After the majority of the NFL offseason was centered around drama involving Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson, talks about a potential split have since dulled.
In late April, head coach Pete Carroll said Seattle is in a “fantastic” place with the franchise quarterback, despite a number of teams, including the Chicago Bears, inquiring about his availability in recent months.
"Russ has been our quarterback for a good while, and we've got a long contract with him," Carroll said. "When all of conversation went about trades and all that, I knew what the truth was—we weren't trading Russell. We plan on him being here for a good while—I don't know how many years (the contract) is now—but we're in great shape, a long future ahead of us. It's shared, Russ knows that, and I know that, we're very clear about it."
While it appears the offseason distraction between Wilson and the Seahawks front office has been resolved, for now, that bears good news for Seattle and its Pro Bowl quarterback as the two parties re-shift the focus to winning a Super Bowl again this season.
Bruce Gradkowski of Pro Football Focus released his quarterback rankings for all 32 NFL starters and Wilson landed at No. 4 overall, in large part to his ability to be one of the most consistent players in the league.
“Wilson started the season on fire as the front-runner for the MVP title over the first eight games of the year, as he was PFF's top-ranked quarterback in overall grade (93.3),” PFF’s Gradkowski explains. “The wheels soon fell off, though, with Wilson taking the most sacks in the NFL through the second half of the season.
“He has been one of the most consistent quarterbacks in the league for a long time and appears primed to bounce back from last year, particularly after the offseason drama of him wanting to be traded. He wants his value to continue to rise, and that it will. Over the past five years, Wilson has dominated the NFL to the tune of the most big-time throws (214) while tying Rodgers and Brady for the best passing grade on 20-plus-yard throws (99.9).”
With newly hired offensive coordinator Shane Waldron calling the shots, Wilson should feel at ease that Waldron’s play-calling and experience will help open up shots to his key targets, DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett. But will Wilson get hit less?
The 32-year-old has taken 394 sacks in his nine seasons, including 47 in 2020. He was sacked a league-high 48 times in 2019 and took a career-high 51 in 2018.
In an effort to keep their quarterback happy and shore up the pass protection, Seattle acquired veteran guard Gabe Jackson from the Las Vegas Raiders. The Seahawks also opted to bring back Duane Brown and Brandon Shell at the tackle spots, while PFWA All-Rookie Team selection Damien Lewis will move to left guard in his second season. Ethan Pocic will return as starting center.
Wilson’s future in Seattle could ultimately fall on just how successful this team is when they take the field at the 2021 season’s start and whether or not Seattle can make a deep playoff run come January.