I realize that Russell Wilson is not with the Seattle Seahawks anymore. He also means little to what Seattle does going forward as any draft picks Seattle would have gotten back in the trade that sent Wilson to the Denver Broncos in the 2022 offseason are spent. But pretending that 12s have either forgotten or don't care about Wilson isn't true.
And before I go on, I am aware that Wilson was not good on Thursday against the Kansas City Chiefs. But that game was by his worst of the season. Plus, this article isn't about Wilson the Bronco, but Wilson the Seahawk.
Whether we like it or not, Russell Wilson is a part of the psyche of the 12s. He was with the team for far too long and had too many wins (and some bad losses) where the emotional attachment that comes with those memories cannot be disavowed. There's also this: Russell Wilson is the best quarterback Seattle has had in franchise history.
I recently posted a simple question on 12th Man Rising Facebook asking who the best four quarterbacks in Seahawks history are. There was no implied "don't include Russ" in the post. Yet, almost shockingly, there were several posts that named four quarterbacks but without naming Russell Wilson.
Former Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson doesn't deserve all the hate
I mean, fine. You're mad at Wilson for the way he left by reportedly going to Seahawks chairperson Jody Allen and stupidly asking for the termination of head coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider, I understand that. 12s are team-first and that should be the way. No player is bigger than the team. I mean, this isn't the NBA we are talking about.
But not naming Russell Wilson among the four best quarterbacks in Seahawks history is just hate of Russell Wilson. Does he win a Super Bowl with the Legion of Boom? No. But do they win one without Wilson? Unlikely. Plus, if a person doesn't want to have Wilson as number 1 on the list then that is their opinion and they have a right to it. But not among the best four?
One comment even said, "Wilson had amazing receivers and a running game that helped open up the passing game. He greatly benefited from having pieces around him. (Matt) Hasselbeck only had Alexander until 2006, and the only receiver that could catch was Engram." Well, that's just wrong.
Hasselbeck had better receivers overall than Wilson, and Hasselbeck also had one of the best left sides to his offensive line in league history. His left tackle and left guard are now in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Both Hasselbeck and Wilson should be in the top four QBs in Seattle history in my opinion.
Wilson ranks first in wins (104 and by 34 over number 2), touchdown passes (292 and by 97 over number 2), passing yards (37,059 and almost 8,000 over number 2), and his quarterback rating is better by far over everyone else except for Geno Smith who is a close second but in many fewer starts. Hate Wilson if you wish, but his statistics with Seattle paint a different picture.
Also, many 12s seem like they still are hoping Wilson loses in Denver. That's a fair point, I imagine, as it goes back to what I was saying about many 12s still, and rightfully so, having an emotional connection with Wilson and what he did in Seattle. But the reason Denver isn't good in 2023 is not Russell Wilson.
Heck, as much as Sean Payton, Denver's new coach, slammed the previous head coach, Nathanial Hackett, after Payton arrived in Denver this year, hopefully, he's aware that the Broncos' struggles are much more about him (Denver suddenly forgot to play defense?; I think not) than his quarterback. Payton seems like the jerk here (if anyone is) instead of Russell Wilson.
Wilson was fourth in quarterback rating this year ahead of Thursday's game and has thrown 12 touchdowns versus 4 interceptions. Is he suddenly back to being a top-10 QB? No. But he's not bad and Denver's 1-5 record is mostly not his fault.
My point in all this is that while 12s have a right to feel peeved at Wilson at the way he left and his seeming standoffishness while with the Seahawks, we also shouldn't discount how much he made the Seahawks a better team. The good he brought far outweighs the bad. And not having Wilson among the top four quarterbacks in Seahawks history is just wrong.