This offseason was and still is expected to be one of the wildest on record as it relates to NFL quarterbacks finding new digs, and while no one initially expected Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks to be in the fray, the late-comers are stealing the show. With Matthew Stafford, Jared Goff and Carson Wentz now all in new locations, eyes are turning to Wilson to see if the fractured relationship between he and the Seahawks can be repaired, or if their magical marriage will soon end in divorce due to irreconcilable differences. As it stands, Wilson has reportedly not demanded a trade out of the Pacific Northwest, per Adam Schefter of ESPN, so that’s promising if you’re head coach Pete Carroll or general manager John Schneider.
But, should he waive his no-trade clause and seek an exit, there are only four teams he’d reportedly suit up for: namely the Dallas Cowboys, New Orleans Saints, Las Vegas Raiders or Chicago Bears — Schefter added.
This will undoubtedly create a firestorm of speculation to pile on to what already existed with Wilson, and could also be viewed as a leverage move to nudge the Seahawks into opening both ears to what their Super Bowl-winning quarterback is asking for. The 32-year-old recently made it clear he wants a voice in roster decisions going forward, but has allegedly been incensed as of late by what he views is an outright stiff-arm by the front office in Seattle. Now that it’s been made public Wilson would actually consider playing for other teams, and four in particular (three in the NFC), the Seahawks will have to take his stance more seriously than they otherwise would’ve.
Of course, the club isn’t exactly without leverage of its own, considering they can mirror the stance of the Houston Texans in their rift with Deshaun Watson, in that they don’t have to entertain a trade whatsoever.
Should Wilson eventually demand one and the Seahawks make the odd decision to acquiesce, there would still be obvious complications in seeing him moved. The Cowboys, for example, have squirreled away as much money as they can with the goal of signing Dak Prescott to a long-term deal, and they’ve not wavered one iota in that mission. This was evidenced in their unwillingness to even peek at Stafford, and there is nary a whisper of Dallas looking anywhere to potentially replace Prescott — the two-time Pro Bowler instead set to receive a second franchise tag if a multiyear deal can’t be struck by March 9.
And if the Seahawks were hoping to land Prescott in the package, they’d have to convince him to first sign his tag and that they’d pay him the salary he’s likely to land with the Cowboys, one that will likely pay him $40 million per year or more; and with what could be more guaranteed money than what Wilson received from Seattle.
As for the Saints, while attractive for obvious reasons, there has still be no word on if Drew Brees will retire and even if he does, they’re massively over the cap at the moment. To acquire Wilson’s contract would not only require a load of assets shipped to Seattle, but likely a slew of restructures and releases to get enough space to absorb his contract. The more viable options would be the Raiders or Bears, but the former seems committed to Derek Carr and that leaves the latter as a true potential suitor. The Bears are in desperate need of a franchise QB and likely wouldn’t hesitate to go after Wilson with everything they’ve got, but they’d also have to work some cap magic (they’re currently $2.5 million in the red) and any team would have to convince the Seahawks to be fine with absorbing a dead-money hit of $39 million to land Wilson.
It’ll be interesting to see how things proceed within the Seahawks organization, but Seattle has shown zero interest in trading Wilson and he’s not asked to be traded … yet.
But place your bets on where he’d land in the event things deteriorate further.