Weekly Post #2: Will Russell Wilson actually be traded?

From first glance, it looks like the Seattle Seahawks and Russell Wilson could potentially be headed for a divorce. However, is it really that simple for the Seahawks to trade him? While the Seahawks would receive what might look like an overpay, they would carry a cap hit of $39 million if traded. This doesn’t feel like a Philadelphia Eagles and Carson Wentz situation where they felt like they HAD to trade him, so why would Seattle carry that cap hit when he’s not on the roster when they still need to upgrade so many positions this offseason. Especially, since the cap has gone down due to money lost from COVID-19. However, if Wilson is traded after June 1st, that $39 million would be spread out over two years.

According to The Athletic, Wilson’s camp has reached out to the Dolphins, Jets, Raiders, and Saints. They also report that “people in the NFL” think a trade could actually happen. Two of these teams make sense for the Seahawks (Dolphins and Jets), and two make sense for Wilson (Raiders and Saints). The Dolphins and Jets have the assets and cap space to make the move for Wilson, but don’t have the weapons or the offensive line to keep Wilson happy right now. They would most likely also be losing their premium picks for at least the next three years, which would make it hard to surround Wilson with young talent. The Raiders and Saints are already built to make a trade like this. Yes, the Saints are far into the negative, but it isn’t as bad as people think due to lack of knowledge on how contracts work. If Mickey Loomis could make a trade for Wilson, get under the cap by the start of the new league year, and keep a competitive roster, don’t put it past the Saints to push for a trade.

However, it seems like the Raiders might be the most realistic choice out of the four teams. They already have the offensive line, even though some contracts are expiring. The team is still young enough where they should be able to retain these key pieces on the offensive line. The team has barely missed the playoffs two straight years and just needs to do a little more developing to be real playoff contenders. With Wilson, that process would be sped up quickly and would instantly make the Raiders a very scary team. The only problem is if they are willing to give up the draft assets it would take to trade for a player of wilson’s caliber.

If Deshaun Watson is traded from the Houston Texans this offseason, that will control what Wilson’s value will truly be. Seattle will probably tell the other teams they have to beat the offer that Houston got for Watson or they’ll just hang up the phone. Seattle already doesn’t want to trade him so teams will have to blow Seattle out of the water. That may include 3-4 first round picks, maybe a good offensive lineman or defensive lineman, and maybe some day two picks in the upcoming drafts. It would most likely take a “massive overpay” for Seattle to budge.

What a lot of people seem to be oblivious to is that this whole thing could just be a threat from Wilson’s camp to get the Seahawks to really upgrade the offensive line this year to protect their franchise player. To be fair, a Russell Wilson trade would really shake up the entire NFL and be the most exciting thing to happen this offseason, but it doesn’t seem likely the Seahawks part with Wilson this offseason unless something massive happens between the team and the player’s relationship.

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