ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Returning to Seattle in his first game of the regular season with the Denver Broncos, quarterback Russell Wilson confirmed Thursday that the Seahawks had actually tried to trade him before — in 2018 — and said he was doing it I can’t believe his skills have diminished as he enters his 11th season.
The Broncos’ blockbuster deal to acquire Wilson in March — for five draft picks, including two first-round and two second-round players, plus three players — was one of the league’s biggest offseason changes.
But Wilson confirmed Thursday, just before stepping onto the practice field, that it wasn’t the first time the Seahawks have tried to trade him in his time with the team, which has nine Pro Bowl selections, two Super Bowl starts and one Super Bowl win included . An ESPN story published this week about the Wilson-Seahawks football divorce detailed Seattle’s attempt to trade Wilson ahead of the 2018 draft.
“Anyway, they’ve tried a couple of times to see what’s out there,” Wilson said. “It’s part of the business, being a pro and everything else… I believe in my talents, in who I am, I feel like I’m one of the best in the world.”
According to a source, while attending Super Bowl LV in February 2021, Wilson heard that Seattle had previously had other talks about trading with him aside from their call to the Cleveland Browns in 2018. A Seahawks source said the 2018 call to the Browns was the only time they actively attempted to trade Wilson, other than when they did so after Denver in March.
The 33-year-old Wilson also contradicted the partly anonymous criticism that his skills had waned. He didn’t play once in the Broncos’ three preseason games, making it the first time anyone saw Wilson serve Denver’s offense in a game Monday night at Lumen Field.
“I don’t worry about all that stuff, people can have opinions and thoughts and ideas, everyone has their own right to think what they want to think,” Wilson said. “I know how the whole thing went, how it went, just the whole situation.
“I think you have to prove that every year [you’re one of the best] … You want your career to be a reflection of being one of the best in the world, so I think the first 10 years have been a positive reflection, but there’s more to do, a lot more to do.”
Asked what kind of reception he would expect from Seahawks fans at the stadium, Wilson said he’s not playing this game with a chip on his shoulder.
“Seattle means the world to me forever,” said Wilson. “I loved it there like I said, I played there for 10 years, it was an amazing experience, I loved every second of it.”
He told Seattle-area media Thursday that he expected a “brawling” crowd at Lumen Field Monday night.
“I know they’re going to be loud. I know they’re going to be excited. It’s Monday Night Football, so it’s going to be a special environment. Look, I think I gave my heart and soul every day. I don’t know anything less. Hopefully it will be positive but at the same time at the end of the day I know we have a game to play and everything else,” he said.
He also told reporters in Seattle that he and Seahawks coach Pete Carroll spoke “several times” between the end of last season and his move.
“I was hoping that everything would work out and that we could find out all the details. We couldn’t… so it’s one of those things. You have to be able to move on with joy and just say I can still play this game and now I’m with the Denver Broncos, which is another great organization,” he said.
“To say I can play for the Seattle Seahawks for 10 years and hopefully for the Denver Broncos for the rest of my career, we’ll see. That’s an amazing thing to say. So I’m just grateful. I’m grateful for the whole experience of everything.”
ESPN’s Brady Henderson contributed to this report.
https://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/34551174/denver-broncos-russell-wilson-confirms-seattle-seahawks-tried-trade-2018-says-skills-not-diminished Denver Broncos QB Russell Wilson confirms Seattle Seahawks tried to trade him before this year, says his skills not diminished