Report: Wilson wanted Carroll, Schneider fired; Wilson denies

It's been nearly a year since Russell Wilson was traded to the Denver Broncos by the Seattle Seahawks and more information about the soured relationship between the two sides continues to come to the surface.

According to a report from Mike Sando, Kalyn Kahler and Jayson Jenks of The Athletic, Wilson pushed for a change of leadership with the Seahawks after the 2021 season as he wanted head coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider removed with an eye on Sean Payton – Wilson's new head coach in Denver and the former head coach of the New Orleans Saints – taking over the organization.

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - JANUARY 02: Head coach Pete Carroll and Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks interact on the sidelines during the second half against the Detroit Lions at Lumen Field on January 02, 2022 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by St

A lawyer representing Wilson called the premise from The Athletic "entirely fabricated" in the story and Wilson denied the allegations as well in a posting on his Twitter account on Friday.

"I love Pete and he was a father figure to me and John believed in me and drafted me as well. I never wanted them fired. All any of us wanted was to win," Wilson wrote.

"l’ll always have respect for them and love for Seattle."

The Seahawks had no official comment on the story, but The Athletic cited multiple anonymous sources as the basis for the report. 

Per the story, Wilson asked Seahawks ownership to fire Carroll and Schneider as Wilson believed they were inhibiting his chances of winning more Super Bowls and individual accolades, such as the MVP award. Within days of the request from Wilson, the team reportedly began exploring trade opportunities. 

When the trade happened last March, the Seahawks made a point of expressing that Wilson was seeking a change and that led to the decision to trade him.

"While Russell made it clear he wanted this change, he made Seattle proud and we are grateful for his decade of leadership on and off the field," Seahawks chair Jody Allen said in a statement. "We look forward to welcoming our new players and to everyone being fully engaged while working our hardest to win every single day. I trust our leadership to take us into the future, and know we all wish Russell the very best."

Whether Wilson explicitly asked Allen to fire Carroll and Schneider may not have even mattered. Wilson had two years left on his contract with Seattle at the time and the two sides had convened for contract extension talks with one year remaining on his previous deals with the team. If Wilson had indicated he didn't have an intention of engaging the franchise in contract discussions if things remained the same in Seattle.

"I don't know if those were the exact words but we were under the impression that there wouldn't be a long-term extension," Schneider said after the trade when asked if they were told Wilson wouldn't re-sign with the team.

Regardless of the specifics, it's obvious the relationship between Wilson and the team had fractured beyond repair. Both on the field and off of it. Wilson is now in Denver and has the partnership with Payton he was reportedly seeking. Whether it will get Wilson's career back on track remains to be seen.