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NFL Draft

Breaking Down Russell Wilson’s Top Trade Destinations

  • The Draft Network
  • February 25, 2021
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Well, here we are. Just a little under three weeks away until the start of a new league year, and Russell Wilson’s frustrations in Seattle have reportedly reached a boiling point. 

Let’s take a look back shall we? Just how did Wilson and the Seahawks get here? 

Disagreements and frustrations are common within NFL facilities with egos abound, however, no one actually thought Seahawks general manager John Schneider would ponder trading Seattle’s franchise cornerstone. Following the Super Bowl, reports swirled of a meeting between Wilson and Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll, where the topic of conversation focused solely on the underwhelming play of Seattle’s front five. According to The Athletic, the future plan up front "wasn’t relayed to him [Wilson], at least not to Wilson’s satisfaction," and Carroll told the quarterback to "have faith."

Just a week later, Wilson appeared on the Dan Patrick Show further expressing his desire to be “more involved” in personnel decisions—as he should be. 

 "I think it helps to be involved more, but I think that dialogue should happen more often,” Wilson exclaimed. 

And now, following today’s report from The Athletic headlined with Wilson “storming out” of a meeting with team executives, Seattle has now found itself in a potential franchise-altering state of affairs with Wilson.

Prior to Seattle’s matchup against Arizona in October, Wilson reportedly met with Seahawks brass where “Wilson sought - even pushed - for influence within the organization regarding scheme and personnel. In the meeting, he outlined his own ideas for how to fix the offense. His suggestions were dismissed — another reminder to Wilson that the Seahawks did not see him the same way he saw himself, as a player who had earned greater control over his situation, his future, his legacy.”

With three years left on his contract and a no-trade clause laced within his $140M deal, Wilson has final say on where he ends up—if a trade is warranted. According to ESPN, Wilson has narrowed his potential destinations to four: Dallas, New Orleans, Las Vegas, and Chicago. 

With Matthew Stafford now in Los Angeles, Carson Wentz in Indianapolis, and Deshaun Watson’s standoff with Texans brass seemingly never-ending, Wilson now joins a quarterback carousel continuing to fill by the day.

Given Wilson’s current objectives for his career, it’s not a question of if but when the two sides go their separate ways. So, let’s dive into the four prior mentioned landing spots, including another that just makes too much sense.

Dallas Cowboys

Following Dak Prescott’s gruesome injury, Dallas’ season crumbled around them in an instant. With Prescott’s pending free agency, and Jerry Jones invariably on the prowl for the biggest and brightest toy in the aisle, Wilson to “America’s team” from the outside looks like a fit. 

Wilson’s concerns in Seattle have concentrated around the run game—or lack thereof—and a below-average offensive line. With Ezekiel Elliott, a strong front five already in place, and weapons outside in Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb, Wilson has all the tools to return the Cowboys back to NFL glory. 

New Orleans Saints

The addition of Wilson would mark the end of the Drew Brees era for the Saints. Many have pondered the potential success of Jameis Winston following Lasic eye surgery, but I’m not one of them. Additionally, as much as Sean Payton has shown his attachment toward Taysom Hill, he’s not a quarterback that will lead you to compete in a division with Tom Brady; It just won’t happen. 

New Orleans is uber-talented across the board, headlined by an elite defense and top offensive threats in Alvin Kamara and Michael Thomas—when healthy. 

However, the move, at some point, would catch up with New Orleans. Following a breakout 2020 campaign, defensive end Trey Hendrickson and safety Marcus Williams would undoubtedly depart. Looking forward, bookend tackles Ryan Ramczyk and Terron Armstead along with Marshon Lattimore each are set for new contracts at the end of next season.

As extraordinary as it would be to see Wilson and Brady square off twice a year, Saints general manager Mickey Loomis would have to dig deep into his bag of tricks to get the deal done. 

Chicago Bears

Like New Orleans, the Bears’ success hinges upon their defense’s ability to flip the field, create turnovers, and get after the passer, lessening the load for the offense. Following the failed Mitchell Trubisky experiment, Nick Foles is set to take over the reins for the Bears in a crucial offseason with stud wideout Allen Robinson set to enter the open market. But, how productive will Foles be? The addition of Wilson would usher the end of Robinson’s tenure in Chicago unless the team tags him, but there are pieces to succeed in an underwhelming NFC North outside of Green Bay. 

Additions at wideout via the draft or free agency would be welcomed with Darnell Mooney set to enter the “X” role in Matt Nagy’s offense. Looking elsewhere on offense, David Montgomery looks to be entering his prime, but it would take A LOT of convincing for Wilson to end up in the windy city in my eyes. Wilson wants another ring, but Chicago just isn’t ready to sit at the adult table yet, even if they trade for the seven-time Pro Bowler.  

Las Vegas Raiders

The Raiders clearly like Derek Carr, but when a Lamborghini is available on the lot for a discount, you’re sure to at least kick the tires. An extension has been discussed for Carr, who’s developed into an above-average quarterback in the league, but the addition of Wilson, in Las Vegas... it’s a marketer’s dream. 

OK, back to football. 

Despite a below-average defense, Wilson is the type of player that can elevate an average or bad roster to the playoffs—he’s done it many times. If he was traded to the Jon Gruden-led Raiders, he’d play under an offensive-minded head coach, an impressive front five, and a solid group of playmakers led by tight end Darren Waller. It’s easy to find the pros of joining an NFL franchise in Las Vegas. Wilson donning the silver and black doesn’t seem too far-fetched. 

Miami Dolphins

Miami has publicly expressed its interest in Watson, and there’s zero reason to believe they wouldn’t be drawn to Wilson, a top-three talent in the NFL. 

However, there is a difference between the two franchise-level talents. Watson is just 25 years old, but may require a minimum of four future first-round selections. With Wilson now on the bad side of 30, his value—laughingly—could dip below Watson’s simply due to age.

2020 fifth overall selection Tua Tagovailoa has become trade-bait following just one season, but his ability currently is more of a projection compared to the sure-thing in both Wilson and Watson. So, three future firsts and Tagovailoa for Wilson? What says you, Dolphins fans?

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