With Russell Wilson‘s agent identifying the four teams for which Wilson would waive his no-trade clause, the message becomes clear. If any of those four teams — Raiders, Bears, Saints, Cowboys — want Wilson, now is the time to make a move.
So will one or more of them make a move?
The Raiders surely are intrigued. G.M. Mike Mayock has said on multiple occasions over the past two years that the team constantly looks for upgrades at every position, quarterback included. Few people not in Derek Carr‘s immediate family would say that Russell Wilson doesn’t represent a major upgrade over the team’s incumbent starter. Surely, Mayock and coach Jon Gruden have begun figuring out what they could do to entice the Seahawks, a bitter Raiders rival while in the AFC West from 1977 through 2001, to #LetRussCook for the Baccanal Buffet at Caesars Palace. What would it take? Presumably, Carr plus picks plus maybe some other players. On Friday’s PFT Live, Peter King suggested safety Johnathan Abram and receiver Hunter Renfrow as possibilities; I mentioned running back Josh Jacobs.
The Bears, who otherwise have no clear path to an obvious upgrade over Mitch Trubisky or Nick Foles at quarterback, surely must be intrigued. They could dangle pass rusher Khalil Mack plus multiple draft picks. Whatever they do, they should make an aggressive effort to get Wilson, who arguably would walk through the door as the greatest quarterback in franchise history.
The Saints surely must be intrigued. Wilson and coach Sean Payton, working together, could make the Saints even better than they’ve been with Drew Brees at quarterback, especially since Wilson has a much stronger arm and much greater mobility. Taysom Hill would become an obvious candidate for shipment to Seattle. Beyond that, the Saints should just say to the Seahawks, “Who do you want?” As the Saints scan their roster for veterans who may be sacrificed for cap reasons, maybe one or more players about whom the Saints are on the fence can help get the deal done, along with the draft picks that surely would be required.
Last, and certainly not least, are the Cowboys. The first step would be to not apply the franchise tag to quarterback Dak Prescott, allowing him to leave as a free agent — and setting the stage for a compensatory draft pick in 2022. Then, the Cowboys would have to conjure up a reverse-Herschel Walker package that would satisfy the Seahawks without gutting the roster and undermining the team’s chances of getting another Super Bowl win during Jerry Jones’ remaining tenure as the owner. Would they want offensive linemen? Ezekiel Elliott?
Even if Wilson represents an upgrade over Prescott (he does), the investment needed to get Wilson would make it harder for the Cowboys to get to a Super Bowl (or to an NFC title game, a place they haven’t been since 1995) sooner than later.
The biggest challenge for Seattle, if they trade Wilson, becomes replacing him. Deals with the Raiders or Saints would give them an alternative, if Carr or Hill, respectively, become part of the package. With the Bears or the Cowboys, a three-team deal could be needed to get the Seahawks their quarterback, with the Bears or Cowboys sending part of the overall trade package to a team that would then ship a quarterback to the Seahawks.
None of it matters unless the Seahawks are willing to listen. Unlike the Texans, it seems like Seattle hasn’t slammed the door on the possibility. Now that we know the teams for which Wilson would play, those teams should be busting their butts to come up with ideas for upgrading their own quarterback situations by making the Seahawks an offer they won’t refuse.
Again, if the Seahawks don’t view Russell Wilson the same way Russell Wilson views Russell Wilson, the Seahawks should happily take the best offer from a team that does — and that crafts an offer to reflect it.