NFL Insider: Russell Wilson’s Long-Term Future in Seattle Not ‘Set in Stone’


File this one away.

Even after a season where he was the runner-up for NFL MVP, Russell Wilson's long-term future in Seattle is far from certain, apparently. Friday, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk said that the clock is ticking on the Seahawks' organization to revamp in a way that pleases the future Hall of Fame quarterback:

"I've said it before, I'm going to say it again - there is a belief in league circles that Russell Wilson eventually will not be playing for the Seahawks. Now, that's not a prediction, that's not a guarantee, I'm just telling you that there are people whose opinions should not be ignored who believe that Russell Wilson will eventually be playing for another team. He's in his early 30s, he's said repeatedly that he wants to play until he's 45, and one of the of the of the realities of that relationship is whether or not the Seahawks are ever going to use him the way that he wants to be used. And not that it's setting up for a coup where Russell demands a new coach...a new coordinator...whatever, I think his attitude is...and I'm saying I think, I don't know...I think his attitude is 'This is your chance. Do what you need to do. And at some point, if you don't do it, we're gonna work this out and I'm gonna be gone.' It can't happen the next couple years because of cap issues, but I'm telling you, this is a real belief by people who are in the know...and I can't say much more than that without compromising sources. But this idea that Russell Wilson is going to be in Seattle for the rest of the decade is hardly set in stone, and a lot of it depends, I think, on whether or not they let him become the Patrick Mahomes, the Lamar Jackson, the Kyler Murray, where it's not hand off, hand off, hand off, and then 'Oh, we're down 10 points, go save our ass Russell.' It's more of letting him go out and do what he does so well from start to finish of the game."

As Florio noted, there's no reason to think that such a break-up is imminent, or even possible at this time. After all, Wilson signed a four-year/$140 million extension in April of 2019 that guaranteed him $107 million. There isn't an out in the deal until after 2021, and even that would leave the Seahawks with $26 million in dead cap money the following season. The most likely scenario, if for nothing more than the financial implications, is that Wilson plays out his current deal, which runs through 2023, his age-34 season.

Still, these type of reports don't usually leak out about franchise quarterbacks, especially one like Wilson, who is probably the greatest player in the history of the organization. The suggestion from Florio is that if adjustments aren't made to Wilson's liking, he won't wait until his age-43 season like Tom Brady to orchestrate some sort of change. Florio's quote leads you to believe Wilson, entering his age-31 season, could change teams like Peyton Manning in his mid-30s, even though it would be for entirely different reasons than why Manning did.

The whole conversation was started (or restarted) when Wilson agreed with the assertion that the offense - and probably him, more specifically - should be unleashed earlier in games.

"I do definitely believe in finishing strong," Wilson said Thursday to the collective media, including Brady Henderson of ESPN. "We've won a lot of games in the fourth quarter and been able to do some fun things in the fourth quarter, but let's treat every quarter as the fourth."

A more reasonable way for both sides to meet in the middle if the offense isn't run in a manner that pleases Wilson over the next season or two might be to make some changes in the coaching staff that the quarterback has input over. Will that be Super Bowl winning head coach Pete Carroll, who has a defensive background but has guided the team to eight consecutive winning seasons? Probably not, and even at age 68, you don't get the sense he plans to retire soon. It is possible, though, that a more aggressive offensive coordinator is pushed onto Carroll's staff, with Wilson's support.

Even if there isn't some sort of change, the Seahawks will probably hover around 10 wins for Wilson's remaining seasons with the team. But perhaps the number of remaining seasons he'll have with the team will shrink.

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