Pete Carroll and Russell Wilson don’t want to talk about the likelihood that the quarterback will be traded in two months, but Wilson’s words make it pretty clear that is a strong possibility and Carroll did not deny it even as he tried to downplay it.
Wilson keeps saying he “hopes” to stay in Seattle, but why would he say that when he controls his destiny? If he plans to decline any trade, he should simply say, “I am staying.”
So, when he says he “hopes” to be back, it means he either has conditions in mind or is simply lying. But what conditions? Wilson’s poor play (before and after the finger injury) is the main reason the Seahawks underachieved more than perhaps any club in franchise history. Any complaints he might have about the roster around him can be turned back on him twofold.
Wilson does not want to seem like the bad guy, so it’s quite possible he is lying about his “hopes” with the thought that the Seahawks will take the heat for choosing to get rid of him.
We all know his agent did the dirty work last year of approaching the Seahawks about a trade and offering four teams Wilson would be willing to go to. A deal seemingly could have been made with Chicago, with Carroll the only one who apparently stood in the way – meaning Jody Allen, John Schneider and Wilson all were on board.
Carroll possibly has changed his mind after a year and a half of watching Wilson not sustain any quality play against decent defenses. A good study by Mike Sando of The Athletic shows how Wilson has played much worse over the past 25 games than he did over the 25 games before that.
But, with a game remaining in this lost season, Carroll does not want to admit it is time to send Wilson along.
A day after Wilson threw four TD passes in a blowout of Detroit, Carroll told 710 ESPN he does not pay attention to rumors that Wilson is willing to leave: “I know what’s going on. I don’t need to follow the agenda somebody has out there to try to create and stir stuff up.”
He later told reporters, “The kind of conversations (Wilson and I) have behind the scenes are not in line with the rumors. Not at all. We’ve been talking, we’ve been together and connected throughout this whole season. That’s why it’s easy to dismiss those at this time.”
The key phrase, of course, is “at this time.” He also told 710 ESPN, “We’ll go about our offseason when the time comes.” Well, March is just around the corner. The time is coming.
We think Carroll and Wilson will part ways (reluctantly, perhaps) and Carroll will continue to run the Seahawks with a new veteran QB procured by Schneider. Reading into what the coach and QB have said (and declined to say), it seems pretty clear they are thinking the same thing. They just don’t want to admit it.
“I don’t want to talk about that,” Wilson said after the 51-29 wipeout of a terrible Lions team. “You can’t put me in a bad mood.”
If only Seahawks fans could say the same to him.
Wilson’s numbers this season have been similar to past years, but the Hawks have 10 losses largely because he was not consistent, not clutch and, for half of it, not totally healthy. As we have said many times, Wilson is an explosive but limited player who needs strong backing from his running game and defense to have consistent success.
So, how does that affect his value around the league?
One personnel guy told Sando: “I would still put him in Tier 1, but I feel like he is trending more to that high-level 2. I don’t see him being that ‘blue’ guy right now. … If he is in a situation where there is a good line, I think he can be just as good as any of those high Tier 2 guys, and he may give you flashes of those blue-level quarterbacks.”
A team executive told Sando: “I think you have to assume he is a declining player. Having said that, recent history is full of examples of older quarterbacks who had a down year and came back to play incredibly well.”
We have said Wilson still should net at least four picks/players, including at least two first-rounders.
One exec told Sando: “I think it would take at least two ones and a player — maybe three ones.” Matthew Stafford cost the Rams two first-rounders, a third and QB Jared Goff. The exec called that deal “pretty informative, but it would be more than that.”
We’ll find out within the next two months – and then Carroll and Wilson finally can feel free to talk about it.