The Pros And Cons Of Trading Russell Wilson

ARLINGTON, TEXAS - JANUARY 05: Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks scrambles in the pocket against the Dallas Cowboys in the first half during the Wild Card Round at AT&T Stadium on January 05, 2019 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

It is a very uneasy time to be a Seattle Seahawks fan. The star quarterback is feuding with the head coach. The obvious holes are still largely left unfilled, and we can’t imagine that locker room chemistry will be at an all-time high once the season comes around. 

There is no denying that Russell Wilson is thinking about a future without Seattle in it. Unfortunately for him, he is not the person who currently decides his future. All the chips lie in the Hawks’ favor. Wilson will probably still release statements like this through his agent: 

“Rodgers said Wilson had told the Seahawks that he wants to play in Seattle, but if a trade were considered, the only teams he would go to are the Dallas Cowboys, New Orleans Saints, Las Vegas Raiders, and Chicago Bears.”

But at the end of the day, the Seahawks can do what they want with the quarterback they have locked up through the 2023 season. But if Seattle is serious about moving the quarterback and putting all this drama behind them, there is a time clock. The NFL Draft is just three weeks away, and this is what the Seahawks can use to leverage a trade and get back a hefty package that sets them up for the future. It is clear that Wilson is not doing this for more money; he wants roster changes in Seattle and more control over the offense. If the Hawks don’t want to give that to him, maybe it is time to move on. 

I have always found it useful to write out a pros and cons list with any big decision. Because I am such a generous guy, I will go ahead and do that for John Schnieder and Pete Carroll with all the pros and cons for the franchise if they go ahead and trade Wilson. Let’s begin. 

The Pros 

The Market Is Booming: If there has ever been a time to trade a quarterback, now is the time. We just saw what the Detroit Lions got in a trade for Matthew Stafford, a far less superior quarterback than Wilson. Stafford was able to get a haul of two first-round picks, a third-round pick, AND a starting quarterback that played in a Super Bowl just three years ago. 

If Wilson were to be moved, there would be no doubt that teams like the Jets, Dolphins, Eagles, and Falcons, who all have excellent draft choices, would like a shot at trading for the quarterback. I imagine that the Seahawks could get back at least three first-round picks over the next two to three drafts, a few second-rounders, and an established quarterback. I think the biggest holdup on a trade would be finding a team with an established quarterback that the Hawks believe in enough to make the trade. Are Sam Darnold and Tau Tagovailoa ready to make that jump? 

Reset Of The Locker Room: Since Russell Wilson came into the league, he has been the ultimate hoo-rah Seahawks guy. Wilson never says anything negative, but this offseason has been different. 

“We’ve got to get better up front,” Wilson told Patrick early Tuesday morning. “It’s not just passing, [but]in terms of everything you do. It controls the game as you watched the other night [in Super Bowl LV].”

I think if most quarterbacks said something like this, it would come across as pretty mild, but for Wilson to say this, it’s a pretty big deal. The offensive line serves as the anchor of your offense, and that line and the QB have to have an excellent relationship. No Rolex or Playstation 5 that Wilson can buy them will necessarily fix this relationship. Chemistry is everything in the NFL, and if these guys up front don’t want to block for the QB who threw them under in the offseason and the Hawks aren’t going to do much to improve it, then this new season is already going to get off to a horrible start.

Three Picks: That is all the Hawks have in this upcoming 2021 NFL Draft. It is hard to believe that a team that hasn’t won a Super Bowl in this long can come into a draft with just three picks, but here we are. If the Wilson trade goes down, the Hawks can replenish the bank with picks and actually go after some young talent instead of signing veterans in free agency. There is no way they can begin building for a future if they can bring just three new guys in this season. Those picks are in the second, fourth, and seventh rounds. Maybe that second-round pick turns into a starter, you hope the fourth-round pick is a good depth piece, and at this point, you have to assume that the seventh-round pick may not even make the team. 

The Cons

He’s Russell Wilson: This one is pretty obvious. We are talking about a future Hall of Fame quarterback and the best in franchise history. I am still scratching my head at why the Hawks don’t use this guy correctly and don’t let him “cook,” but they don’t, and it is a bit of a waste. At 32-years-old, you can assume you’re getting another four to five good years out of Wilson, even if he is exiting his prime. He is an eight-time Pro Bowler, a Super Bowl champ, the Walter Payton Man of the Year, has led the league in numerous categories, and is the biggest reason for the Hawks’ success since 2010. 

It is hard to justify letting go of Russell Wilson with years left on his deal, but if Carroll is hesitant to adapt to the Wilson style of offense, then the decision seems to be already made. 

The Fan Reaction: Teams pay more attention to how their fans feel about things more than you’d think. A good example for the Hawks to follow is the Red Sox and Mookie Betts. Sox Nation was jumping off the ship after trading their greatest player since Ted Williams in the middle of his prime. It will be a hard pill to swallow if Wilson returns to Seattle in a new uniform. Hell, Tom Brady is coming back to New England this season and will be dawning a Super Bowl ring that doesn’t have a Pats logo on it. The Hawks have to be cautious with their fans. 

Pete’s Age: It is no secret that Pete Carroll is up there in years. At 69-years-old, it may not make sense for a new quarterback to come in and be developed by a guy looking at retirement pretty soon. If the Hawks trade Russ, they’ll need a vet or a young proven star, but those don’t come easy, and I don’t see Carroll taking on a massive project at the quarterback position. 

Conclusion:

The pros outweigh the cons, but the front office must make a larger decision of whether or not Pete Carroll is the future head of this franchise before the green light is truly given for a trade of this magnitude. 

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