Russell Wilson implored Seahawks to fire Pete Carroll, hire Sean Payton
Here’s some bombshell reporting. The Athletic’s Kalyn Kahler, Mike Sando and Jayson Jenks broke the story on Russell Wilson’s high-stakes split with the Seattle Seahawks last year, and who should make a cameo other than former New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton?
The Athletic reports that Wilson implored Seahawks ownership to fire longtime head coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider after their frustrating 7-10 finish to the 2021 season, and that he pushed for Seattle to make a run at Payton instead. From the story:
It makes sense. Wilson spoke glowingly of Payton over the years and there were rumors even in-season in 2021 that he wanted to work with the former Saints coach. And, of course, Payton eventually ended up with Wilson on the Denver Broncos. It wasn’t going to happen last year, though — Payton wanted to take a year off from football, spurning offers from other teams like the Miami Dolphins (who forfeited a draft pick for tampering with him anyway).
Wilson struggled to get things going with Nathanie Hackett in Denver for a year before Payton eventually made his way to Colorado. So Wilson got his wish. It just didn’t happen in Seattle. For what it’s worth, he quickly issued a denial of the story on social media:
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.
l’ll always have respect for them and love for Seattle.
— Russell Wilson (@DangeRussWilson) February 24, 2023
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