Russell Wilson Addresses Trade Rumors, Offensive Line Issues

A report indicating Russell Wilson was dissatisfied with the Seahawks’ offensive line performance led to the quarterback essentially confirming such a stance. The superstar passer said Tuesday he is indeed “frustrated with getting hit too much,” via ESPN.com’s Brady Henderson (on Twitter).

Wilson has been sacked 394 times in his career, having gone down more than 40 times in every season except his 2012 rookie campaign. He has taken at least 47 in each of the past three seasons. His 8.33% career sack rate is much higher than most of his peers. Wilson took five sacks in Seattle’s wild-card loss to the Rams, a game in which he completed just 11 of 27 passes.

While sacks are not all on teams’ offensive lines, the Seahawks have not opted to expend tremendous resources to fortify this position in recent years. In 2020, the team did well by drafting third-round guard Damien Lewis. But beyond he and 35-year-old left tackle Duane Brown, not much is solidified on Seattle’s front.

I’ve definitely been hit. I’ve been sacked almost 400 times. We got to get better,” Wilson said, via The Athletic’s Michael-Shawn Dugar (Twitter link). “I got to find ways to get better, too. Just continue to try and find that. As we continue to go along the process and I think about my career wand what I want to be able to do, it always starts up front, offensively and defensively.”

The Seahawks gave Wilson a second extension in April 2019, and his $35MM-per-year contract still ranks third in the league. The team has shut down any trade overtures and included Wilson in its search for a new offensive coordinator — a process that will led ex-Rams assistant Shane Waldron to Seattle. Armed with a no-trade clause, Wilson said during an appearance on The Dan Patrick Show he was not sure if he was available in a trade (video link) but believes the team has “definitely” gotten calls on him.

Wilson, whose “Go Hawks” phrase has become his signature interview-ender, reiterated his enthusiasm for playing in Seattle. But it certainly sounds like he and his camp are applying pressure on the team to make a bigger commitment to the offensive line going into its quarterback’s age-33 season.

I love playing for the (Seahawks). I’ve loved it for years and lay it on the line every game, and I’m dedicated to that,” Wilson said, adding that “it’s frustrating” watching Super Bowls. “… If you ask me about the trust factor of it all, I’ve always put my trust in the Seahawks trying to do whatever it takes to win. Hopefully that will continue. That’s a key part. Part of that is how we go about the protection part of it and figuring those little things out like that.”

After going to two Super Bowls during Wilson’s rookie-contract years, the Seahawks have not been back to the NFC championship round since giving their quarterback his first extension in 2015. The team has parted ways with its Legion of Boom secondary, and Bobby Wagner is the only member of those Super Bowl defenses under contract in 2021. Wilson is under contract through the 2023 season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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32 comments on “Russell Wilson Addresses Trade Rumors, Offensive Line Issues

  1. 13Morgs13

    U get all this money and take up a lot of cap space then Cry over a bad OL. U can’t fix every stop with a cap. Quit crying and take the money.

  2. wrigleyhawkeye

    Guy gets sacked all the time because he holds onto the ball waiting to unleash Hail Mary’s half the time.

    Guy got paid because his defense was awesome. Now they can’t afford the defense and they rely on him. He’s not good enough to carry a team.

      • Chris

        I wouldn’t go that far, but I will say it doesn’t look good for him that his team hasn’t scored 28 points once in a playoff games since that Bostick onside kick against the Packers in 2015. That said he’s still clearly one of the top 10 maybe top 5 QBs in the game

  3. I Beg To Differ

    self created problem.
    Wilson making 35 mill a year takes away from other aspects of the team.

    if he made 20 mill a year that’d leave 15 mill to address the oline problem in free agency.

    same thing will happen to the chiefs with mahomes contract.

    • riverrat12

      Owners should stop being so greedy and stingy with the salary cap. Not Wilson’s fault he’s worth $35mil/year.

      • Ak185

        You can’t be stingy or greedy with a salary cap. The cap is what it is. Nobody can influence that through willpower. If you’re too generous, you can’t pay anybody. This is an area where the team DOES have the better argument-there is a hard-drawn limit on what they can pay a roster. Certain players demand a large portion of it. That affects what’s left over. Teams are greedy, as are players, but the cap has nothing to do with that.

  4. forwhomjoshbelltolled

    It seems that everyone but Wilson understands it, but I’ll say the same thing…

    When you ask for max money, you don’t get to complain that your supporting cast isn’t as good as it could be.

    He’s complaining about the predictable effects of actions that are solely his and his agent’s.

    • myaccount

      So get rid of the cap then. Wilson should be able to get his market value in a sport which could cause him to have severe health reprecussions 20 years down the road. He shouldn’t have to feel bad about wanting to be protected.

      • Ak185

        You get rid of the cap, you get rid of competition. It’s not like we don’t have an example of what happens with no salary cap in a major sport-just take a look at the Yankees’ trophy case. The cap might not help star players like Russell Wilson, but it helps the others playing on other teams by not allowing stars to sign monstrous deals that leave them in the dust.

        More importantly, it insured that every team is competitive salary-wise. The Giants can’t outspend the Packers, the Bears can’t outspend the Colts. The L.A. teams are just as competitive salary-wise as Carolina. This affects what’s left for the “other guys” on those teams, too-if the league only consists of three or four championship contenders every year, nobody would watch (they’re already starting to have problems with viewership as is). Nobody watching means less revenue. There’s a reason the salary cap exists-if you want to watch a spending game, you could play stocks. Really, the stars are the only people this would help.

  5. arty!

    I don’t recall P Manning taking ‘hometown discounts’. He leveraged his performance in both Indy & Denver. It’s not the player’s responsibility to mange the cap (at least not yet). Drew Brees the same, maxed out the Saints. And good for them. I never heard of a coach or GM or owner taking a discount; why should the players?

    • Mikel Grady

      Tom Brady took discounts and he won 7 titles . Mahomes and Wilson won on cheap contracts . No team has won it with qb making such a large percentage of cap

      • markdavisbarber

        PLEASE…

        Tom Brady took all those charitable donations into the tax free Tom Brady Foundation and then started TB12Foundation as a secondary fund allotment.

        It literally takes nothing to see who donated and what the funds went too. Don’t start with the Tom took discount ignorance…

        • saluelthpops

          No one doubts that Brady got paid in some fashion. The point is his salary did not take up near as much salary cap space as these huge QB contracts. I wonder what % of their team’s cap space the past 10-15 super bowl-winning QB’s possessed. Would be interesting to see. Surely there’s a way to find that info.

        • pc01

          Right, and Wilson is married to an international recording superstar. That family is doing OK financially. Trust me, I’ll never fault a player for getting what they’re worth, their careers are too short, but with endorsements and all the other revenue streams, top QBs COULD follow the Tom Brady blueprint if they wanted. But they don’t, and more power to them. You just might end up with a lousy o-line as a result.

    • Lou Evil Slugger

      Fair point but the reality is the cap exists and it isn’t going away so if you want top dollar, and Wilson is getting that and taking up 17.6% of the cap, he should maybe temper his expectations. They don’t have much room to work with.

    • arty!

      There’s always FA and the draft. I know TB went cheap and won a ton. But he’s the only QB to ever do that. The line in Seattle is so bad that the only upgrade I can really remember was trading for the Texans LT a few years back. It’s not on the players to trade, draft, and sign FA’s (although the QB’s want more input this season).

      I’m not arguing, but if Russ cut his check by 12% for so, there’s no guarantee they’ll win more.

      • cka2nd

        Seattle has spent all of five draft picks in the first through third rounds on offensive linemen since drafting Wilson in 2012. Three have been outright busts, one was a good rookie guard this year, and the best they got out of all of them was six years of mostly mediocre work from Justin Britt.

        He probably should try to trade restructuring his deal for assurances that the team will do more to address the O line. Kirk Cousins should do the same in Minnesota.

  6. saluelthpops

    I looked up the percent of cap space the winning QB takes up. The info I found was a 20-year span from 1997 to 2017. Very interesting.

    The highest percentage taken up was Eli Manning at 11.7% in 2011. The lowest: Wilson at .56% in 2013.

    In fact, the only QB’s with more than 10% of their team’s cap space were:

    P. Manning @ 10.4% in 2006
    E. Manning @ 11.7% in 2011
    Brady @ 10.64% in 2014
    P. Manning @ 11.66% in 2015

    Every other Super Bowl winning QB was under 10%.

    • saluelthpops

      Over the past decade (2010-2019), the QB with the largest cap hit each year didn’t even win a single playoff game.

  7. bigdaddyhacks

    They won’t do it, but now is the best time to deal him. Get a kings ransom for him. There are plenty of great QB that will lead them to playoffs next season easily. Deshaun Watson would look great in blue here.

    • paindonthurt

      I would agree on both of your points. Now is his max value and no way they will pull the trigger.

  8. Kevin Rudolph

    I wish someone would ask him if he’s willing to put his money where his mouth is and renegotiate his deal to free up cap space to improve the O line.

  9. crosseyedlemon

    With a few more high profile members, the Unhappy Millionaires Club should be able to hold a parade…not that anyone will care.

    • Chief Two Hands

      I stopped acknowledging parades after Woody Woodpecker got taken out by a small Statue of Liberty replica.

      • crosseyedlemon

        Just how patriotic do they expect a woodpecker to be? Woody should have hired a lawyer since his constitutional rights were clearly violated.

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