Russell Wilson denies he wanted Seahawks to fire Pete Carroll as coach
Wilson reacts to report he pushed Seahawks to fire Carroll originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
The 49ers were relieved when their longtime rival Russell Wilson departed from the NFC West.
But before he took his talents to the Denver Broncos, a report from The Athletic states the QB wanted his former head coach Pete Carroll to be fired.
The former Seahawks signal-caller addressed the report publicly as he denied the report on Twitter that he asked ownership to oust Carroll and Seattle general manager John Schneider.
"I love Pete and he was a father figure to me, and John believed in me and drafted me as well," Wilson wrote on his Twitter Friday morning. "I never wanted them fired. All any of us wanted was to win."
Seattle owner Jody Allen has not commented on the report, but did say at the time of Wilson's trade to Denver that the quarterback "made it clear he wanted this change."
Was that change a new team or a new head coach? It remains a mystery. But if the report is true and Wilson had got his way, he could have remained in the NFC West and an ongoing problem for the 49ers.
What is known is that Wilson's first season in Denver was an abject failure, with the Broncos going 5-12 -- tying the mark for most losses in a season in franchise history.
Wilson, who was coached in Denver by Nathaniel Hackett in 2022, will play for his third head coach in as many seasons after the Broncos hired Sean Payton.
In 2021, Wilson led the Seahawks -- under Carroll -- to a 7-10 record and missed the NFL playoffs.
Without Wilson in 2022, Seattle returned to the postseason with a 9-8 record before being blasted 41-23 in Wild Card Weekend by the 49ers.
Payton's contract with the Broncos is five years and in the neighborhood of $18 million per season, according to NBC Sports' Peter King. That would indicate Denver's commitment to its head coach -- one that led the Saints to a Super Bowl XLIV victory -- is a bit more long-term than Wilson, who is a Super Bowl-winning QB in his own right.
"If moving forward, it’s going to be either Wilson or Payton out in Denver, don’t bet on the Broncos firing another coach before getting another quarterback," wrote NBC Sports' Mike Florio Friday.
Wilson is making an average of $48.5 million per season to quarterback the Broncos (the second highest salary in the NFL), and is technically not due to become a free agent until the 2029 NFL offseason thanks to the five-year, $245 million extension he signed in September 2022.
However, the team could make a drastic move and cut Wilson in 2024 when he only has injury-only guaranteed money due in the contract. The move would still result in a cap hit of $35.4 million for the Broncos that season.
RELATED: Florio speculates Brady still could ditch retirement for 49ers
And despite all the drama surrounding Wilson over the last 12 months, he is now playing for a coach that he had his eyes on back in 2021 when he had his agent list off four NFL teams he'd be willing to play for if traded by Seattle in the 2022 offseason. Those four teams were the Chicago Bears, Las Vegas Raiders, Dallas Cowboys and New Orleans Saints.
Reports at that time, and since then, indicated New Orleans was on that shortlist because of Payton.
Will it be an ideal marriage? Only time will tell.
History says it's likely to be more shaky than stable.
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