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Did Russell Wilson's game go too far?
During this Russell Wilson-Seahawks situation, my skepticism for the value of reports by many (not all) NFL media members has been blown up like elephant toothpaste. Without naming names, people like “Mark Bronze” and “Chasin’ MyLastory” and “Fionna Deucestaley” and “Tony Pauline” have all flooded the internet with carefully orchestrated word bubbles (aka articles and tweets) that have provided zero actual information that would lead somebody to believe that Russell Wilson will be traded.
As I ranted on Wednesday night, every report so far has included these extremely important words: “Wilson probably won’t be traded” or “Wilson doesn’t want to be traded” or “The Seahawks don’t want to trade Wilson.” But every headline instead has something in it that would lead a person to believe that Wilson’s trade is inevitable.
This despite the fact that Wilson released a list of four teams that he would accept a trade to (while first saying that he doesn’t want to be dealt anywhere) and that none of those four teams have the capital to acquire him. The Chicago Bears are discussed day after day after day and no reporters are brave enough to say what we already know: the Bears have no direct avenues with which to acquire Wilson.
They lack both draft picks and desirable trade chips on the roster, a group of names that would not include a 30-year-old Khalil Mack making $17 million as a base salary in 2021 and $27.1 million against the cap in 2022. Not even Roquan Smith, who will be a free agent in only two years, is that desirable to a team like Seattle and the situation they’re in.
If this were a fair and just world, 99% of the articles about this situation would handle it rationally and logically, with just 1% left over for the RussAnon crowd at a Seattle-based draft blog. Instead, the opposite appears to be true.
However, there was one anti-Russ report on Thursday that I actually did find interesting and that’s comments by former Seahawks fullback Michael Robinson, a well-established team leader in the locker room from 2010-2013. It makes me wonder if this current situation is the result of Seattle clearing out certain team leaders from the locker room other than Russ over the last few years, or if the present players who fall under that header aren’t in a position to speak out about the one reality of the situation that actually is concerning for the Seahawks:
That Russell Wilson is using the media — both by what he says and what he doesn’t say — to gain power within the team at a time of great vulnerability for the franchise.
Someone like Jamal Adams is vocal, but has only been with the team for one season and is awaiting a contract extension. K.J. Wright is more of a leader (to me) than Bobby Wagner, but is hitting free agency next week and probably just wants to make as much money as he can on what could be his final contract. Duane Brown might be the only offensive lineman on the team who is worthy of talking back to Russ in regards to what he said about the offensive line earlier this offseason, but maybe Brown simply agrees with Wilson; it would make his job easier too, if Seattle had better linemen other than himself and Damien Lewis, another player who is too new to speak up.
But Robinson doesn’t quite understand why Wilson is going this route in an effort to improve his own situation, or what it is he even wants to accomplish:
"I don't know what Russell wants," Robinson said. "He's paid. They paid him twice in Seattle. The front office made sure that every other alpha male -- with the exception of Bobby Wagner, KJ Wright and some of the old school guys that are there -- they made sure that all of us were out the door so that this team could be Russell Wilson's. And now this?"
I just don't know how you walk back in the locker room where you're saying my O-Line is getting me hit too much, I don't have that much say.”
It’s the only question that the media should be trying to answer right now, and it’s not “Where will Russell Wilson be playing in 2021?” We already know the answer to that question: Seattle.
The question they need to be answering is, “How will be Wilson be playing in Seattle in 2021?” How will he be treated, how will the relationship be between himself and the coaching staff, the front office, and his teammates? Even if this were some major rouse orchestrated by himself and Roger Goodell to drum up headlines for the doldrums of early-offseason (I, myself, am a member of RogAnon and the mystery conversation displayed at the Super Bowl between Roger, Russ, and Ciara is our top conspiracy of 2021), won’t it still confuse outside free agents who wanted to consider the Seahawks as a Super Bowl destination?
Do players still consider the Seahawks to be Super Bowl contenders for 2021? Perception is reality, and it’s not only the MyLastory’s who have created that NFL paradigm; first and, unfortunately enough, foremost, the pot-stirrer has been Russell Wilson.
And whether there’s truth to the trade rumors or not, players (former or not) have taken notice that there’s been enough said by now to believe that the situation is no less than that: a situation. Is it one they want to be involved in?