Just like last year, the Seahawks' season crashed to a disappointing halt. Just like last year, the questions surrounding their star quarterback overshadow everything this offseason.
And just like last year, sources say Russell Wilson wants to explore his options to see what else might be out there for him.
Wilson has not demanded a trade, and it's not clear if he will. But at the least, those close to Wilson say he wants to investigate other destinations to see if those would put him in a better position to win another championship and create the legacy he sees for himself.
In one of his final press conferences of the year, Wilson said his hope is to stay in Seattle.
"We've always thought I would be here," Wilson said. "That's been always my goal, to win multiple Super Bowls, and my plan is to be here and do that. You take every day and you just enjoy the moment."
After a frustrating and injury-riddled season, one that saw Wilson miss three games and the Seahawks miss the playoffs for just the second time since 2012, Seattle finds itself at a crossroads.
General manager John Schneider, head coach Pete Carroll and owner Jody Allen met late this week to discuss the future in their regular end-of-season meeting. While that meeting generated no headline -- nothing had changed -- Carroll did offer some interesting words following it.
"Whatever is there, we got to exhaust every opportunity for our club and right from the owner, she wants us to take a look at every single opportunity to better the franchise," Carroll told KCPQ FOX 13 Sports Director Aaron Levine in Seattle on Thursday. "That's what we do. It's going to take us some time to put it all together and we have a lot of difficult decisions to make this year."
In the next breath, Carroll said, "I love this team. We've got the nucleus of a championship right here and we're going to try to keep that together."
That represents the dichotomy.
In his comments, Carroll appeared to acknowledge that this offseason's script may follow that of last year. A year ago, Wilson's agent Mark Rodgers -- who did not return several calls seeking comment -- made public four teams that Wilson would consider if he were to get traded. Wilson has a full no-trade clause in his contract, which has two years remaining.
Ultimately, the Seahawks talked with the Bears about a blockbuster deal and declined to make any trade. While Schneider has famously considered nearly every trade ever presented to him, the questions are the same as last year.
Would Carroll, who will be 71 next season, want to rebuild? Could Seattle trade Wilson and improve as a team? If they end up entertaining and pulling off a blockbuster deal for picks, who actually would be their quarterback? Would that QB be better than Wilson? And finally, Seattle closed out the season with two wins with impressive performances from a healthy Wilson. Is that a glimpse into the future?
NFL Network's Mike Garafolo reported Jan. 9 that Seattle has no plans to trade Wilson this offseason and is proceeding as if he'll be their QB in 2022. Those questions are why, with two years left on Wilson's deal, Seattle holds the cards.
Only time will tell how far Wilson decides to push those cards.