The 2021 NFL offseason is only four days old and yet we could be on the verge of one of the craziest offseasons in league history.
Matthew Stafford was already sent off to Los Angeles in exchange for former No. 1 overall pick Jared Goff, Texans’ franchise quarterback Deshaun Watson is looking for a way out of Houston after the team essentially blew him off entirely when they hired a new GM and Head Coach.
Carson Wentz has gone from MVP favorite to benched player on the brink of being shipped out of Philadelphia. Sam Darnold’s time in New York is likely drawing to a close.
Derek Carr? Marcus Mariota? Teddy Bridgewater?
They could all be on the move too.
But the one name that could blow all of these rumors out of the water has begun a media tour to voice his displeasure with the only team he’s known since entering the league in 2012 as a third-round pick.
Russell Wilson's camp has become "increasingly frustrated" with the Seahawks' inability to protect him, per @JasonLaCanfora
Wilson has been sacked 394 times in 9 seasons pic.twitter.com/K9ObJfxiRP
— B/R Gridiron (@brgridiron) February 9, 2021
When news of these frustrations first came to the surface during Super Bowl weekend, as one would expect, the Seahawks immediately denied that Russell Wilson was actually available on the trade market.
But that hasn’t stopped the speculation from intensifying, including a report from Wilson’s former teammate Brandon Marshall suggesting this is Wilson’s way of trying to facilitate a trade while, you know, not facilitating a trade.
"Russell Wilson is beyond frustrated. … I know the Seahawks don't believe in Russ bc I was there. Russ needs to tell Pete Carroll exactly what he needs & wants. If the two can't come to an agreement then it's time for Russ to move on." — @BMarshall pic.twitter.com/YA2z5tfrJ9
— First Things First (@FTFonFS1) February 9, 2021
The Russell media tour has not gone unnoticed by Pete Carroll and the Seahawks’ front office either.
Report: Seahawks management not happy with Russell Wilson https://t.co/psBGQefkzl
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) February 11, 2021
Will this actually lead to the unthinkable happening and Russell Wilson asking for a trade? If it does, what teams make the most sense for catering to Wilson’s needs? Wilson is one of the few players in the NFL that has a no-trade clause in his contract, so the 32-year-old veteran has the ability to dictate where he would be willing to go.
As is the case with anything sports-related, if you think a trade for ‘Mr. Unliiiiiimited‘ is going to happen, you can bet on it.
Using the odds given by our friends at PointsBet Sportsbook, here’s how we would handicap a trade that we still believe is quite unlikely to take place this offseason.
The ‘Never Going to Happen’ Group of Teams
- Jaguars (+750)
- 49ers (+900)
- Texans (+2200)
- Eagles (+3000)
- Vikings (+4000)
- Steelers (+4000)
- Falcons (+4500)
- Browns (+5000)
- Titans (+5000)
- Lions (+5000)
- Giants (+5500)
- Rams (+6000)
- Bengals (+7500)
- Chargers (+7500)
- Cardinals (+7500)
- Buccaneers (+8000)
- Ravens (+10000)
- Packers (+10000)
- Bills (+15000)
- Chiefs (+15000)
PointsBet Sportsbook offers odds on the chances of the 31 NFL teams not named the Seattle Seahawks at their chances at acquiring the superstar quarterback. We can immediately eliminate 20 of those teams using deductive reasoning.
Do you think the Chiefs would trade Patrick Mahomes? The Bills would move Josh Allen? Or our personal favorite, that the Bucs would trade 43-year-old, 7-time Super Bowl Champion Tom Brady (the Seahawks wouldn’t even consider that, much less the four-day young World Champions).
The 49ers, for reasons unknown, are listed at 9-to-1 to convince Pete Carroll to trade Russell Wilson inside their own division to their most-hated rival.
This writer stands greater odds at marrying Shakira than that trade ever happening. Russell Wilson could hold Pete Carroll’s family hostage and he still wouldn’t trade Wilson to the 49ers. Those odds shouldn’t be +900, they should be +1000000.
The Jaguars?! Unless we missed the story that Trevor Lawrence is going into a career other than sports, pretty sure they’re quite happy with Urban Meyer’s future signal-caller.
And while a Deshaun Watson for Russell Wilson straight-up trade makes sense on paper, it’s highly unlikely that Wilson would openly complain about a team not providing enough assets across the offensive line only to accept a trade to a franchise that’s done everything but try to openly strange Deshaun Watson on the football field.
Also the salary cap is still a thing. It would cost more money for the Seahawks to trade Russell Wilson than it would be to keep him. Deshaun Watson’s salary that is set to skyrocket in 2022 makes this quite difficult to pull off.
They’d Probably Like to Trade for Him But Don’t Have the Assets
- Raiders (+450)
- Cowboys (+650)
- Washington (+800)
- Broncos (+1000)
- Colts (+1100)
- Bears (+1600)
- Panthers (+1600)
- Patriots (+1600)
- Saints (+2500)
While the Cowboys may be in the market for a quarterback, the more likely situation is that they’ll simply just keep Dak Prescott and not offload an extensive trade package to the Pacific Northwest. Russell Wilson’s $32 million cap number would also not mesh well with the Cowboys having just $18 million in space.
The Broncos and Washington Football Team each have a pressing need at quarterback, but do not have the compensation Seattle would be looking for back in a trade. Washington picks too low in the first round of the draft by virtue of winning the NFC East with a losing record (hooray!), and neither team would be able to send a quarterback back to Seattle that the Seahawks would have much interest in (No offense Drew Lock and Taylor Heinicke).
It’s also pretty hard to envision Wilson signing off on a trade to Denver anyway.
Those same issues surface with the Raiders, Colts, Panthers, Patriots, and Saints.
The Bears may very well be introducing Carson Wentz to Chicago area media soon enough, and beyond that, they simply don’t have the draft compensation or cap room to absorb Wilson’s contract.
That leaves two suitors.
Would Russ Take His Talents to South Beach?
The Dolphins are listed at 12-1 by PointsBet to land DangeRuss in trade, and to be frank, we think they should top the draft board.
Miami would check all the boxes in a quest to acquire the Super Bowl XLVIII Champion.
- Major media/entertainment market to appease Wilson’s wife Ciara? Check.
- A team ready to win now with a ready to go defense and a franchise left-tackle to watch your back? Check.
- Enough cap space to absorb Wilson’s big salary and improve the team with other moves in free agency and the draft? Check.
- A trade package that would cause the Seahawks to actually consider a trade and not hang up the phone in laughter? Check again.
The Dolphins have the 3rd overall pick thanks to Bill O’Brien’s lunacy and four picks in the Top 64 picks of the 2021 NFL Draft.
They have future draft capital as well, so they could very well create a draft package to replenish the Seahawks’ barren cabinet of picks (they have no first-round pick in 2021 or 2022 and just three picks in the 2021 NFL Draft as a whole).
They also have the option of sending a young quarterback still on a rookie contract back to Seattle that the Seahawks may be interested in taking on in Tua Tagovailoa.
If the Dolphins are unable to convince the Texans to trade Deshaun Watson, or if they lose out on that trade should it happen, then why wouldn’t they give John Schneider a call and see if they’d be interested in the #3 overall pick, Tua, and future picks?
The Dolphins’ extensive portfolio of future draft picks also means that the Seahawks could elect to take on a 2nd or 3rd round pick if they aren’t interested in Tua. Surely the Fins would find someone in this quarterback-starved league that would be interested in trading for the former Alabama star.
Miami is a stronger candidate to land Wilson than the odds board would lead you to believe.
The Jets Make-Up For Blowing the Trevor Lawrence Sweepstakes
The Jets enter the 2021 offseason with another new coaching staff, $67 million in cap room, and a glaring need at quarterback.
That need would have easily been filled if the Jets weren’t such go-getters and beat the Rams after starting the season 0-14.
But alas, here they are, and with the Jets linked to being strongly interested in Texans’ star Deshaun Watson, what happens if they’re unsuccessful in securing the 25-year-old superstar?
What happens if not only are they unsuccessful, but what happens if they watch Watson land in Miami’s lap instead? Would their conviction of BYU’s Zach Wilson or Ohio State’s Justin Fields be so strong that they turn down the opportunity to acquire Russell Wilson in a sudden AFC East arms race?
The Jets, like the Dolphins, have a lot to offer Wilson when you look past the whole.. “they’re still the Jets!” thing too.
- Biggest media/entertainment market in the United States? Check.
- Familiarity at head coach? Yep. Robert Saleh was on Pete Carroll’s staff for the first two seasons of Wilson’s career and has coached against Russ the last three years in San Francisco.
- Ample cap room to absorb Wilson’s contract.
- Ample draft picks to send back to Seattle, including the very picks that once belonged to the Seahawks before they traded for Jamal Adams in August.
Should this relationship crater to the point of no return, the Jets giving up the #2 overall pick and returning the Seahawks’ first-round picks over the next two drafts to them makes a good amount of sense.
The Jets fan base needs a lift after the team did the most Jets thing imaginable and blundered their way into the 2nd overall draft position. Russell Wilson would do that and then some.
The Seahawks could potentially be more interested if they knew they were getting their 2022 1st Round pick back as well, after all, it’s hard to trade your franchise star and retain the same level of success.
The Jets, by the way, are listed at 16-1 to land Russell Wilson. Those odds are way too low when you read the tea leaves as to what could be going on.
In all likelihood, this saga ends with the Seahawks doing a lot of salary cap wizardry and trying to make a big splash in free-agency to remedy their offensive line issues, but if this relationship is broken beyond repair look towards Miami and New York for Russell’s next landing spot.
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