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Russell Wilson denies trying to get Seahawks coach, GM fired

"I love Pete and he was a father figure to me and John believed in me and drafted me as well," the Broncos quarterback said.

DENVER — Russell Wilson is facing more controversy in the media.

A story Friday from the Athletic claims he tried to get Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider fired. Weeks later, the quarterback himself was traded to Denver Broncos for a haul of draft picks and players.

The Athletic also claims that Russell wanted Sean Payton, the new Broncos head coach, to replace Carroll.

The story included that Wilson's camp responded, calling the claim "completely fabricated." On Friday morning, Russell took to Twitter to directly refute the claim.

"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," Wilson said Friday. "All any of us wanted was to win. l'll always have respect for them and love for Seattle."

"Focused on moving forward!" Wilson added in another tweet. "Best is ahead."

Wilson has been in the news a few times recently. Earlier this month, Payton had some thoughts about Wilson's personal QB coach at the Broncos facility.

"That's foreign to me. That's not going to take place here," Payton told reporters after his introductory news conference. "But our staff will be here, our players will be here, and that'll be it."

"Certainly we’re not going to have private individuals out there coaching," Payton said to 9NEWS. "If they’re on our staff they’ll be out there."

Reports also circulated this month that tax forms showed Wilson and Ciara's foundation, the Why Not You Foundation, put just 24.3 cents of every dollar raised toward charities.

Wilson posted a minute-long video on Twitter talking about how much his foundation's partnership with other organizations has helped kids. 

"With those partnerships, we've been fortunate to be able to drive over 10 plus millions of dollars for pediatric cancer, and for education and for hunger prevention and so much more," Wilson said. "Those are things that haven't really been highlighted and talked about, but I want to highlight those things right now, because of those direct partnerships and relationships, that money going directly to those in need, immediate need, and it's been an amazing journey to see the smiles on so many kids' faces and so many people's faces along the way."

The Broncos recently added two new offensive coaches, Joe Lombardi and Davis Webb, who along with Payton will be largely responsible for helping the 33-year-old Wilson bounce back from the worst season of his career.

Credit: AP
Seattle Seahawks NFL football quarterback Russell Wilson, center, talks to reporters along with head coach Pete Carroll, left, and general manager John Schneider, right, Wednesday, April 17, 2019, in Renton, Wash. Earlier in the week, Wilson signed a $140 million, four-year extension with the team. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

After Wilson was traded to the Broncos during the 2022 offseason, reports began emerging about the Seahawks' previous attempts to trade the quarterback.

“I don’t worry about all that stuff,’’ Wilson said last year ahead of the season opener against his former team. “People have opinions and thoughts and ideas. Everyone has the right to think what they want to think. I know how the whole thing went and how it transpired."

Wilson then responded to a question specifically about an ESPN report that said Wilson was aware Seattle tried to trade him to the Cleveland Browns in 2018 in exchange for the No. 1 overall draft pick. Cleveland rebuffed the trade proposal. 

“Definitely they tried to, a couple different times, to try and see what was out there,’’ Wilson said. “It’s part of the business, and it’s part of being a professional and everything else. ‘Upset’ is probably the wrong word. 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. I think at the same time, too, my focus has always been on winning.’’

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