Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson addressed a blockbuster report from earlier this offseason indicating he had asked for a trade amid mounting frustration over the direction of the franchise.
Speaking with reporters at Seahawks OTAs on Thursday, Wilson seemed to clarify the framing of the bombshell scoop from ESPN's Adam Schefter, who reported that Wilson's reps had provided the team with a list of destinations where he'd be willing to accept a trade and waive his no-trade clause.
Wilson, still with his old team and perhaps looking to save face, stressed that he never actually requested a trade, and the list -- which was said to include the Chicago Bears, New Orleans Saints, Dallas Cowboys and Las Vegas Raiders -- was passed along in the event trade talks came up.
“I think first of all, you know obviously I love Seattle. I love playing here,” Wilson said. “I’ve had a great career here so far. I’ve always wanted to play here for my whole career, obviously. I think there were some unfortunate frustrations after the season. Obviously you want to win it all and do it all, and do everything you can. I think everybody on our team does. We all want to win it. I think, unfortunately, it got a little bit blown out of proportion.
“In terms of the trade talks, I think anytime you play professional sports, there’s always a possibility of something happening, right? I think that’s just the reality. I think that there’s a lot of teams out there that people were saying that I was going to, or would go, that I requested a trade. I did not request a trade. I’ve always wanted to play here. The reality is I think calls were getting thrown around and this and that, and I mean that’s just a reality. But I think at the end of the day the real reality is I’m here and I’m here to win. I’m here to win at all.”
Reports of the apparent difference in philosophy between Wilson and Seahawks brass set off a flurry of follow-ups, many suggesting the 32-year-old had grown frustrated with the team's spotty pass protection and his reported overall lack of input in personnel decisions.
The reports caught many by surprise, given Wilson's overall success in Seattle, and the team's financial commitment to him in the form of a lucrative long-term contract. But the team has struggled to forge an identity since appearing in back-to-back Super Bowls in the middle of the last decade.
Wilson, often touted as a consummate competitor, stressed on Thursday that he wants to continue the Seahawks' winning ways, "but do it a little bit more."
The former North Carolina State and Wisconsin star also said he has cleared the air with GM John Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll since the trade rumors first surfaced.