ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – The Seattle Seahawks’ March decision to trade Russell Wilson to the Denver Broncos came after more than a year of speculation about where exactly the relationship between the sides stood 10 years into Wilson’s tenure with the franchise.
The veteran quarterback on Thursday confirmed it wasn’t the first time his name came up in potential trade conversations.
ESPN reported earlier this week that the Seahawks tried to trade Wilson to Cleveland for the No. 1 overall pick in 2018 – the Browns ultimately instead drafted quarterback Baker Mayfield – and though Wilson didn’t provide that level of detail, he made it clear that the report didn’t surprise him.
“I definitely think they tried to a couple of times to see what was out there,” Wilson said. “It’s part of the business and part of being a professional and everything else.”
The now Broncos quarterback, whose first game with his new team is Monday night at Seattle, did push back against claims that he and his camp were upset by Seattle’s previous attempts to trade him.
Play to win $ 25K: USA TODAY NFL Survivor Pool
“Upset is probably the wrong word,” he said. “I believe in my talent and who I am. I believe I’m one of the best in the world. I don’t worry about anything else other than that. “
Lumen Field in Seattle, of course, is notorious for being one of the loudest venues in football, and it will be especially charged Monday night. Players on both sides said this week they thought Wilson deserved a warm reception from Seahawks fans.
NFL PICKS:Do Buccaneers or Cowboys get off to 1-0 start?
POWER RANKINGS:Which teams look like Super Bowl 57 contenders entering Week 1?
NFL NEWSLETTER:Sign up now to get football news delivered to your inbox
“At the end of the day, you’ve got to be able to separate the man from the player, and you’ve got to understand that everybody’s trying to do what’s best for them and all you can do is hope that they win and cheer for them to win, “Seattle wide receiver Tyler Lockett told reporters there.” So that’s really how I feel about it. I think that Seattle should cheer him on for everything that he’s done – help bring a Super Bowl to this community, all that different type of stuff. He’s an amazing guy. “
Denver safety Justin Simmons echoed that sentiment Thursday.
“Anytime someone has spent as long of his career as they have anywhere, but specifically Russ in Seattle, been to Super Bowls, won a Super Bowl there, I would imagine it would be a welcoming environment,” Simmons said. “That may not be the case, whatever the case may be, but my opinion is I would hope it would be welcoming for him, but you never know.”
Wilson said his decade in Seattle was “one-of-a-kind” and that the city, “will always mean the world to me.”
“I couldn’t imagine those years not being in my life, how special they were and how many games we won and how many amazing thrillers and the Super Bowl we won and everything else,” he said. “I’m going to think of all those memories and everything else and the joy of that and gratitude of that. And also, we’ve got a football game to play.
“I’m excited to just get out there and play again. I love this game, I’m passionate about it. I’ve got a lot of great teammates and great guys that I’m super close with on the other side. It’ll be a great battle. “