Russell Wilson Explanation Misses the Mark

Analysis: Russell Wilson shot down the idea he demanded a trade, but demands come in many forms and his list of four possible destinations to be dealt pushed it beyond rumor.
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To hear Russell Wilson talk now, there never was a trade demand after last season.

True enough.

It doesn't mean the Bears' bid to acquire the Seahawks starter met with deaf ears.

The selection of Justin Fields in the draft now dulls any feelings lingering after the attempt by the Bears to trade for Wilson failed. Chicago is all Fields moving forward, and this much was obvious by his ovation at Friday's Cubs-Cardinals game.

The Seahawks quarterback spoke with media in Seattle this week for the first time about his rift with Seattle, one apparently long-since smoothed over. At least that's the impression Wilson and the Seahawks tried to give. 

They have to do this.

While Wilson said he never did want to be traded and didn't make a trade demand, he admitted to putting out a list of possible teams he'd play for and the Bears were on it. GM Ryan Pace attempted on Trey Lance's pro day to gain the Seahawks' interest, which failed. 

Wilson's explanation for that list failed to measure up, which only leads to more questions.

Wilson told reporters "...tons of teams were calling, and I think that the reality was that I didn't really want to go anywhere else."

He sure had a funny way of showing this. 

So as a result of reports and rumors, he says they put out the information about the teams he would be interested in playing forthe Bears, Cowboys, Raiders and Saints.

Wilson admitted his agent, Mark Rodgers, gave the information about the four teams to ESPN's Adam Schefter but said it was done after reports surfaced saying he wanted a trade following a report in The Athletic detailing his frustrations with the team. Never in there was an exact trade demand given, Wilson said.

"I wanted to play in Seattle, but if I had to go somewhere here's the teams I would consider," he said. "At the end of the day, I have a no-trade clause, right?"

None of this did anything to quiet the building storm. 

"I think I was in (the) Bahamas or somewhere and everybody was saying that I requested a trade," Wilson said. "And that wasn't true. So we made it clear that I did not request a trade, and there's teams being flown around that I was going to go to those teams and this and that."

It seems time has altered some of Wilson's recollection of what happened, because there was never a legitimate story anywhere saying the deal to the Bears or anyone else was coming. Nor was there a report saying he actually demanded a trade.  

All the reports said it was only a possibility and the Bears were making a trade offer, but nothing more. They gave the four teams he listed..

The reports and rumors weren't the problem. Wilson was.

Putting out that list of four possible teams he'd go to if traded was, in actuality, a smaller step toward an actual trade demand. It was his way of pushing everything a step further in his chess game with Seattle management. It was a less definitive version of a demand. 

If Wilson had no intention of going anywhere, as he insists, there was no need to put out the list of four possible destinations. It served no purpose. 

"There were calls going around that I could have possibly been traded and I think the reality is that we had to have a lot of conversations," Wilson said, referring to coach Pete Carroll and GM John Schneider. "We had some great ones along the way and it made our relationship stronger, really, me 'and Pete and John."

Wilson did say he had to have a talk with Seattle team president Chuck Arnold over a certain letter. 

The letter served as fuel for the rumor blaze at the time. This was the letter to season ticket holders which included names of players on the team but not Wilson's name. It all seemed like the team's way of making a move of its own in the chess game after Wilson's list.

It's well known now it was Carroll who didn't want to lose Wilson and he put up a stop sign on Bears attempts to acquire Wilson.

After his rather sketchy explanation, it's anything but clear Wilson never did really want to go anywhere. He just didn't demand it in those exact words. There are many ways to make a demand.

For the Bears, none of it matters now, anyway. 

No. 1 is who matters, not No. 3.

No. 3 they will deal with the day after Christmas, when they visit Seattle.

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