Russell Wilson spent the first 10 seasons of his NFL career with the Seattle Seahawks. The 2012 third-rounder gave his heart and soul to the organization and quickly became the face of the franchise. Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. The Pro Bowl quarterback will suit up for the Denver Broncos in 2022.
Even though Wilson said all of the right things in the media, it was clear that something was wrong. His former teammate, Greg Olsen, witnessed firsthand the disconnect within the locker room. The retired tight end suggests Wilson put on a brave face, but enough was enough.
Greg Olsen opens up on disconnect between Russell Wilson and the Seahawks
Greg Olsen spent most of his career with the Carolina Panthers, but his final season was with the Seattle Seahawks in 2020. Even though he played in Seattle for one season, he noticed a lot about the inner workings and how that could cause friction.
In a recent appearance on The Colin Cowherd Podcast, the Pro Bowl tight end opened up on why Russell Wilson potentially wanted out of Seattle.
“I don’t think it was a personnel issue at all,” said Olsen. “From my time there, I just felt there was an ideological disconnect between what do our best players do, what are we built to do offensively, and what are we being allowed to do offensively.”
Olsen noted that Pete Carroll and the coaching staff limited the offense’s potential with the scheme they implemented.
“The conversations I had with the coaches, we talked about scheme and philosophy,” he added. “The amount of pushback and the amount of questions, saying, ‘I’m not sure if we can do this, I’m not sure if we can protect this.’ I’m sitting there saying I’ve seen this happen for over a decade in Carolina. I’d sit there scratching my head. It was like we were playing with a JV roster, like we were playing with an undrafted rookie quarterback.”
Greg Olsen believes Russell Wilson ultimately got tired of playing within a scheme that didn’t take advantage of the players’ strengths.
“I always thought it was an interesting disconnect that I never to this day have been able to wrap my head around. I just think it was part of Russell’s frustration.”
The retired tight end believes the Broncos will hand Wilson the keys
The Denver Broncos took a massive gamble by trading for Russell Wilson. They gave up quarterback Drew Lock, tight end Noah Fant, defensive lineman Shelby Harris, and five draft picks to land the Seahawks signal-caller.
Given the significant investment, the front office should be expecting noteworthy returns from their new franchise quarterback. That means Wilson will likely get the keys to the offense.
Greg Olsen suggested that the Seahawks’ coaching staff held the offense back over the past couple of seasons. He believes Wilson won’t have the same problem in Denver.
“I think it’s why Russ said, ‘I want to go somewhere where this is going to be an offensive quarterback-driven team. Not just in the media, not just as the face of the franchise. But every Sunday with the ball in my hands, like Aaron Rodgers, like Brady.’ The teams were going to go how they went, and I think Russell wants a taste of that.”
The Broncos front office built the foundation to be able to make a trade like this. Wilson is a proven leader on and off the field, and he still has juice in the tank. He has the tools to maximize young talents like Jerry Jeudy, Courtland Sutton, and Javonte Williams. Unlike in Seattle, Russell Wilson should have every opportunity to carry the team.
Denver is hoping that going all-in on the Seahawks legend will pay dividends in the form of a Super Bowl title.
What’s next for Seattle?
The Seattle Seahawks brought in Russell Wilson and middle linebacker Bobby Wagner as part of the same draft class in 2012. The front office parted ways with both players on the same day. The departures of Wilson and Wagner mark the end of an era. Seattle is now entering full rebuild mode.
The Seahawks recouped a considerable haul in return for Wilson. However, it’s not enough to make them a better football team in 2022. Pete Carroll’s squad is coming off a disappointing 7-10 season. Wilson missed some time, but the team still struggled with him on the field. If Seattle enters the new season with Drew Lock under center, fans could be in for an even worse fate.
Given how strong the NFC was in 2021, it’s fair to assume the Seahawks will struggle to contend in 2022. At this point, the front office should focus on building a team that can compete in a few years. Seattle received a solid package of draft picks in the Broncos trade. It must capitalize on that by nailing its scouting efforts and adding players who could develop into franchise-changing pieces.
However, the flaws Greg Olsen pointed out could become an issue again if the organization doesn’t make changes. Whether or not Pete Carroll and company can win without Russell Wilson is unclear. However, he and his staff must adapt to the times. This is a different league from when he took the reins in 2010.
Expect Seattle to take a massive step back in 2022. It’ll be up to the top brass to determine how long the Seahawks stay in the cellar.
All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference