Russell Wilson weighs in on Seahawks’ contract dispute with Duane Brown: ‘We need’ left tackle on field

By | August 8, 2021

Duane Brown has a very important member of the Seahawks organization in his corner as he looks for a contract extension. That’s the team’s starting quarterback, Russell Wilson.

Wilson spoke about Brown’s holdout — the left tackle is seeking a long-term deal — after Seattle’s Sunday scrimmage. He made it known that he wants to get Brown back on the field.

“Not having Duane Brown out there is a pretty significant deal because I think he’s one of the best left tackles in the game, there’s no arguing it,” Wilson said, per ESPN. “I think he’s as good as it gets. There’s nobody more athletic, more talented than he is. Age is just a number (Brown will turn 36 on Aug. 30). He looks like he’s 28, 30 out there. He’s really exceptional. So smart and physical, understands the game, and I think people fear him, to be honest with you, when they’re rushing him and playing against him.

“So we definitely want to be able to get him back out there. We’ve got to figure that out because we need Duane Brown.”

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Wilson’s comments come just six months after he voiced concerns about the Seattle organization’s inability to build an offensive line around him. CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora was first to note the quarterback’s irritation, but Wilson confirmed it himself in an early February interview with Dan Patrick and a subsequent Zoom call with reporters.

“I’m frustrated getting hit too much,” Wilson said, per NBC Sports Northwest.

Wilson’s complaints caused tension between him and the Seahawks organization and even fueled offseason trade rumors. Seattle eventually made moves to upgrade the line. The team traded for Raiders guard Gabe Jackson, re-signed center Ethan Pocic and spent a sixth-round draft pick on Florida’s Stone Forsythe. 

Now, Wilson’s focus is on Brown, and with good reason. Brown has manned left tackle in Seattle for the past 3 1/2 seasons and has been one of the team’s most consistent linemen. He has committed just six penalties and allowed just seven sacks over the last three years. The latter number is particularly impressive considering that Wilson has been sacked 146 times in the regular season since 2018.

And Wilson isn’t worried about any potential regression from Brown.

“I think he’s got several more years to play,” Wilson said. “I think he can definitely do it. I don’t think there’s anybody more athletic than him. You see what he can do. And he’s also our leader. He’s a guy who really leads the offensive line and really, he commands the offensive line and really can set the tone.”

Brown has one year remaining on his contract, which will carry  a $13.35 million cap hit for 2021. It’s unclear whether his holdout could last into the season.

While he’s away from the team, Forsythe, Jamarco Jones and Cedric Ogbuehi will be among the players competing for snaps on Wilson’s blind side.