RENTON, Wash. -- Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Tyler Lockett believes Russell Wilson deserves a warm ovation when he returns to Lumen Field Monday night to face his former team for the first time as the new Denver Broncos quarterback.
But like everyone else, Lockett doesn't know whether Wilson will receive boos, cheers or a mix of the two.
"I have no idea because I can't control what anybody else says or what anybody else does," Lockett said Tuesday. "But I know that when I see him, I'll go give him a hug, talk to him ... wish him good luck not only in this game but for the rest of this season and for the rest of his career as we continue to talk outside of football and stuff like that. But Russ has done so much for this community."
Wilson's 10-year run in Seattle ended in March when the Seahawks sent him to Denver in one of the biggest blockbuster trades in NFL history, a result of the quarterback wanting out and the organization's misgivings about how many of his prime years he had left. He left as the most prolific quarterback in franchise history, owning virtually every major career and single-season passing record, and is the only one to lead them to a Super Bowl victory. Including the postseason, Wilson's 113 wins are the most in NFL history in a player's first 10 seasons.
Last month, the crowd at Seattle's Climate Pledge Arena gave Wilson a mix of cheers and boos when he appeared in a video tribute to retiring Storm star Sue Bird, according to the Associated Press.
Lockett cited Wilson's off-the-field work as another reason he deserves to be cheered Monday night. Specifically, he mentioned how Wilson and his wife, Ciara, started a charter school in the Seattle area and donated meals to aid in COVID-19 relief in 2020, charitable efforts for which Wilson was named Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year. He also made weekly visits to Seattle Children's Hospital throughout his career and helped raise more than $10 million for pediatric cancer research.
"At the end of the day, I get it -- it's football, it's competitive," said Lockett, who spent his first seven NFL seasons with Wilson and is now replacing him as Seattle's offensive captain. "You never want to see people leave, but you've got to understand that everybody has to do what's best for them, and that's what you have to be able to understand about this life is you have to cheer people on. You can't get mad that people go to another team and this, this and this. We're fans, right? So we learn it the hard way. I'm a fan when it comes to the NBA. I get mad when people leave because I want them to stay on the same team, right?
"But at the end of the day, you've got to be able to separate the man from the player and you've got to understand that everybody's trying to do what's best for them and all you can do is hope that they win and cheer for them to win. So that's really how I feel about it. I think that Seattle should cheer him on for everything that he's done -- help bring a Super Bowl to this community, all that different type of stuff. He's an amazing guy."