Specifically, Wilson wanted superstars.
I think we need a couple more. I think we need a couple more. Jadeveon (Clowney) is a big-time guy that we would love to get back on our football team. He was so good in the locker room. He brought so many just havoc plays to the field. Hopefully, we can get a few other players there on the defense... Free agency is very, very key to getting those superstars on your team and try to get great players that can fill the space.”
This offseason, Seattle promptly and decisively ignored Wilson’s request. With all due respect to the players that the Seahawks have brought in, superstars they are not.
In fact, they still haven’t done the one thing Wilson asked for in addition to getting additional outside help - sign Jadeveon Clowney.
None of the players that Seattle signed this offseason have received even a Pro Bowl vote in their careers, excluding three-time Pro Bowler Greg Olsen—but it’s hard to imagine this being quite what Wilson was talking about back in January for a few reasons. First, Wilson specifically mentioned the defense, and Olsen is a tight end. Second, while Olsen was mainly healthy last seasons, he hadn’t been in the three years prior. Finally, he’s 35. At 35 you can be a superstar quarterback, and I guess a kicker? But it’s not like the NFL sees skill positions dominating the league at such an experienced age.
What are we to make of this lack of granting Russell Wilson’s wishes?
It’s not like there’s really a precedent here - Wilson’s never been ignored by the franchise’s leadership before because he’s never made so direct a request like this before.
Instead of going for a couple large slices of the free agency cake, the Seahawks have opted to acquire the NFL equivalent of sprinkles and icing.
What’s more, is that Seattle’s now made it more difficult - not impossible - to sign Clowney plus much of anyone else.
Cap Space Update: Seahawks now sit at ~$13.2M in true cap space after Dorsett, Tedric, and Dickson moves.— Evan (@EvaninSEA) March 31, 2020
That’s even considering the six million dollar discount that Clowney’s probably going to give off his rumored early winter asking price. Perhaps the Seahawks knew that was going to be the case; they’d be the most likely team to have such a prediction. But one has to wonder if Seattle would be better off with a couple of studs over $3 million to Benson Mayowa, $4 million to Bruce Irvin, and spending money on four offensive linemen.
It’s been a rush to acquire depth and versatility - the things Pete Carroll likes - not getting defensive superstars - something Wilson said he likes.
The Seahawks might come out of 2020 offseason having not honored Wilson’s wishes in any significant way besides getting a discount on their best defensive player, who’s no health guarantee.
Clowney not o ly had offseason sports hernia surgery, teams likely want to do an MRI on the knee that had microfracture surgery in 2014 because that's a procedure that doesn't always age well. https://t.co/CHybjuQh7l— John P. Gilbert (@JohnPGilbertNFL) April 1, 2020
This is not to say that it’s been a bad offseason. It just hasn’t been anywhere near what Wilson asked for.
Personally, I’m of the belief that the secondary wasn’t all that bad last season, unless you count literally every time the linebackers ended up out there trying to cover passes. In which case Seattle deserved every 400+ yard passing game they gave up. But acquiring Quinton Dunbar is a very significant move that should, if nothing else, almost force the Seahawks to play less base and defend the pass a bit better.
It was going to be very expensive to get much defensive star power, and this month should also make the cooking people happy as Wilson will have yet another high-ceiling offense with plenty of speed and savvy to command.
Wilson’s a bit of a talker, even if his interviews have traditionally been incredibly boring. He’s also said his own share of strange things over the years, which is to say very few strange things. The weird New York rumors come to mind, as well as his awkward phase where he tried to keep baseball as some kind of public backup option. This most recent outburst (if you can call anything Wilson does an outburst) was actually a bit refreshing. It’s good to see Wilson still cares enough about winning, even with his half a billion dollars or whatever, to drop hints that he wants the team to keep getting talent.
It’s a near-zero chance that this causes any sort of division between Wilson and the organization. But worth noting that unless another blockbuster trade comes through they have absolutely not given him what he wants this time around.
I hope it works.