February 9, 2021

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Brady Henderson

More outspoken than ever in his nine-year NFL career, Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson said Tuesday that he was frustrated with the number of hits and expressed a desire to be more involved in the team’s personnel decisions.

“Like any player, you never want to get hit,” Wilson told reporters via Zoom. “That’s the reality of playing this job; ask any quarterback who wants to play this game. But at the same time, it’s part of the job and everything else. I think the reality is that I’ve been hit. I’ve been sacked almost 400 times, so we have to get better. I also have to find a way to get better.

When asked if he was disappointed with the Seahawks, Wilson laughed and replied, “I’m upset that I was hit too hard. I’m frustrated about that part. At the end of the day, you want to win”.

These comments are consistent with what Wilson said earlier today on the “Dan Patrick Show.” This is the first time he has publicly expressed this level of dissatisfaction with the protection of his pass or any other aspect of the organization that signed him out in 2012. His comments follow a report from NFL Network that several teams have called the Seahawks about a possible deal for the eight-time Pro Bowler.

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According to Jeremy Fowler of ESPN, these calls were not directed at the Seahawks, who made it clear to their rivals that they would not negotiate with Wilson. Negotiating with Wilson before June 1 would have resulted in a $39 million charge to Seattle’s 2021 salary cap. He has three years left on the four-year, $140 million extension he signed in April 2019. This contract contains a non-waiver clause that Wilson would have to drop to get a deal.

Wilson was shut out 394 times in 144 regular season games. According to ESPN Stats & Information, this is the most number of seasons a player has played since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970. Randall Cunningham is next with 366.

Wilson’s 47 sacks in 2020 are the third best in the NFL behind Carson Wentz (50) and Deshaun Watson (49). He has been sacked five times and was under pressure 50 percent of the time in Seattle’s loss against the Los Angeles Rams. This is the fifth time in as many playoff games that the Seahawks have missed the divisional round, as was the case in the 2014 season when they came close to becoming Super Bowl champions again. Last season, the Seahawks ranked ninth in terms of ESPN pass blocks (61.9%); in 2017, they ranked eighth (59.2%), suggesting that some of Wilson’s baggage stems from his penchant for long games.

Wilson, 32, found out when Patrick asked him about his total bag.

“I think sometimes you hold on a little bit, just because you look for it and you find it, but usually it turns into touchdowns,” he says. “But you don’t want to get sacked that many times. Four hundred times is too many…. Four hundred times is too many.” So I think it’s a big problem that needs to be addressed. It needs to be fixed and it needs to be fixed at the end of the day because my goal is to play another 10-15 years.

According to Wilson, the difference from Sunday’s LV Super Bowl is that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ defense put an end to Tom Brady’s offense, which was fired once and struck twice in the Bucs’ 31-9 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs. Tampa Bay had three sacks and eight shots on Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes.

In a conference call to answer questions about his Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award, Wilson discussed pass protection when asked if he had confidence in representing the Seahawks to form a championship team. He said he enjoyed playing for Seattle and that “I’ve always trusted the Seahawks to do everything they can to win, and I hope that continues. I think that’s a big part of it. I think part of it is how we’re going to play defense”.

The Seahawks have four Pro Bowl participants: Dwayne Brown at left tackle and Brandon Schell at right tackle, each of whom has signed on for an additional season. Right guard Damien Lewis, a 2020 third-round draft pick, has been named to the Pro Football Writers Association rookie team. Left guard Mike Iupati and center Ethan Pocic have been released as free agents.

Error. Movie non specified.Russell Wilson was fired 394 times during his career with the Seahawks, which is the highest number of firings in the first nine seasons after the AFL-NFL merger in 1970, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Mark Konieczny-USA Sports Today

Wilson described Brown as an “incredible” player in his interview with Patrick and said the Seattle trade for Brown in 2017 was something Wilson really wanted.

Wilson has named Brady, Peyton Manning and Drew Brees as other top quarterbacks who have or will contribute to the personnel decisions he wants to make.

“I want to be involved because at the end of the day, it’s about your legacy, the legacy of your team, the guys you were in trouble with…. And at the end of the day, these are the guys you have to trust,” Wilson told Patrick. “If you think about it, one of the reasons Tom went to Tampa was he felt like he could trust these guys and [Coach Bruce Arians] would give him that opportunity. ….If you think about guys like LeBron [James], he was able to be around great players that he could trust.

“I think any time you bring in free agents or other players, you want the best players, guys who love the game, guys who want to be a part of it. And as a player, you know you have to be close to Pro Bowls, you have to see those guys, you have to be in the middle of the linemen or the receivers, or you have to be close to the defensive players. So you build that up over time, and you see who can really play. As a player, you really know. I think relationships are really important, and dialogue, especially as an experienced player, is really important.

When asked if he participates or has participated in these conversations, Mr. Wilson replied, “Not so much.” When asked if he would like to participate, he replied, “I think it helps to be more involved. But I think there should be more dialogue, in my opinion”.

Sources told ESPN that Seahawks coach Pete Carroll involved Wilson in the recent search for a new offensive coordinator, which ended with the hiring of former Los Angeles Rams passing coordinator Shane Waldron. Wilson has publicly stated that he wants his voice to be heard in the process.

“I think Shane will be a great coach,” Wilson said. “He knows the game very well. He’s a good person. You could say he’s just got something and he wants to be great. You can’t talk about the ball and you can’t do everything, really. It’s the one thing we can’t do as much because of the rules and everything else. But I think he’s going to be a great offensive coordinator.

“He has everything he needs in terms of knowledge of the game and experience, especially working with Sean McVay, the Rams’ coach, and Sean has a lot of experience in that tree and everything else. He’s got good stuff.”

Regarding the teams that called the Seahawks about a possible trade, Wilson told Patrick, “Yeah, I think they definitely got called. I think any time you play against a player who tries to produce every week and consistently tries to produce, people are going to call you to make sure, and that’s part of the process.”

Asked if he was available, Mr. Wilson replied, “I don’t know if I’m available or not. That’s a question from the Seahawks. But I think at the end of the day, you want to earn more than anything else…. You play this game to be the best in the world. You know what I hate? I hate to see other people playing this game. There’s nothing worse than that.”

Wilson laughed when Patrick asked him what expression he had on his face when the LV Super Bowl show showed him and his wife with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell from the Raymond James Stadium suite.

“There’s a picture of Ciara and Roger talking; I’m freaking out there,” he said. “I’m watching the game and I want to play it. I think at the end of the day, you look at the games and you want to do everything you can to be there.” That’s why we play this game. ….

“And I think the reality of professional sports is that things happen, things change. I don’t know how long I’ll be playing in Seattle. I think it could be forever. But things change over time, obviously. I think every day you focus on what’s in your control and try to be the best version of yourself to ultimately try to win a championship. I think that’s why I play this game.

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