Why the Seahawks and Russell Wilson finally split. Hint, it’s the drafts.
In 2019, the team procrastinated on re-signing Frank Clark, the standout edge rusher. Clark took over for a traded Michael Bennett and a medically-retired Cliff Avril. At the time the team was taking too long to sign Clark (Seattle placed the franchise tag on Clark) Jerry Jones, owner of the Dallas Cowboys, decided to make edge rusher Demarcus Lawrence a $20 million a year player.
After the Lawrence signing, Clark declined to sign his franchise tag and was ultimately traded to the Kansas City Chiefs and in return, Seattle received the 29th pick in 2019 plus a second-rounder in 2020.
The Seahawks then had two first-round picks in the 2019 draft. The 21st pick and the 29th pick. After trading away their only premier edge rusher, Seattle needed help on the edge. When the 21st pick rolled around the Seahawks, however, elected to go back to their old ways and trade that pick away.
Sitting at the 21st pick was 6’6″ edge rusher Montez Sweat who ran a 4.5 40 yard dash at the combine. Instead, Seattle chose to replace Clark with LJ Collier. Collier currently looks like if he doesn’t turn around his career in 2022, he’s going to find himself out of the league.
Russell Wilson, on the other hand, has been a model of consistency. A company guy since he arrived at the VMAC in 2012. From his intro interview to his exit interview, he has claimed how much he wanted to win. He told 12s and anyone listening he wanted to win more titles and he wanted to win them in Seattle.
When he found out that teams were calling and Seattle was entertaining those calls he began to wonder what other opportunities might be out there for him. I believe Wilson realized Seattle did not have a winning team built. They had failed to build a championship roster around his talents.
So let’s put this into a better perspective for you. In 2018 (pre-DK Metcalf) if the Seahawks drafted correctly this is what that team could’ve looked like offensively:
Quarterback: Russell Wilson
Wide receiver: Doug Baldwin, Tyler Lockett and Davante Adams
Running back: Chris Carson and Nick Chubb
Offensive tackle: Duane Brown (left tackle) and Ryan Ramczyk (right tackle)
Instead, this is how it actually looked:
Quarterback: Russell Wilson
Wide receiver: Doug Baldwin, Tyler Lockett and David Moore
Running back: Chris Carson and an injured Rashaad Penny
Offensive tackle: Duane Brown (left tackle) and Germain Ifedi (right tackle)
Seattle missed the window to build a championship roster which led to Wilson losing faith in the management’s ability to build a winning roster that would help Wilson’s legacy. Wilson made it clear he wants to win and when he kept hearing rumors that he could be traded he began flirting with those rumors. Now Russell Wilson plays for the Broncos.