Russell Wilson hopes Sunday isn’t his last home game with Seahawks, but ‘you never know’ – The Seattle Times

Science & Technology

With the Seahawks officially eliminated from the playoffs with two games left to go, speculation has already heated up about quarterback Russell Wilson’s future in Seattle.
And Wilson did nothing to cool it down when he talked to media Thursday during his weekly news conference via Zoom.
After restating that his goal is to win three more Super Bowls, Wilson was asked if he thinks he can do that in Seattle.
During his answer, Wilson volunteered the thought that Sunday’s game against the Lions could be his last home game with Seattle.
Referencing that middle linebacker Bobby Wagner said Wednesday that he knows there’s a chance this could be his last season with the team, Wilson said, “I know you guys asked Bobby about ‘Could this be your last game?’ this and that and all that. I know for me personally, I hope it’s not my last game. But at the same time, I know it won’t be my last game in NFL. So I’m just focused on the day and getting better today. And so that’s my focus. That’s my goal. I love this city, and I love this moment. I love these guys. And so we’ve got to make sure we get better today. That’s the only thing that matters.”
Asked a follow-up later if he realistically thought that Sunday could be his final home game with the Seahawks, Wilson hedged a bit while still leaving the door open that it’s on his mind.
“I guess I was replying back to what Bobby had mentioned and just saying that I think that you never know,” Wilson said. “But I think that for me personally, I hope it’s not. I was saying I hope it’s not. But I’m also saying that in terms of the preparation, I also know that the reality is that it won’t be my last game in the NFL, period. So every day you have to give everything you have. There’s no ‘take the day off here, take the day off there’ or whatever it is, I guess. I mean, that’s more so what I meant, if that makes sense.”
But if that was an attempt at clarity, it certainly didn’t clear things up completely.
And even broaching the idea that it could be his last home game is sure to get the rumor mill churning that much more, especially given the events of last offseason — when Wilson’s agent, Mark Rodgers, told ESPN that Wilson had a list of four teams he would waive his no-trade clause for, and credible reports later stated the Seahawks had trade talks with one of those four teams, the Bears, before coach Pete Carroll stepped in and said he did not want to trade Wilson.
Wilson, who turned 33 last month, has two years remaining on his contract, paying him an average of $35 million.
The contract includes what is still a sizable dead cap hit of $26 million for 2022. But that’s down from the $58 million of 2021 that made it far more difficult to trade him last season, and also includes $11 million in cap savings.
Wilson also has no more guaranteed money in his contract, though he is due a $5 million bonus if he is on the roster on the fifth day of the new league year, which begins on March 16. That doesn’t preclude a trade happening after that, but does make it more likely that it would happen by then.
The Seahawks, of course, will first have to decide if they are going forward with the personnel leadership team of Carroll and general manager John Schneider. Carroll on Monday said he does not think the team requires a rebuild and that the Seahawks have “the essence” of what they need to get back to being successful while also saying that he and team chair Jody Allen are “on the same page” about what needs to be done moving forward. Many have taken that comment as Carroll saying he will be back in 2022.
Wilson on Thursday made clear his goal is basically Super Bowls or bust going forward.
“I’ve never been shy about it,” he said. “You know, for me, I want to win three more Super Bowls. That’s been in my head, and so, for me, it’s how do we get there? How’s that happen? How do we do all that? And I think that it’s a big goal if you don’t believe you can do it.”
Wilson was then asked if he believes he can win those Super Bowls with the Seahawks.
“I hope so,” Wilson said. “Obviously we can’t do it not being in the playoffs right now. But I think that most importantly is it takes a lot of effort, takes a lot of things. It takes a lot of pieces and I think that we have a good amount of those pieces. A lot of them.”
Wilson, in fact, heaped praise on what is often viewed as not being one of those pieces — the offensive line.
Wilson’s 2021 offseason of discontent kicked into gear when he mentioned being frustrated with having been hit as much as he has in his career — Wilson has been sacked 425 times in his 10 years in Seattle, most in the NFL.
“The O-line has been battling their butts off, man,” he said. “We’ve been doing a great job up front. Those guys have been kicking butt up there and we’ve played some really good football teams.”
But the season, as Wilson noted, “hasn’t happened the way we wanted it to.”
The biggest factor was Wilson missing the first three games of his NFL career after suffering a ruptured tendon and dislocation in his right middle finger in the third quarter of the fifth game of the year against the Rams. Seattle was 2-2 at the time, but went on to lose to Los Angeles and has lost seven of 10 since then, including a stunning 25-24 home collapse against the Bears on Sunday.
Wilson’s play has suffered since his return on Nov. 14 against Green Bay, as well. Among many numbers that can be cited as evidence of that, he had a 9-0 touchdown-to-interception ratio in the first four games of the season before he was injured and is at 9-5 in the nine games since then, including the game in which he was injured.
“I never expected to be out for several games and go through what I had to go through just to get back and playing again,” Wilson said Thursday.
So, in a year of the unexpected, could what even 12 months ago might have seemed unfathomable — Wilson and the Seahawks parting ways — really happen?
The answer won’t come for a little while.
But as Wilson takes the field Sunday for what will be his 84th home game, that it could be his last will be on everyone’s mind including, apparently, his.
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