Russell Wilson and the Seahawks are taking divergent paths in 2022. So are their answers for why they parted ways.
During his introductory press conference in Denver last week, Wilson maintained the decision to send him to the Broncos was mutual between he and Seahawks management. Seattle took a different stance, and on Tuesday, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll doubled down.
"There was so much compelling reasoning why he would stay because of all of the history and all the time spent. That was exactly where I was coming from, just to use the logic of it," Carroll explained during an appearance on Seattle Sports 710. "When you've built a relationship over a long period of time, there's great benefits to that moving forward and well beyond your career and stuff. Those are all parts of the conversation.
"What I continue to say, Mike, I had no intention of making a move at all while guys were under contract, and we were pleased with what was going on and all. So, I fought for the logic of that for a good while until it wasn't meaningful anymore to stick with that."
It's not difficult to read between Carroll's lines. Until it wasn't meaningful anymore to stick with that indicates Wilson was no longer willing to entertain the idea of remaining with the Seahawks. Change was necessary, at least in his mind.
Seattle understandably didn't want to part with the face of its franchise for the last decade, but left with no other option, Carroll and general manager John Schneider decided to do right by the quarterback who delivered a Lombardi Trophy and two Super Bowl appearances by trading him to the only place he wanted to go: Denver.
Wilson was all smiles in Denver last week, happy to display his new orange No. 3 Broncos jersey while his wife, Ciara, sported an appropriately styled orange pantsuit. They're part of Broncos Country now. No more departures with the same trademark phrase: "Go 'Hawks."
Instead, the Seahawks were left to attempt to receive the largest haul possible for a quarterback who is still very much in his prime. They did that, but also have a question to answer at quarterback that starts with Drew Lock.
"It's the challenge, it's the excitement, it's the newness, it's the sense of the return to the core of where we began putting things together when we really were wide open and really aggressive and all (that)," Carroll said. "As time goes (on) and you get kind of connected to the salary cap and the cash cap and all that, you get slowed down a little bit. You don't have as much freedom and all that. So we feel the freedom of the draft picks, we feel the freedom of the financial situation, and the excitement of putting our team together again."
As the dust settles and the two sides take their first steps into a new era of permanent separation, it has become increasingly clear that this was a product of Wilson's desire to leave. Left with no choice but to honor his request, the Seahawks are now tasked with finding a quality replacement. We'll see who emerges as the successor to Wilson.