Max Unger 'bummed' about trade but excited about new opportunity with Saints

Max Unger admitted he was “bummed” when he got the call that he had been traded from the Seattle Seahawks to the New Orleans Saints. But the two-time Pro Bowl center said, “It’s nice to be wanted by another team who’s really excited to have you.”

Unger, a native of Hawaii, has spent his entire six-year career in Seattle. And before that, he played his college ball at Oregon, where his wife’s family is from.

Unger spoke in a radio interview with Seattle’s 950 KJR. When asked if he was hurt or “ticked off,” Unger said he wouldn’t use those words. But he said, “This is the only place I’ve ever played.”

“I've had so much invested in what's happened up here for so long, and to get a call like this out of left field, I was bummed," Unger said. "But at the same time, it's another opportunity to go somewhere I've never lived before and play for a team who has had a lot of success, and I've heard only good things about. So it’s really about trying to be positive and just kind of pick up and play some good football still.

“It’s a little shocking. It’s part of the deal and obviously something I haven’t had to deal with yet. So it’s just accepting it and realizing what you’ve gotta do to go forward. … You can’t worry about that stuff. It’s something every player in the league is gonna have to deal with eventually.”

Unger said he spoke to Saints coach Sean Payton and quarterback Drew Brees on the phone and plans to meet others when he flies into New Orleans this week.

Adding another wrinkle to the move, Unger’s wife is expecting a baby at the end of May. But he said she’s excited, too.

"The wives in the NFL, we put ‘em through quite a bit, and then getting a cross-country move thrown into the equation seven months pregnant ... it can be a bummer,” Unger said. “But my wife is the best, and she's dealing with it pretty well."

Unger said he had gotten a "heads up" from his agent about a week earlier that something could be possible this offseason, but he wasn’t overly concerned that anything was serious. Then Unger was having lunch with a friend in San Francisco when Seahawks GM John Schneider’s name came up on his phone.

“And getting a call from him around this time of year is a little ominous,” Unger said. “But he just told me straight up, ‘We just traded you to the Saints. And, yeah, you’re gonna get a call from them pretty soon.’”

Unger said his phone blew up for the next couple days after that, and he’s talked to several of his longtime Seahawks teammates. He also thanked Seattle’s “12th man” fan base and said he’s appreciated the outpouring of support he has received from them.