The Seattle Seahawks trading away Russell Wilson? Sounds ridiculous, but recent rumors suggest the move isn’t as unlikely as fans would like to believe.
If there’s one Seattle Seahawks player that all fans love, it’s Russell Wilson. Not only is he an elite quarterback, but he’s a great person, a dedicated philanthropist and loving father. The idea of the Seahawks trading him away is asinine, right?
Well, as it turns out, it’s not as asinine as we all assumed.
Earlier this week, a rumor began circulating that the Seahawks had offered Wilson for the Cleveland Browns’ No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. The Browns apparently weren’t interested, opting to select Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield with the pick instead of swapping it for a veteran with a Super Bowl ring.
While we’re all glad Cleveland passed on the proposal, that doesn’t mean a deal couldn’t be swung in the future. According to Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio, there’s a belief Seattle could still ship Wilson away “eventually.”
That said, some who are close enough to the situation to know what may happen believe that Wilson eventually will be traded. Intriguing potential destinations would include, in our view, the Cowboys, Raiders, and Saints.
Florio also mentions that the conversation with Cleveland led to a no-trade clause being included in Wilson’s new contract, which made him the highest-paid player in the NFL. With that said, it’s almost understandable why trading their star quarterback wouldn’t be the worst move for the Seahawks.
The obvious reason is he’s making an exorbitant amount of money. Bringing in $35 million per year with his new deal, Wilson will be chewing up 15.5 percent of Seattle’s cap space all on his own in 2020. While the Seahawks have avoided getting into too messy of a cap situation while still remaining competitive, Wilson’s gaudy numbers might make that difficult moving forward.
With that said, trading him won’t be a solve-all from a financial standpoint. To illustrate my point, I’ll hand the mike over to Florio again:
Timing becomes a very real question. In 2021, the Seahawks would absorb a $39 million cap charge by trading Wilson, $7 million more than his $32 million cap number if he’s on the team. (He’s due to earn $19 million in 2021.) By 2022, the cap charge falls to $26 million, $11 million less than the cap charge if he’s still on the team.
In 2023, the last year of his current deal, Wilson has a $39 million cap number and a $13 million cap charge if traded.
As you can see, it’ll be a costly endeavor regardless of whether the Seahawks keep him or trade him. That’s why it simply makes more sense to hang on to one of the best quarterbacks in the league.
Russell Wilson hasn’t shown any signs of decline in recent years, even working his way into the MVP conversation early in 2019 before Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson stole the show. He’s also a cherished member of the Seattle sports community — sending him elsewhere would likely incite a riot, with calls for John Schneider’s job not far behind.
Seattle is much better off retaining Wilson and finding another way to make the financials work. Trust me — he doesn’t look good in anything other than Seahawks colors.