Hue Jackson didn’t know about Russell Wilson trade talk

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If the Browns and Seahawks were talking in 2018 about a potential trade that would have sent quarterback Russell Wilson from Seattle to Cleveland, the man who coached the Browns at the time didn’t know anything about it. Which, given the overall dysfunction in Cleveland at the time, should surprise no one.

Appearing with Zach Gelb on CBS Sports Radio, Hue Jackson said he wasn’t aware of any discussions that may have happened between his then-boss, John Dorsey, and Seahawks G.M. John Schneider regarding a potential Wilson deal. But Jackson didn’t completely rule out the notion that the two men had a conversation about the possibility.

“I’m sure John and John Schneider are really tight,” Hue said of the former Packers’ colleagues, “and I’m sure if they’re having conversations on their own and just jiving around and doing those kinds of things. I would think if something was serious about that, we — the executive team — and the organization would have known.”

So maybe they talked about it, and maybe it never got to the point where Dorsey raised it with Hue or ownership. Because maybe Dorsey didn’t want Hue or the rest of his coaching staff or ownership to know it was a possibility.

Jackson said that he doesn’t think Dorsey would have wanted to do the deal. Which, if Hue’s read is right, makes it even more important that Dorsey keep it to himself, in order to prevent an owner who keeps a large ladle in the stew (while acting like he doesn’t) from becoming smitten with the idea of landing Russell Wilson.

Then there’s the possibility that Dorsey kept it to himself during the preliminary discussion phase didn’t trust Hue to keep his mouth shut about the possibility. Given the media relationships Hue has cultivated for the purposes of helping advance his career when needed, Dorsey probably made the right call in being discreet, if there were indeed conversations.

A critical wrinkle didn’t come up in the Jackson interview: If the Browns had traded for Wilson they would have stepped into the looming obligation to give him a market-setting contract. By taking Mayfield, the Browns will get several years of quarterback play at a much lower cost, allowing money to be spent elsewhere.

That’s why Schneider would have floated the possibility, to reset the Seattle quarterback-compensation clock to “rookie wage scale,” so that the team could load the cannon around a competent young quarterback and compete for championships before breaking over the piggy bank to reward the quarterback financially. And that’s why there’s a lingering sense the Seahawks will eventually entertain the possibility of moving Wilson before giving him yet another contract that makes him the highest-paid player in league history.

As Cowboys exec Stephen Jones said last week on the #PFTPM podcast, it’s hard to win with a quarterback who gobbles up a huge chunk of salary-cap pie (even though, for the Cowboys, it’s now inevitable that Dak Prescott will). At some point, some team is going to run the numbers and decide that, with all the great young quarterbacks entering the league on a regular basis, it doesn’t make sense to keep pushing the market to a new level every time the current quarterback is due to get a new contract.

The Seahawks at least considered the possibility in 2018, even if Dorsey wisely didn’t share that information with Hue Jackson or Jimmy Haslam.

8 responses to “Hue Jackson didn’t know about Russell Wilson trade talk

  1. It’s fairly apparent that there’s quite a bit he didn’t know when it comes to football and football players. This is not a revelation.

  2. If Dorsey didn’t relay anything to ownership, he may have some explaining to do. Wilson would have made them legit. Taking a chance on a QB (Mayfield) instead of taking a sure thing? Ask Landry what he would rather have, Wilson throwing him the ball or Mayfield.

  3. The Browns are already two regimes down the line from then. This is why you lose and will continue to Brown fans.

  4. If I had a dollar for every sports story that began with “Hue Jackson didn’t know”, I could buy my own island to self-quarantine.

  5. Firstly, this trade talk sounds like it was an idea floated in conversation by the GMs that was never taken seriously, so there’s no reason to tell everyone about it. Cleveland probably said “so lol what it would it take for you to trade Russell Wilson haha just joking but really seriously if you would?”

    And Seattle probably said, “I’m not sure what you’re asking, but it would be your first round picks for the next five years.”

    And Cleveland said, “lmao we were just joking lol.”

    Secondly, and on a more serious note, Hue Jackson was not reportedly on the best terms with management in Cleveland, so it wouldn’t be surprising if they did not apprise him of rumors or unnecessary inquiries that never materialized. And also, he’s Hue Jackson. There’s not much that he did know was going on in Cleveland.

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