Russell Wilson’s first year with the Broncos can only be called a disaster.
Denver traded multiple assets to the Seattle Seahawks for the quarterback, and it got a 5-12 record out of it in 2022. Wilson looked like a shell of himself, and Nathaniel Hackett was fired in his first year.
The on-field performance was combined with multiple oddities off the field, including doing a full workout of the team plane and stealing a victory video tradition from Tom Brady.
The Seahawks and Wilson split apart after a fall to mediocrity following their back-to-back Super Bowl appearances. But the Pro Bowl quarterback asked Seattle ownership to fire head coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider prior to his trade to the Broncos, according to The Athletic. Wilson’s preferred replacement was Sean Payton, whom Denver hired as head coach.
Wilson’s lawyer described this assertion as “entirely fabricated” in a letter to The Athletic, and after the publication’s feature story on the Broncos season was released Friday, the veteran quarterback spoke out on Twitter.
“I love Pete and he was a father figure to me and John believed in me and drafted me as well,” Wilson tweeted. “I never wanted them fired. All any of us wanted was to win. I’ll always have respect for them and love for Seattle.”
The league sources spoke to The Athletic on the condition of anonymity because they weren’t allowed to discuss details. That is a reality in not just sports reporting but almost all forms of journalism.
It’s possible Wilson didn’t want Carroll and Schneider “fired” and perhaps used different language. The trio still can have respect for each other and still butt heads.
For all the strange things going on during the season, there still were Broncos players who vouched for Wilson, and players outside of the organization debunked outlandish stories. Both sides appeared to have moved on, and Payton now will be entrusted to turn things around in Denver.