Russell Wilson became the latest quarterback to express his growing frustration with his organization this offseason. On Tuesday, reports emerged that the franchise star of the Seattle Seahawks is upset with the team’s inability to protect him.
Simply put, Wilson’s dismay seems warranted. The 32-year-old has been sacked 394 times in Seattle over the course of his nine-year career. Those numbers have gone up over the past three seasons that have seen Wilson dragged down in the backfield 146 times.
Despite the Seahawks inability to protect their eight-time Pro Bowler, he continues to put up gaudy numbers. In 2020, he shouldered Seattle’s offense, racking up 4,212 passing yards and 40 touchdowns through the air. He also scrambled for 513 rushing yards and two scores, while taking 47 sacks. The Seahawks went 12-4, but fell in the first round of the playoffs to the Los Angeles Rams.
Wilson spoke with reporters on a video call on Tuesday, giving him a chance to clear up the murky, early-morning reports.
“I’ve definitely been hit. I’ve been sacked almost 400 times,” Wilson said per Brady Henderson of ESPN. “So we’ve got to get better. I’ve got to find ways to get better too.”
A reporter followed up and asked the 32-year-old quarterback if he was “frustrated” specifically with the Seahawks.
“I’m frustrated with getting hit too much,” he replied.
Russell Wilson says on a videoconference he wants better protection: "I've definitely been hit. I've been sacked almost 400 times. So we've got to get better. I've got to find ways to get better too." Is he frustrated with the Seahawks? "I'm frustrated with getting hit too much."
— Brady Henderson (@BradyHenderson) February 9, 2021
It’s possible that Wilson is trying to give the Seahawks a hint that he wants the team to draft an offensive lineman this April. Although the veteran quarterback sounds frustrated, it doesn’t seem like he’s ready to cut ties with the organization that drafted him. In a Tuesday morning appearance on the Dan Patrick Show, the eight-time Pro Bowler expressed his desire to stay in Seattle, stating “hopefully I’ll play in Seattle forever.”
Even so, that doesn’t mean that teams won’t shoot their shot for Wilson. More Tuesday reports implied that other organizations in need of a quarterback began calling the Seahawks to inquire about his availability. Seattle shot them down, denying that Wilson is on the trading block.
The beginning of this saga between the Seahawks and their franchise star is just the latest quarterback drama that the NFL has seen this offseason. Although Wilson’s case seems to be mild in comparison to Deshaun Watson’s, Seattle would be wise to appease their most important player immediately.
Russell Wilson isn’t going full Deshaun Watson with a trade request. But he will watch the Seahawks’ moves closely. Trade calls were non-starter for Seattle, which has made clear he won’t be dealt. Seahawks believe Rams system with new OC Shane Waldron will be good for him.
— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) February 9, 2021
Time will tell what becomes of Wilson and the Seahawks. With the nine-year veteran at the helm, Seattle will be the playoff hunt every year, but without him they could easily fade into mediocrity.