Lombardi: Russell Wilson Has "Limitations"

Wilson wants a contract extension but hasn't gotten it; well, there's a reason for that, Mike Lombardi says

Tiki and Tierney
April 15, 2019 - 5:40 pm
Russell Wilson Seattle Seahawks

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Russell Wilson wants a contract extension by midnight on Monday, and so far, he hasn’t gotten it. In fact, there are rumors that the Seahawks could trade their franchise quarterback for the right price.

Is Seattle splintering?

“I don’t think they’re splintering; I think they’re redefining themselves,” former NFL executive Mike Lombardi said on Tiki & Tierneyy. “Russell is a really good player, and he certainly has been a part of their success, and a large part has been their defense. But with the salary cap, you can’t have everybody make all the money. I think the reality here is real simple: I think Seattle likes Russell. I think they would like to keep Russell. I’m not sure they want to enter into over-30-million-dollars-a-year for Russell – and there lies the problem. 

“They’re always going to be a team built with defense,” Lombardi continued. “It’s Pete Carroll’s signature: they’re going to run the ball. And let’s face it: there is times when Russell isn’t as good as they need him to be because of his lack of height.”

Wilson, 30, threw for 3,448 yards last season. He was third in touchdown passes (35) and threw just seven interceptions.

Is he only “a really good player,” or is he a great one?

“I think he’s got incredible playmaking skills,” Lombardi said. “When the play breaks down, this is when Russell is at his best. But I think when the play doesn’t break down, I think there are limitations to what he can do and where he can go – and I think you’ve got to be careful about that.”

Translation: if offensive weapons are limited, Lombardi would take, say, Aaron Rodgers over Wilson as his quarterback.

“He’s going to need some people and pieces around him,” Lombardi said of Wilson. “And frankly, when the offensive line isn’t as good as it needs to be, it actually helps Russell because it breaks down and he makes plays, which is what his signatures are.”

If the Seahawks move on from Wilson, though, how could they possibly convince their fans that that’s the right move?

“I think winning is the only thing that can convince them, and I think that’s what you have to do,” Lombardi said. “You’ve got to convince them of your plan and convince them of exactly where you’re going. That’s, ultimately, what Seattle needs to do. And look, this is a negotiation. Seattle could be talking about trading him just so they can get him to come to the table and realize, ‘Hey, look, you’re really a good player, but you’re going to need other good players with you on the team.’”

Click below to listen to Lombardi’s interview in its entirety.