Russell Wilson displays unprecedented public quarterback candor

Wild Card Round - Los Angeles Rams v Seattle Seahawks
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The NFL’s evolution toward the NBA is becoming a revolution. Once the transformation is complete, we’ll look back on Tuesday, February 9 as one of the most significant moments in the process.

Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson‘s appearance on The Dan Patrick Show featured rare and raw candor. Franchise quarterbacks, overcome by the company-man vibe and the basic fear of alienating the fan base, typically say all the right things at all the right times, never showing anything other than complete and total loyalty to the team, to the cause, to the fans.

Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson has claimed top priority in the NFL news cycle by privately requesting a trade. He has yet to say publicly that he wants out, but his silence — and the alterations to his social-media pages — speak volumes.

Still, no franchise quarterback has made a calm, reasoned, public case for that which Wilson wants: Direct say in decisions made regarding the construction of the team that will surround him.

Some would say (as Simms did today on PFT Live) that any quarterback who seeks such influence should start grinding film like any other scout. Wilson surely is looking for something less involved, but nevertheless still impactful. His legacy on the line, Wilson wants to know that the other 10 players on offense and the 11 members of the starting defense will complement, not complicate, his desire to win more Super Bowls.

With Tom Brady hogging seven of them since 2001, there simply aren’t enough championships to go around for the other championship-caliber quarterbacks. Ben Roethlisberger has won two. Eli Manning won two. Peyton Manning won two. Since 1999, it’s otherwise been one-time-only winners: Kurt Warner, Trent Dilfer, Brad Johnson, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, Joe Flacco, Russell Wilson, Nick Foles, Patrick Mahomes.

Wilson needs to get to two, obviously, before he can get to three or four or more. Rodgers keeps coming up short of two. Mahomes has had two great seasons that ended without Super Bowl wins, thanks to Brady.

Frankly, Rodgers has far more reason to speak out than Wilson. The Packers chronically have failed to put enough talent around him. Rodgers, however, prefers to send messages with subtle and indirect phrasing. He resents when members of the media spot the messages and amplify them, because he’s not ready to risk the years of rancor that Brett Favre endured — and all he did was want out at a time when the Packers made it clear they didn’t want him anymore. (It didn’t help that Favre was hellbent on playing for the Vikings.)

Wilson has the ability, and the credibility, to speak out about wanting to be involved in personnel decisions. About being frustrated. About teams calling to inquire about a trade. About potentially being available in a trade.

It’s likely no coincidence that Wilson’s decision to launch an elaborate media strategy, including leaks to reporters and comments on the record and messages to a former player with a platform in Brandon Marshall, came immediately after Brady left New England after two decades of “do your f–king job” and did the job in Tampa of helping the team put together a championship franchise. Brady attracted Rob Gronkowski. Brady wanted, and got, Antonio Brown. (Wilson wanted, but didn’t get, Brown.) Brady attracted Leonard Fournette. Brady will attract even more veterans who want to chase a championship in 2021, including Adrian Peterson.

Wilson and Rodgers could, too. Their teams have yet to allow them. Wilson’s comments represent the most aggressive effort yet by a franchise quarterback to shed the “company man” image and to become the company, man.

It will work or it won’t. If it doesn’t, the expiration date on Wilson’s time in Seattle will become shorter than anyone realizes.

30 responses to “Russell Wilson displays unprecedented public quarterback candor

  1. Tom Brady has won as many NFC championships as Aaron Rogers. He has also won more NFC championship games in Lambeau Field than Aaron Rogers. I read that the other day, and it is still sinking in.

  2. Wilson has changed alot over the years. He used to be all about the seahawks now it appears he’s all about his own legacy.

  3. It’s telling how used we are to lies and lies in the form of silence when simply stating the truth is unheralded as groundbreaking

  4. Wilson already has direct say in who the team signs. He sucks up such a high percentage of the available cap that the team signs whomever they can afford. He ensures that the team has to build through the draft. Since a team is in good shape if they hit on 3 or 4 players in a draft (and those take time to develop), there will be big holes on the roster.

    Take a paycut and they’ll use that money to help you out, Russell.

  5. Brady won in NE because he excepted much less money so that the Patriots had the money to pay other quality players.
    Russell Wilson is sucking up 25% of the cap.

  6. “unprecedented public quarterback candor”. That’s a nice way to say arrogance and entitlement.

  7. Maybe Tom Brady attracted all those people around him because he wins! When Russel wins, then maybe more people will want to come and play with him…

  8. Wilson has always been a weird dude, and weird enough that he hasn’t really built up the public goodwill as some other QBs. I think this blitz of “candor” will be even less popular than the moves made by Watson and Wentz.

  9. Brady takes less pay so his team can remain in tact and retool. Wilson wants to be the highest paid at all times. Brady also wins games and plays consistent all season. Does Wilson deserve to constantly get attention and a mic? False.

  10. Eli has as many Title game wins in Lambeau as Brady.

    He just cant seem to get out from under Eli’s shadow, can he?

  11. Russell wants a team that can carry him to a championship like the Bucs defense did for Brady.

  12. If Wilson and/or Watson want to have a say in what players are on the team they should retire from playing and buy into a team or be hired into management of some team. I am sure they can offer feedback but they do not get the final say nor should they.

  13. If we are being honest as well, not having an Alexander or Lynch pulling free safeties into the box changes everything. Dude is good but he’s been sold as a generational talent that he is not.

  14. aarons444 says:
    February 10, 2021 at 8:16 pm
    Eli has as many Title game wins in Lambeau as Brady.

    He just cant seem to get out from under Eli’s shadow, can he?

    Uh, if Eli were better, he would have been to more Super Bowls.

  15. Wilson, like Rodgers, managed to get to and win a SB when they were relatively low paid QB’s.

    Their inability to win another one is directly related to each of them demanding to be the highest paid QB in the NFL when contract time came around going forward.

    Their egos are competing with each other for more $$$, but both are seeing similar results from those demands and both have expressed their opinions that they will most likely be leaving their current teams without finishing their existing contracts.

    It must truly suck to realize that your desire for stupid amounts of personal wealth that your team can’t afford to win the big one. Their money demands have been so exorbitant that their teams will take a large dead cap hit to get rid of them.

  16. Wilson, like Rodgers, managed to get to and win a SB when they were relatively low paid QB’s.

    Their inability to win another one is directly related to each of them demanding to be the highest paid QB in the NFL when contract time came around going forward.
    =====

    Why do teams do this then?

    This isn’t a new trend. QB salaries have been skyrocketing for the last 20 years, at an exorbitant rate.

    IF this puts teams at such a disadvantage, why do franchises keep backing up the Brinks truck?

  17. Why?? Why keep giving Wilson a pass for his CHOKE in his last Super Bowl? Pete Carroll took all the heat, but Wilson threw the pick when he could have 1. Thrown the ball away 2. Taken a knee 3. Scrambled 4 Found an OPEN receiver.. but he CHOKED and said nothing while Pete was, and is still, ripped. Seahawk players say Wilson is never criticized in Seattle.

  18. If one feels frustrated with their work environment they can:
    1. Repress their feelings and get ulcers.
    2. Go someplace else.
    3. Try to change the circumstances within their work environment.

    I hear Russell Wilson trying to be honorable and change things in Seattle. I support it. The days of “shut up and just do what I tell you” are over. Bruce Arians has proven that. Winning takes full contribution from all team members. Likewise with success in the American economy. But apparently, people never learned the fundamental lessons of the US civil war.

  19. Rodgers tells it straight every time he’s interviewed and gets static for it. Wilson says one thing one time and suddenly he’s the best example of candor. Got it.

  20. Regarding the fact that Brady has won 7 of the last 22 Super Bowls when the next highest total won is 2, there are two obvious reasons at play, neither or which involves making the QB a GM. The first is that most of the QBs on that list are not so good that it feels anything other normal fro them to have won what they won but nothing else. The other thing is that Brady has consistently accepted being a lot less than the highest paid QBs and as a result, his teams have more money to spend on a supporting cast. If Wilson feels put upon for only having one ring, renegotiate to a lower paying contract And when opportunity arises to win a Super Bowl in the last minute of play, don’t throw an interception.

  21. daysend564 says:
    February 10, 2021 at 5:36 pm
    Wilson already has direct say in who the team signs. He sucks up such a high percentage of the available cap that the team signs whomever they can afford. He ensures that the team has to build through the draft. Since a team is in good shape if they hit on 3 or 4 players in a draft (and those take time to develop), there will be big holes on the roster.

    Take a paycut and they’ll use that money to help you out, Russell.
    _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    The team signs whomever they can afford? He ensures the team has to build through the draft (due to his cap cost)? What?????????
    I’m not arguing that fact that Wilson does count a lot toward the cap. It is hard to build through the draft when management trades away the next two year’s 1st round picks for a defensive starter, Jamaal Adams. By the way, Adams will count $9.8 million against the cap next season, then they have to resign him to a new contract. If Budda Baker just signed a contract averaging $14.75 million a year, Adams payday will have to be more. Imagine if that cash and those picks were used toward an offensive line.

  22. I’m drawn down the middle here! Wilson takes up a ton of salary cap which prevents O line help! The Seahawks management however, instead of always going after expensive Cornerbacks and Clowney. They are probably trying to sign JJ watt as we speak! Why not sign some o-lineman to help the guy out?

  23. Wilson’s contract and desire to win have nothing to do with each other. This is his desire to win on full display.

  24. I think it would be interesting to see players have more fluidity between teams and to bring their friends along and try to build a squad that can go all the way. But that would benefit teams where it is perceived as desirable to play in. Teams in warm weather locations and teams in cities that have a lot to offer outside of football. No one is building a superteam in Cleveland or Detroit.

  25. I’m so fed up with entitlement. Really really sick of it. These NFL players making not just millions but 100s of millions of dollars now, are still not satisfied. I agree with those who point to the fact QBs getting paid like they are the most important people in the world, in a sport that had to put a salary cap on teams, why? Because of all the self centered, entitled athletes who think they are God’s gift to the world, demanding more and more and more MONEY. That was their choice. The NFL is raking in so much money from fans who shell out unbelievable amounts of money to go to a game and buy all the gear, doesn’t care how much they ask for, because they’re certainly making their millions and all they have to do is just raise ticket prices.

    And now QBs want to have POWER to tell the team who they should hire. They want to choose the players on the team? I mean let’s not hide behind polite words, saying they want ‘a say’ in personnel decisions. Not just players on the field either – THE COACH – the GM. The world is going bonkers. Really. So, the QB is going to have last word on who the team uses as GM and Coach. Because if he doesn’t like who they are hiring, he’s going to threaten to walk.

    Millionaires and Multi – millionaires care about money. OH…and they expect that money to bring them a whole lot of power too. And the NFL and all these multi million dollar athletes apparently can be boiled down to more of the same from the wealthy among us. Meanwhile society is falling apart at the seams while they feel perfectly fine about playing a game the rest of their lives and ignoring all of society’s problems.

    We earn enough to pay our bills and have a cushion for emergencies, but the world has become completely out of balance. I tried to mail a package with UPS yesterday and a 3 pound package was going to cost me $49. to mail within the continental USA. To me this represents how crazy the world is getting. We have just been in a pandemic for the past year and what businesses have gotten more business than they could ever want – shipping companies. So many people staying home and shopping, you would think prices would go down. Who can afford to ship at those prices? Millionaires!! They don’t care. It doesn’t affect them. They have all the money they could ever want and now all they want is as many Lombardiis as Brady.

    I have a long list of reasons why I have watched my last NFL game, but this is just one more. The entitled millionaire’s club.

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