Pay no attention to the men behind the curtain in the Emerald City.
Seattle Seahawks pass rusher Cliff Avril became the latest member of Pete Carroll's posse to denounce an ESPN story written this offseason detailing divides and mistrust in the team's locker room.
"I think it's all fake news," Avril told the NFL No Huddle podcast on Friday. "I think it's all dead. It was a dead period so people needed something to talk about.
"At the same time, too, let's be honest, it's 90 guys in the locker room right now. There is no way that 90 guys are going to always get along, and that's just what it is. I'm pretty sure there are people at your job right now that's way less than 90 that don't get along. That's just part of it.
"Now as far as it being [Russell Wilson] and [Richard Sherman] or Russ and whoever, I don't think that's true. I've never had any issues with Russ. I don't think anybody has any issues with Russ. We all want the best for Russ, and Russ wants the best for us. That is the only way we are going to succeed. I haven't seen it. I don't know what they are referring to. Maybe they know something that I don't know."
Carroll said in early June that "the locker room is in great shape." On the suggestion that Carroll favored Wilson over other players in the locker room, the Seahawks coach added at the time, "I show favoritism to every one of these guys. ... Individually I keep those guys as well as I can to what the need and how it fits them. In terms of Russell ... I'm not going to treat everybody the same and overlook what's going on with their individual ways."
The Seahawks have moved on from this offseason storyline, effectively denying it into submission. But don't expect this narrative to go away. As soon as a heated argument breaks out on the Seattle sideline this season or something of that kind, it won't be hard to draw parallels back to the team's reported, if now contested, discord.