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Seahawks’ Wilson sounds off on hits he’s taking

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson said he’s frustrated by amount of times he’s been hit throughout his career and expressed his desire to be more involved with the team’s personnel decisions.

“Like any player, you never want to get hit,” Wilson told reporters via Zoom on Tuesday. “That’s the reality of playing this position. Ask any quarterback who wants to play this game. But at the same time, it’s part of the job and everything else. I think that the reality is I’ve definitely been hit. I’ve been sacked almost 400 times, so we’ve got to get better. I’ve got to find ways to get better, too.”

Asked if he’s frustrated with the Seahawks, Wilson said with a laugh: “I’m frustrated [about] getting hit too much. I’m frustrated with that part of it. At the end of the day, you want to win.”

Wilson’s comments mark the first time he has publicly expressed this degree of displeasure with his pass-protection or any other aspect of the organization that drafted him in 2012. They come on the heels of an NFL Network report stating that multiple teams have called the Seahawks about a possible trade for the eight-time Pro Bowler.

According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, those calls were nonstarters for the Seahawks, who have made it clear to suitors that Wilson won’t be dealt. He has three years left on the four-year, $140 million extension he signed in April of 2019. Trading Wilson before June 1 of this year would trigger $39 million in dead-money charges against Seattle’s 2021 salary cap.

Wilson has been sacked 394 times in his career. According to ESPN Stats & Information, that’s the most in a player’s first nine seasons since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger. Randall Cunningham is next at 366.

Wilson’s 47 sacks in 2020 were third-most in the NFL behind Carson Wentz (50) and Deshaun Watson (49). The Seahawks were ninth-best in ESPN’s Pass Block Win Rate (61.9%) this past season and rank eighth since 2017 (59.2%), which is indicative of how some of Wilson’s sacks are a function of his propensity to extend plays.

“I think about, my career and what I want to be able to do, it always starts up front, offensively defensively, it always does,” Wilson said. “… I came to play this game to win championships so if you ask me about the trust factor of it all, I’ve always put my trust in the Seahawks trying to do whatever it takes to win and hopefully that will continue. I think that’s a key part. I think part of that is how we go about the protection part of it and figuring those other things out like that.”

The Seahawks have Pro Bowl left tackle Duane Brown and right tackle Brandon Shell each under contract for one more season. Right guard Damien Lewis, a third-round pick in 2020, was named to the Pro Football Writers Association’s All-Rookie team after starting every game. Left guard Mike Iupati and center Ethan Pocic are scheduled to become unrestricted free agents.

Wilson said during his video conference that he wants to have the voice in personnel decisions that other top quarterbacks have or have had, naming Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and Drew Brees. Wilson made the same point earlier Tuesday in an interview with the Dan Patrick Show.

“I want to be able to be involved because at the end of the day, it’s your legacy, it’s your team’s legacy, it’s the guys you get to go into the huddle with and at the end of the day, those guys you’ve got to trust,” Wilson told Patrick. “When you think about one of the reasons why Tom went to Tampa was because he felt like he could trust those guys and [coach Bruce Arians] was going to give him the opportunity. … You think about guys like LeBron [James], he was able to be around great players that he can trust.

“I think for me, any time you bring free agents in or other players, you want the best players, guys who love the game, guys who want to be a part of that. And as a player, you kind of know that, you get to be around Pro Bowls, you get to kind of see these guys, you get to be in the huddle with the linemen or the receivers or you get to be around defensive guys. So you kind of build that over time and you get to see who can really play. As a player, you really know. I think that relationship is really key and that dialogue, especially being a veteran player, that dialogue is really important.”

Asked if he is or has been involved in those conversations, Wilson said “not as much.” He added: “I think it helps to be involved more. But I think that dialogue should happen more often, in my opinion.”

Of teams calling the Seahawks about a potential trade, Wilson told Patrick: “Yeah, I definitely believe that they’ve gotten calls, for sure. I think that anytime you’re a player that tries to produce every week and has done it consistently, I think people are going to call for sure and it’s part of the process.”

Asked if he’s available, Wilson said: “I’m not sure if I’m available or not. That’s a Seahawks question. But I think more than anything else, I think at the end other day you want to win. … You play this game to be the best in the world. You know what I hate, I hate sitting there watching other guys play the game. There’s nothing worse.”


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