “Russell has a good perspective. He has his opinions at times, and I am fine dealing with that, just like I was with other players that have been here in the past.
“We’ve talked extensively throughout the offseason. There wasn’t a time that went by that we weren’t in communication.”
“Russ is in a great place right now,” Carroll said. “He’s as jacked up as he’s ever been.”