Quarterback Russell Wilson asked Seattle Seahawks ownership to fire head coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider before the club traded him to the Denver Broncos, sources told The Athletic.
Wilson denied the report Friday on social media.
Wilson approached Seahawks ownership in February 2022 about dismissing Carroll and Schneider because he believed they were holding him back from winning a Super Bowl and individual awards, according to The Athletic. Wilson reportedly eyed Sean Payton as a potential replacement for Carroll.
Ownership and team officials met days after Wilson’s request and decided to pursue a trade of the quarterback, per The Athletic. Seattle dealt Wilson last March to the Broncos for two first-round picks, two second-round picks, a fifth-round pick, quarterback Drew Lock, defensive lineman Shelby Harris and tight end Noah Fant.
Wilson had a disastrous first year in Denver, posting a 5-12 record while throwing for 16 touchdowns and 11 interceptions, along with six fumbles. The Broncos fired first-year head coach Nathaniel Hackett following a Christmas Day loss as he failed to find any offensive success with Wilson at the helm.
Hackett reportedly added plays to Denver’s game plan that Wilson brought from Seattle, including the code words used by the signal-caller in the two-minute offense.
“He had too much influence,” one Broncos coach said, per The Athletic. “And it was mainly based on what Hackett allowed him to influence.”
Denver reportedly provided Wilson with an office on the team facility’s second floor, typically a coaches-only area of the building. The 34-year-old would often hold film sessions with players in his office and occasionally show his teammates clips from his time with the Seahawks, according to The Athletic.
“It was kind of like he was going down memory lane with stuff he’d done in Seattle,” said one offensive player. “It was very strange some weeks.”
The Broncos hired Payton as their head coach in January. Payton spent 15 years as the New Orleans Saints head coach, posting a 152-89 record, including a Super Bowl win in 2010.
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