Of all the head coach firings last week, none surprised more than Pete Carroll’s ouster from the Seattle Seahawks. The 72-year-old could move to the front office, but he told reporters he “competed pretty hard” to be the Seahawks’ coach.
If Carroll wants another coaching job, he should get one. The Super Bowl champion spent 14 years as Seattle’s head coach after an innovative and highly successful collegiate stint at USC. Carroll was the primary architect behind the Legion of Boom. His most famous player partnership, however, was on the offensive end. It’s impossible to tell the story of Carroll’s career without mentioning Russell Wilson.
As it so happens, Wilson will also be in search of a new employer next spring. The Denver Broncos are expected to part ways with the nine-time Pro Bowl quarterback after he was benched in the final weeks of the season. Wilson looks capable of manning an offense, however, as he completed 66.4 percent of his passes for 3,070 yards, 26 touchdowns, and only eight interceptions in 15 starts.
It does not qualify as likely, but there is a world in which Wilson and Carroll team up at their next destination. Wilson penned a heartfelt thank-you note to Carroll following the announcement of his firing in Seattle. Those two share an unbreakable bond, which was forged in the same fire as their championship rings.
There are currently six open head coaching jobs outside of Seattle. Several of those teams need a QB, too. Here are the spots where Carroll and Wilson could conceivably write the next chapter of their historic collaboration.
The Washington Commanders relieved Ron Rivera of his duties after a disappointing 4-13 season. These days, the entire NFC East appears to be falling apart at the seams. Washington’s new ownership group is clearly motivated to make an impression and, even after their trade deadline fire sale, the Commanders have enough talent to proceed with optimism.
Washington won’t enter next season as divisional favorites, but the Wild Card isn’t out of the question. Especially if the Commanders can land a coach with Carroll’s track record, in concert with a proven veteran QB. Sam Howell flashed ample upside in his first season as the full-time starter, but his league-leading 21 interceptions kept the Commanders’ offense at bay. Howell could use another season of gestation. Wilson has the makings of a tremendous teacher, in addition to his on-field acumen.
Wilson’s reputation took a major hit in Denver, but he was both efficient and prolific for the Broncos in 2023. His TD-INT ratio (3.25) was fifth best in the NFL, behind only C.J. Stroud, two MVP candidates (Dak Prescott and Lamar Jackson), and one QB who only played half the season (Kirk Cousins). At 35 years old, Wilson still has enough gas in the tank to effectively manage the game for a Washington team in desperate need of offensive stability.
There’s a good chance the Commanders stick with Howell or draft his replacement in a few months. Drake Maye and Caleb Williams are on the minds of every Washington fan. Even so, not every rookie QB is ready out of the gate. If the Commanders want to expedite their return to respectability, perhaps Wilson gets a brief stint at the controls while Washington’s youth movement takes shape in the shadows.