Like his head coach before him, Russell Wilson is ready to move on — and he'd prefer to downplay an offseason filled with drama he helped create.
The Seattle Seahawks quarterback, apparently content now with his lot in the Northwest, told reporters on Thursday that he did not ask out of town after last season's first-round playoff exit.
“I did not request a trade,” Wilson told reporters repeatedly at a Thursday news conference, per the Tacoma News Tribune. "Obviously, I love Seattle. ... I've always wanted to play here for my whole career."
The statement doesn't quite jibe with Wilson's agent Mark Rodgers telling ESPN in February that Wilson was willing to waive his no-trade clause to play for the Dallas Cowboys, New Orleans Saints, Las Vegas Raiders or Chicago Bears. Technically he didn't ask for a trade, per the report. He just let the Seahawks know he was willing to play for other teams.
Wilson: I didn't request a trade ... but trade list was real
Asked about that report Thursday, here's what Wilson had to say:
“I think there was a lot of confusion," Wilson said. "Everybody was saying that I requested a trade. And that wasn't true. So we made it clear that I did not request a trade. There were teams being flown around that I was gonna go to those teams, this and that."
When pressed on the issue, Wilson conceded that those teams that "were being flown around" came from his camp.
"I wanted to play in Seattle," Wilson continued. "But if I had to go somewhere these are the teams I would go to, or consider.”
Wilson's deflection mirrored that of head coach Pete Carroll, who said in April that he knew all along that the Seahawks weren't trading Wilson while chalking trade talk up as a media creation.
“It’s a media problem," Carroll said. "It wasn’t a problem for us because we knew the truth, and we were in conversation to talk about stuff. Because it’s in the media, there are things we need to address with other players and talk through stuff. That’s just a normal course."
Tension and a trade list
While the Seahawks may very well have had zero intent to trade their star quarterback, Wilson's offseason of discontent is well-documented. He kicked off the conversation with his Feb. 9 declaration that “I'm frustrated at getting hit too much.”
Then came the report that mounting tensions between Wilson and Carroll's coaching staff prompted Wilson to “storm out of the room” when coaches rebuked his strategy suggestions before a Week 11 game against the Arizona Cardinals. This all preceded Wilson's reported list of teams that his agent went public with — a list that he confirmed on Thursday.
There was certainly less-reliable reporting amplifying the noise in Seattle. But the foundation was set by Wilson. And he'd prefer to move on.
And now that he and the Seahawks are focused on another season together, moving on seems the prudent strategy. Dwelling on past conflicts is rarely good for any relationship.