The Seattle Seahawks will have plenty to decide this offseason. At the very top of the list is what they will do with their franchise player who may want out. Russell Wilson caused plenty of drama last year when his agent released a list of teams the QB would be open to playing for. Among those were the New York Giants, New Orleans Saints, and the Denver Broncos.
After the Hawks went just 7-10, one of the worst in the Wilson era, the QB said that he wants to play in Seattle and wants to be a Hawk. But we know that what is said to the press isn’t always how a player feels, and besides, maybe a split could be a good thing for both sides. Wilson has never played for an organization, and the Seahawks’ 2014 Super Bowl victory is no longer at the top of opponent’s minds.
Wilson might benefit most from a trade. If the Seahawks decide they want to start from scratch or go into a fast-rebuild, the package for Wilson would bring back quality pieces. Fortunately, the QB market is pretty dry. The top free agent is set to be Teddy Bridgewater. Aaron Rodgers may be available, Jimmy Garoppolo will be on the trade block, but the free agent market is even worse. And the QB draft class is average at best. Some evaluators have been critical of this year’s class.
“The quarterbacks at the Senior Bowl showed as they were expected to. And that’s not great news. The group, compromised of all the top guys outside of Ole Miss’s Matt Corral, came in perceived to be an average lot. It left Mobile with a lot of NFL folks convinced of that. A couple of veteran NFL evaluators told me late in the week that they don’t believe there’s a single NFL starter in this year’s quarterback class. Not everyone was that harsh, but it was unanimous that these quarterbacks aren’t close to last year’s — and most agreed that all five of last year’s first-round signal-callers would’ve been the top guy at the position in the 2022 draft.”
The important reason is that teams with lots of pieces can’t wait three or four years for a rookie to develop will look for a guy like Wilson. If we want to compile a list of trade packages for Wilson seriously, I would compare the Matt Stafford trade. The Lions received Jared Goff, a QB who played in a Super Bowl, two first-round picks (late-round), and a third-round pick. If a team is trading for Wilson, they may not have a QB like Goff to send back, so they will have to make that up with something else.
Of course, the no-trade clause comes into effect as well. However, if Wilson were seriously open to a trade, he may take a closer look at a few teams whose situations have changed since the last offseason when he thought about leaving Seattle.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
A few weeks ago, this didn’t seem like a team that would need a quarterback. Then Tom Brady retired, and the Bucs are in desperate need of a play caller. The Bucs still have important pieces in place from their Super Bowl run a season ago. Tampa will have many free agency decisions to make, most notable are Chris Godwin, Ryan Jensen, Jason Pierre-Paul, Carlton Davis, Ndamukong Suh, and Leonard Fournette.
Of course, Wilson will want a team with weapons. If the Bucs bring back Godwin and Fournette or make draft selections with this in mind, the Bucs have a talented offensive core and one of the top-three offensive lines in the league. They don’t have a great QB to give back in return, but they’ll make up with that in picks.
Bucs Receive: Russell Wilson.
Seahawks Receive: 2022 1st Round Pick, 2023 3rd Round Pick, 2023 1st Round Pick, 2023 2nd Round Pick, Kyle Trask.
This trade would all hinge on how the Bucs move their payroll around. They could try to offset a lot of Wilson’s contract. If there is a team skilled enough to do it, it’s Tampa Bay. The Seahawks would immediately upgrade their draft pick pile, which has been weakened after their Jamal Adams trade. The Hawks would get an experimental QB in Trask who learned from Brady. The Bucs get a star QB in return, making them immediate contenders once again.
This is another team that Wison didn’t have on his list, but after making the playoffs in 2021, maybe he is more attractive. The Eagles have a good young core, and Wilson would be the guy that gets them over the hump. Philly has a million picks and an NFL starter to send back in return to the Hawks. I think if Philly is serious about making a run now and they don’t see any QBs that they love in this class, they’ll make a move for a guy like Wilson or Rodgers.
Eagles Receive: Russell Wilson.
Seahawks Receive: Jalen Hurts, 2022 1st Round Pick (11), 2022 First Round Pick (12) 2023 3rd Round Pick.
Again, Philly has to figure out their financials, but the Eagles would immediately become the favorite in a weak NFC East. Wilson could be tempted to head to a division with far less competition, and his wife could perform in New York fairly easily. The Hawks get Hurts, who can immediately keep them in the playoff hunt and rebuild with a ton of picks.
Las Vegas Raiders
This trade could appeal to Wilson’s wife, who performs in big cities. Vegas is perfect for that; they have a new offensive guru in Josh McDaniels, proving they could be a playoff squad. I really like the fit that the Raiders would be for Wilson, and they could offset his cost by sending back a few big names themselves.
Raiders Receive: Russell Wilson, 2022 4th Round Pick.
Seahawks Receive: Derek Carr, Jonathan Abram, 2022 2nd Round Pick.
The Raiders need a wide receiver, and they can get one by keeping their first round pick or making a splash in free agency with Allen Robinson or Chris Godwin. On top of that, Wilson gives them a chance to truly compete with Justin Herbert and Patrick Mahomes, and they don’t have to give up any pieces that make a massive difference. Abrams can be replaced through the draft, and having a high pick in the 4th round will allow them to go after a wide receiver.
Trade I like most:
I think the Raiders could pull off a trade and keep Wilson on the West Coast. The Hawks don’t have to trade him to a team in the NFC that they’ll face often, and they get back a guy in Derek Carr who won’t crumple the foundation of their team.