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- American football quarterback
The first 150 seconds of Sunday's Seattle-Arizona game showed exactly why Russell Wilson might be done with the Seahawks ... and why he might stick around for another decade.
On the second play from scrimmage, Arizona's Chandler Jones burst through Seattle's overwhelmed offensive line and laid out Wilson. He fumbled the ball right into the hands of Zach Allen, who ran it back 16 yards for a touchdown. O-line protection has been a sore point for Wilson for a long time, and that was as ugly a way to begin a game as you can imagine.
Then, five plays later, Wilson demonstrated exactly why Seattle might — might — still be a good fit. Wilson evened up the score by finding Tyler Lockett for a 75-yard touchdown strike, the kind of highlight that still separates Wilson from virtually every other quarterback in the league.
Seattle defeated Arizona 38-30, largely on the virtue of Wilson's arm and willpower. The question now is, will Wilson play another game in a Seattle uniform?
The problem for Wilson, of course, is that he can't play every position on the field. Coming into Sunday's game, Seattle ranked 30th in total defense, surrendering 383.8 yards a game, and 31st in pass defense — not an ideal situation when you're facing Kyler Murray. Wilson couldn't outrun his own defense; when he posted Seattle to a 17-10 halftime lead, Arizona ripped off two touchdowns in the first six minutes of the third.
But Wilson rallied the Seahawks back, his signature play a short-yardage rush for a touchdown in which he shook off a hard hit from Arizona's Budda Baker. It's the kind of play that makes a team rally around its quarterback, the kind of play that harkened back to Seattle's mid-2010s dominance.
Sunday brought a merciful end to Wilson's first losing season in his career, and by definition, one of the uglier seasons in recent Seattle history. This is an organization that's not accustomed to losing, an organization that boasts one Super Bowl victory and 99 percent of another under the Wilson-Pete Carroll regime.
But long-festering discontent between Wilson and the team boiled over last offseason, and while the team and the player seemed to reach some sort of tenuous peace in 2021, there's no guarantee that will last. Wilson debunked a December report that he'd waive his no-trade clause to go to New Orleans, New York or Denver, but ESPN's Adam Schefter noted that multiple sources believe the Wilson-Carroll duo has seen its last game in Seattle.
"I know for me personally, I hope it's not my last game [in Seattle]," Wilson said Thursday at his media availability. "But at the same time, I know it won't be my last game in the NFL."
Carroll is under contract through 2025, and Wilson has two more years remaining on his deal. The closer Wilson gets to the end of his deal, the less of a cap hit Seattle takes by parting ways with him. Seattle has $53 million available under the cap, according to Spotrac. Decisions await Seattle leadership, with the only certainty being that no one wants a repeat of 2021 anytime soon.
Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Follow him on Twitter at @jaybusbee or contact him at email@example.com.