Russell Wilson speaks the truth about the Seahawks, and national media immediately says he’s demanding a trade. For the love of all that’s holy, stop it.
Wilson committed the apparently unspeakable crime of saying the Seahawks offensive line could improve. For the unmitigated gall of saying what every member of the proud 12s has said for years, the national media pretended that Wilson was done with Seattle and wanted out.
Locally, we have saner heads. Matt Calkins of the Seattle Times acknowledges that part of the blame for Wilson’s sacks lies with DangeRuss himself – and points out that our star quarterback admitted as much, too. Calkins didn’t go off on some insane tangent and attack Wilson for his candor; in fact, he celebrated it. Rightly so.
He isn’t shy about Number Three’s drop in performance in the second half of the season, either. More to the point, Calkins states that the 394 sacks allowed by the Seahawks are the league’s worst over Wilson’s nine years. Even worse, the offensive line ranked 30th or 32nd in five of those seasons.
Russell Wilson and the Seahawks have O-line issues
The always brilliant Bob Condotta was on target with his piece for the Seattle Times, too. He adds that the much-maligned O-line only managed to rank as high as 16th once – and that was this past season. Condotta states that Pro Football Focus assessed Wilson himself as the cause of 104 of those sacks. Yes, we all know how often Russ will take a sack while trying to extend a play. We also know how often he’ll fire a laser to the end zone in those situations.
The problem, as Condotta writes, is those other 290 sacks. If Russell Wilson hadn’t been sacked once in his career due to his own actions, the Seahawks would still have the ninth-worst pass protection in the league over his career.
Mr. Condotta points out that Seattle hasn’t drafted particularly well along the line, and hasn’t exactly broken the bank to get or keep top players. The Hawks ranked 26th in spending for offensive linemen last season, the fifth time they’ve ranked that poorly in Wilson’s career.
So, maybe Russell Wilson has a point. Maybe he isn’t saying this to “send a signal” he wants out. Maybe he just wants good protection for once in his career. Restructuring his contract, as our own Lee Vowell suggested, could certainly go a long way toward getting the team in place Wilson, and Seattle, needs to win it all again. Whether or not Seattle and Wilson should part ways is a very different conversation than whether Wilson wants out.