After Russell Wilson broke prior character by citing his frustrations about lack of involvement in personnel decisions and poor protection in front of him earlier this month, reports surfaced that the Seahawks weren't pleased about their franchise quarterback airing such dirty laundry to the public.
Since those statements coming from two separate interviews, Seattle's brain trust of general manager John Schneider and Pete Carroll have remained silent. The organization as a whole hasn't addressed the situation either, which has left some fans worried about the prospect of Wilson being dealt amid relentless trade rumors.
But in truth, nobody should be surprised Schneider and Carroll haven't gone public as Wilson did. That's not their style. Aside from their usual NFL Scouting Combine press conferences, neither man typically comments on anything this time of year, let alone trade gossip around one of the team's star players.
Instead, Seattle's front office will continue efforts to build around Wilson, who received the richest contract in NFL history two years ago and has three years left under contract. He's set to make a base salary of $19 million, which became guaranteed on February 12, in 2021. In the following two seasons, he will have base salaries of $19 and $22 million, carrying cap hits of $37 million and $40 million.
There's no question working around such a contract as Wilson's makes it tougher for any NFL team to infuse the roster with proven talent and the Seahawks currently have an estimated $4.3 million in cap space per OverTheCap.com. Several moves will need to be made to create space.
But Schneider has plenty of options at his disposal when it comes to adding pieces around Wilson for next season, including along the offensive line. He could restructure Wilson's deal to turn most of his base salary into a signing bonus, which would generate up to $12 million in instant cap space. Several players could receive extensions to lower the financial burden in 2021, including receiver Tyler Lockett, defensive end Carlos Dunlap, and defensive tackle Jarran Reed.
While neither would be viewed as necessarily the ideal option, Schneider also could trade or cut players such as Dunlap or Reed to take significant cap hits off the books and open up enough financial flexibility to address other positional needs.
Regardless of what the Seahawks choose to do to provide cap relief, trading Wilson isn't on the table - at least right now. Depending how this upcoming season goes, this discussion could wind up being far different in the not-so-distant future. Teams will continue calling to inquire about an asking price and who could blame them?
But as multiple sources have indicated, the organization isn't going to entertain offers, even if a team willingly throws three or more first-round picks their way trying to pry Wilson away from them. It's simply not happening.
On the contrary, Schneider and Carroll plan to show their continued commitment to Wilson as the face of the franchise by investing in talent around him in coming months. Even with minimal cap space at the moment and only four draft picks, there are tangible ways for Seattle to address the quarterback's apparent discontent by upgrading the offensive line and potentially adding another weapon on the outside to team up with DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett this spring.
While he won't be taking the title of assistant general manager just yet, this won't be a Deshaun Watson-type situation either. Just as he did in the hiring process of new offensive coordinator Shane Waldron, Wilson will most certainly have a voice when it comes to the players Seattle pursues.
For those who would like to see Schneider or Carroll come out and vehemently deny such rumors on a Zoom conference call, don't expect either of them to partake in the madness. Sticking to standard operating procedures and refusing to give validity to offseason fodder, when it comes to rampant speculation about Wilson's future with the Seahawks, they won't be throwing any gas on the fire.