Sauce Gardner might have all the tools to become a generational cornerback for the Jets, but he’s not the most popular guy in Seattle.
Gardner was no longer beloved by Seahawks fans after beating out his team’s rookie cornerback, Tariq Woolen, for 2022 AP Defensive Rookie of the Year honors. Then, during a guest appearance on coverage of the NFL Network at the 2023 NFL Scouting Combine last weekend, Gardner claimed he had an “uncomfortable” experience meeting with Seahawks officials while going through the pre-draft process the previous year.
“I remember doing my interview-slash meeting with the Seahawks and it was probably the most awkward,” Gardner said. “I remember the coach [Pete] Carroll, he was so close to me that he was asking me questions. I said, “Dang, it’s hot in here.”
Gardner also said Carroll cut him off when Gardner tried to answer questions about himself.
Gardner ended up going to the Jets with the fourth overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, five spots before the Seahawks selected offensive lineman Charles Cross with the No. 9 overall pick.
But Carroll and the Seahawks didn’t stand idly by after Gardner’s comments, and on Tuesday it sparked a rare social media argument between one team’s coach and another team’s star player.
Seahawks fans loved the gleeful hit.
Gardner, however, was not amused.
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