Russell Wilson joined an elite club on Tuesday at the expense of Seahawks fans. Wilson is the latest superstar athlete to force his way out of Seattle. Wilson is now looked at in the same way as Ken Griffey Jr., Randy Johnson, Gary Payton, and Alex Rodriguez.
The Rodriguez exit has a personal touch for me as I had the privilege of being asked to leave prank phone messages booing him during an on-air segment as part of my sports Radio 950 KJR internship when Rodriguez made his first trip back to Seattle in 2001 with the Texas Rangers.
Circling back to Wilson, he was traded along with a 2022 fourth-round pick to the Denver Broncos for two first-round picks (2022, '23), two second-round picks (2022, '23), a fifth-round pick (2022), quarterback Drew Lock, defensive tackle Shelby Harris, and tight end Noah Fant.
This news of the trade is not a surprise living out in Seattle as I do, as most rational folks in the Seattle media and within the fan base saw this coming eventually after the conclusion of the 2021 season. This ongoing drama was great for Seattle sports talk radio as it provided content for everyone to talk about over the past two years. But, it did take its toll on the patience level of fans and media alike. Wilson's exit should also not be a surprise as it's on-brand for him to force his way out of a situation he doesn't like.
Wilson’s agent Mark Rodgers also is guilty of creating drama in this situation, according to what Ian Furness of Sports Radio 950 KJR said on his show Wednesday afternoon. It appears that Rodgers was a pain in the ass to deal with for local media along with general manager John Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll. Every contract negotiation with Wilson was a drawn-out, drama-filled debacle that never seemed like it would ever end, which is not a recipe for sustained success in a relationship between a superstar quarterback and an NFL franchise.
Thus, the annual antics of Wilson and Rodgers did not sit well up here in Seattle as the locals are a tight-knit provincial group of people. They take personal offense when people from the outside act like they want to leave or not want to be here as they feel like the city of Seattle is the be-all-end-all. In addition, these locals are also the same folks who will bust out the "Seattle Freeze" towards people from out of town at any moment. Bottom line, there will always be an uphill battle for outsiders like Wilson and professional athletes in general when an athlete knows they want to move on as Seattle fans do their best to show loyalty to local superstar athletes on and off the field.
As far as where Seahawks fans will go from here, it's up in the air as most fans older than 30 should have a Ph.D. in dealing with this scenario as the franchise up until the 2012 draft when they took Wilson was a wild roller-coaster ride at the quarterback position. That generation of fans has suffered through subpar quarterbacks such as Dan McGwire, Rick Mirer, Kelly Stouffer, Jeff Kemp. On the positive side, fans also have enjoyed some playoff wins with Dave Krieg and a trip to the Super Bowl led by Matt Hasselbeck. For fans younger than 30, this would be a great time to prep yourself in the offseason with the news that Bobby Wagner will be released once the league year begins, along with Tyler Lockett also available via trade for the right price. These moves suggest that fans will need to buckle up and get ready for a rebuild.
Fortunately, sports fans in Seattle have a ton of experience with this with the Seattle Mariners' most recent tank job over the past few seasons, who finally appear to be turning the corner on contending in the AL West.
Finally, the script for Seahawks fans will not be complete without the return visit from Wilson to Lumen Field. Thankfully, Wilson will bring his Broncos to Seattle during the 2022 regular season and it will likely be a prime-time game as the television networks will jump all over this opportunity. Fans across the nation can expect Wilson to be treated well before the game, as he did bring the only Super Bowl to the city. However, once the game starts, it should be a wild scene. A scene filled with the legendary "Bronco Busters" shirts brought back to life from their heyday of the 1980s in the Kingdome when both teams were AFC West rivals. The bottom line for Schneider and Carroll is they must get back to work and put this franchise back together as soon as possible.
In closing, congrats to Wilson and Wagner for spearheading an extended run of success and their long-lasting contributions to the community. It’s a stone-cold lock that both guys will end up in the Seahawks Ring of Honor and the Pro Football Hall of Fame when their respective playing days are over.
– Written by Scott Whittum, who is part of the Contributor Network.