False account of Seattle Seahawks ‘winning culture’ under Pete Carroll
The Seattle Seahawks are coming off their worst performance under longtime head coach Pete Carroll, posting a 7-10 record in the 2021 season.
We’ve already seen some issues with this organization ahead of the 2021 campaign amid reports of a rift between Carroll and franchise quarterback Russell Wilson. While everything seemed to be going well between the two during the season, things changed once the schedule started in January.
There were continuous leaks of issues between the two. Primarily, Wilson wasn’t happy about being left out of player personnel decisions. He thought Carroll played too much of a role after owner Paul Allen passed away in October 2018.
It all came to a head earlier in March, with Seattle shockingly choosing to trade Wilson to the Denver Broncos for multiple players, two first-round picks and two second-round selections.
Ten seasons. Ten of the most successful seasons in Seahawks franchise history. An inability for the two parties to find themselves on common ground. The end result was Seattle leaving Wilson for less than market value.
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Later the same day Wilson was traded, the Seattle Seahawks released future Hall of Fame linebacker Bobby Wagner in another shock decision. After all, the two were selected about 90 minutes apart in the 2012 NFL Draft.
Once news of Wagner’s release became a public record, the eight-time Pro Bowler took to social media to express his surprise at how Seattle handled it all.
It’s just a continuation of a theme we’ve seen at the Seahawks under Carroll and general manager John Schneider. That includes the team finding itself in messy divorces with other all-time greats in the Pacific Northwest.
Seattle Seahawks culture under Pete Carroll now in question
Remember when Seattle opted out of Richard Sherman after suffering a ruptured Achilles during the 2017 season? It became clear at this point that there were flaws in the Seahawks’ trademark armor.
“You just expect that after you’ve done so much for a franchise, they don’t cut you off while you’re hurt. It’s more about respect than anything. But they did. So, you kind of have to ride with the company.
Richard Sherman on the Seattle Seahawks (November 2018)
It’s no surprise that Sherman finally signed with the division rival San Francisco 49ers just hours after his release from the Seahawks in the spring of 2018.
Fast forward to the fall of 2018 when another franchise great, Earl Thomas, suffered a leg injury in a Week 4 game against the Arizona Cardinals. A now infamous incident took place in which Pro Bowl security flipped the bird in the direction of Pete Carroll. Thomas wouldn’t play another game with the team – signing a four-year, $55 million deal with the Baltimore Ravens in March 2019?
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Feeling of a theme here? It seems former Seattle Seahawks players think they were treated like cattle during their time in the organization. No more obvious than the following message from former Seahawks defensive lineman Branden Jackson in response to Wagner’s Tweet.
A member of the Seahawks organization from 2017-2020, Jackson was released by the organization in August 2020 after it was discovered he suffered a spinal injury in a scrimmage earlier that month. .
“It’s a situation where (doctors) don’t recommend him to play this season. He really came out of that episode OK, but the tests showed him he had a physical trait that they wanted to protect, so everything the world has been convinced that the best thing to do is for him not to play this year.
I don’t know if it’s forever, but I know for now. He’s not injured at the moment, but he’s sensitive, it’s similar to situations some of our other guys have had in the past. We err on the side of long-term health and take care of our guys.
Seattle Seahawks’ Pete Carroll on Jackson’s injury (August 2020)
“Take care of our guys.” That comment now seems laughable given Jackson’s response to Wagner’s release and the latter’s own belief about what happened behind the scenes. When you factor in Sherman and Thomas, it seems to be more of a trend than anything.
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Russell Wilson’s situation amplifies Seattle Seahawks’ problems
It was just before Seattle’s decision to trade Wilson that Carroll told the media that the deal was not in the cards.
“It’s common for us to have conversations with teams about all players, especially big-name players. That hasn’t changed. It’s the same every year. It is the same.
We don’t intend to do anything about it. But the conversations, John has to follow them, he always has them. But nothing specific.
Pete Carroll on Russell Wilson (March 2, 2022)
Less than a week later, Wilson was shipped to the Broncos in a blockbuster trade. While this would normally seem like a disconnect between Carroll and Schneider, it’s more about the Seattle brass playing their cards close to the vest in a public forum. Behind the scenes, things were much more different than what Carroll and Co. meant publicly.
Without Wilson in the mix, these Seahawks are just bottom feeders in a division that includes two teams in the San Francisco 49ers and Los Angeles Rams that played in last season’s NFC Championship Game.
All the while, it’s been noted that Houston Texans star quarterback Deshaun Watson has no desire to play for Pete Carroll in Seattle. That’s how low the powerhouses have fallen within a few seasons of being top-tier title contenders in the NFC. And actually, it’s about Pacific Northwest culture.
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