Russell Wilson is the new starting quarterback for the Denver Broncos, and the team will kick off the 2022 season against Wilson's former team, the Seattle Seahawks on Monday, Sept. 12. But why did Wilson leave the Seahawks after being with the team for 10 seasons? According to Brady Henderson of ESPN, Wilson was unhappy that Seahawks general manager John Schneider showed interest in Patrick Mahomes in 2017 and Josh Allen in 2018. At the time, Schirder explained that he was looking at quarterback prospects for evaluation purposes just in case they could land Mahomes or Wilson late in the first or second round.
Wilson's camp saw things a little differently. "They were f—ng pissed," a Seahawks' front-office source told Henderson. It was also reported that the Seahawks called the Cleveland Browns before the 2018 NFL Draft to discuss a trade that would send Wilson to the Browns and the Seahawks would have received the No. 1 overall pick. The Browns declined the offer, and Wilson signed a four-year $140 million contract extension in April 2019.
Following the contract signing, Wilson got frustrated with the offensive line play which he talked about publicly in February 2021. The comments reportedly caught the team off-guard, leading to Schneider, head coach Pete Carroll and Wilson's agent Mark Rodgers discussing potential trade destinations. Shortly after Wilson's comments, Rodgers said that Wilson waived his no-trade clause in his contract to play for the Las Vegas Raiders, New Orleans Saints, Dallas Cowboys or Chicago Bears. Carroll didn't want to trade Wilson at first but his stance slowly changed.
Following the 2021 season, multiple teams showed interest in Wilson but, the Super Bowl champion quarterback wanted to play for the Broncos. Schneider also wanted to trade Wilson to Denver because he wanted quarterback Drew Lock. And despite Carroll telling reporters that the Seahawks had "no intention" of trading Wilson, the team was close to getting a deal done.
"I've said a million times to you guys that I have had no intention of moving on with the quarterback," Carroll said. "I love Russ and loved him in the program. That's the way I was committed to doing it, and I felt that way all the way throughout. The opportunity became available ... To me, it's not about blaming anybody or forcing the issue in any way in particular. Everybody had to agree to this eventually, and we did."