Former Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson denied a report that he requested the team fire head coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider before being traded to the Denver Broncos last offseason.
"I love Pete and he was a father figure to me and John believed in me and drafted me as well," Wilson tweeted. "I never wanted them fired. All any of us wanted was to win. l’ll always have respect for them and love for Seattle."
On Friday (February 24), the Athletic, citing league sources on the condition of anonymity as they were unauthorized to discuss the details, reported that Wilson was reportedly convinced that Carroll and Schneider were hindering his chances of winning "additional Super Bowls and individual awards" and made the request in February 2022. The report states that Wilson preferred the Seahawks hire Sean Payton -- who recently accepted the head coaching position with the Broncos this offseason -- as Carroll's replacement after Payton resigned as the head coach of the New Orleans Saints last offseason.
Team officials instead decided to pursue trades involving Wilson days after the quarterback's request was made, according to the sources. The quarterback issued a response denying the report on Friday (February 24) morning.
Schneider and Carroll were hired by the Seahawks in 2010, two years before the team selected Wilson at No. 75 overall in the third-round of the 2012 NFL Draft. Together, the trio won Super Bowl XLVIII and two AFC Championships, however, had seen less success during the latter portion of Wilson's tenure with the franchise.
Wilson also reportedly hired a new publicist after his image "suffered throughout" his first season with the Broncos and had previously worked out of his own second floor office, as well as bringing in his own personal quarterback coach, nutritionist and trainer upon being acquired by Denver last year, according to the Athletic.
The Broncos finished last in the AFC West, averaging a league-worst 16.9 points per game, while Wilson went 4-11 as a starter and threw for 3,424 yards, 16 touchdowns and 11 interceptions on 292 of 483 passing. The Seahawks had a surprisingly successful season despite their offseason rebuild, clinching the final NFC playoff spot with a 9-8 record led by Wilson's former backup turned starting quarterback Geno Smith, who won the Associated Press Comeback Player of the Year award after throwing for a career-best 4,282 yards and 30 touchdowns.