Russell Wilson’s trade from the Seattle Seahawks to the Denver Broncos made waves in spring 2022. Now comes out what probably led to the long unthinkable transfer.
How The Athletic Citing sources close to the team, a few days before the trade to Denver, Wilson is said to have demanded that the team’s top management fire head coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider.
The reason given by the star quarterback is that the two would have hindered his pursuit of more Super Bowls and individual awards. The result of the action is well known: the Seahawks organization backed Carroll and Schneider and decided to hand Wilson over instead.
It also said that Wilson’s preferred replacement for Carroll was Sean Payton, who had just announced his retirement from the New Orleans Saints at the time. The same Payton who became the Broncos’ new head coach in 2023 and is now actually working with Wilson.
Wilson, whose contract had a no-trade clause, ultimately agreed to the trade because he believed Denver could win titles. He is said to have revealed that to his new teammates at the time.
Russell Wilson: Disappointing first season in Denver
Wilson eventually signed a five-year, $245 million contract extension and then had a disappointing debut season in Denver – perhaps the worst of his career – that resulted in the early dismissal of newly hired head coach Nathaniel Hackett.
In the end, the Broncos were 5-12 and finished fourth in the AFC West, where they really wanted to play at the top. Now Wilson has to show that things can go uphill again in the future with his preferred coach Payton.