A Russell Wilson restructuring would slam the door on 2021 trade talk

New Orleans Saints v Seattle Seahawks
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Russell Wilson‘s long-term status with the Seahawks has gotten extremely shaky. His short-term status has thus become murky. There’s one thing that can happen that would slam the door on talk of a Wilson trade in 2021.

As noted by Gregg Bell of the Tacoma News Tribune, the Seahawks have the contractual right to restructure Wilson’s contract in order to create cap space. The not-uncommon term (the Cowboys, for example, secured that right in Dak Prescott‘s new deal) allows the team to convert salary and other compensation into a signing bonus that would be spread over multiple years, reducing the current-year cap charge.

Wilson has a 2021 cap charge of $32 million. He has a $19 million salary this year, with another $13 million flowing from his 2019 signing bonus of $65 million. The Seahawks could drop Wilson’s cap number by reducing his salary to $1.075 million (the minimum for players with seven or more years of experience) and shifting the remaining $17.925 million into a signing bonus.

By spreading the bonus over the three years left on his contract, Wilson’s 2021 cap number would drop from $32 million to $20.05 million. (Adding a voidable year or two would drop it even farther than that; it’s unclear whether the right to restructure includes a right to add voidable years.)

Regardless of whether the Seahawks choose to kick the salary-cap can by restructuring Wilson’s deal (they’re currently more than $21 million under the 2021 cap), doing so would mean that he’s not being traded. Why would the Seahawks pay as much as $17.925 million in salary before sending him to a new team?

Unless the new team would be adding even more trade compensation in order to inherit Wilson at a minimum salary and cap number of $1.075 million, the Seahawks have no reason to pay Wilson another penny until it’s certain he won’t be traded. Thus, if/when a restructuring happens, the potential Wilson trade window moves to 2022, at the earliest.

26 responses to “A Russell Wilson restructuring would slam the door on 2021 trade talk

  1. So you want them to restructure his contract to create cap space that they don’t need and make his cap hit higher if they trade him next year, just to prove a point?

  2. Wake me up when the Bears sign him. Let’s get it done before I have a chest grabber.

  3. Until anyone in the Seahawks org comes out and says “He’s our QB” or “He’s not being traded”, I will believe that he’s probably going to be traded. Way too much smoke.

  4. If they have the right to do it unilaterally (which sounds like what you’re saying), then there’s no hurry. If (big if) a team blows you away with a trade offer, you can take it. If the free agent class is just too good to pass up with teams cutting talent left and right, you can restructure then in order to get a maximum free agency haul to go all-in on 2021. Or you can keep an eye on the future and stay the course by not taking away future cap dollars. Flexibility is a good thing.

  5. bigo1960 says:
    March 13, 2021 at 11:36 am
    His dream is to end up in Vegas but sorry Russell that’s not going to happen.

    ***********************************************************************************
    Wow, you seem to know both Russell Wilson’s “dreams” and that he will never end up in Vegas. That’s some premium insider knowledge. Maybe YOU should hit Vegas.

  6. Discussing Seahawks salary cap issues is patently absurd. Injuries impose a far greater cap hit than anything else — paying a player who cannot play. An injury is effectively a reduction in both salary cap, and the subsequent capacity to hire top quality talent which directly equates to a reduction in roster size.

    At midseason 2020, Seahawks and 49ers were the most injured teams. That means the highest wate of salary cap and roster resources. Thus, the biggest problem is with the Strength & Conditioning unit, not with Russel Wilson’s demand to get saked less — because first string members of the offensive line are injured and absent.

    It is as though Pete Carroll keeps taking his car to a lousy mechanic, the car keeps breaking down, and he complains about missing meetings and practice due to a broken car that he neglects to get repaired PROPERLY. Same thing with player health.

    Pete Carroll treats players as an unlimited expendable resource, with a “next man up” attitude, when the league has established tremendous limits on player availability — roster size, salary cap, draft picks… A fundamental problem with Seahawks management is disregard of the simple fact that player health is directly proportional to team success.

    Watch the 2021 Seahawks once again for the third year in a row, self implode with mid-season injuries and late season loss of most running back talent. As Marshawn Lynch aptly said after the Super Blunder, “Football is a team sport.” And if you don’t have your best team to put on the field, due to injuries, you can’t win.

  7. The best QB for the Seahawks is Russell Wilson, and the best team for Wilson is the Seahawks. It’s not easy to find a Russell Wilson type QB. I wasn’t too crazy about some of Russell’s complaints, but I had a few of my own. Russell doesn’t need control over personnel. That’s not a weakness in Seattle. Russell doesn’t need to help the coaches design their offensive system. The system if almost perfect for Russell. The problem I saw was the play selection. They didn’t utilize the talent they had, or the scheme. I would definitely let Russell have a ton more input in the play selection. Why constantly run for no gain on early downs, then face tons of pressure on 2nd and 3rd downs? The play calling is what hurt the team. I think they’ve already made some coaching changes, so I’d say Pete Carroll and the rest of the brain trust are already one step ahead. And Russell, you’re spoiled living in Seattle. Believe me, that’s one of the nicest places to live in the U.S. Bill Gates can live wherever he wants, and that’s where he lives. So just everybody calm down, and think about what’s best for the team. The Team! The Team! The Team! Bo Schembechler.

  8. Until there is talk of who the Seahawks QB will be, they will not be trading him to the Bears. Living in Chicago, I’m tired of all of this unnecessary drama. It seems any QB who’s available is suddenly “on the Bears radar” because they currently have only ONE QB on their roster because their GM is a moron and didn’t draft the right one in the first place.

  9. As a Seahawk fan I really hope we do get an insane trade deal done with the Bears or Raiders. Sorry to say folks, but just look at Wilson’s numbers against bad teams vs good teams – its striking. Give me a good defense, run game, and QB manager any day over Russell Wilson who flashes brilliance until he meets a top 10 defense…and then is somewhat horrid.

  10. Just a thought here. If they try to restructure like mentioned.. Can Wilson refuse to sign it? If he refuses, that’s pretty much a trade demand.

  11. I’m actually thinking a restructuring would be part of an overall trade plan. The Seahawks lower this year’s cap hit and spread the “dead$” over two more voided years. They then have much needed free agency $ to grab a Veteran QB to augment the drafting of a QB (assuming they get high draft pick) in this year’s draft. I.E.-The Bears can’t absorb Russell’s cap in 2021. The restructuring would actually increase chances and allow teams to trade for him.

    All that said: I still don’t think it has any real chance of happening this or next off season.

  12. Russell Wilson & the Seahawks could restructure their deal as a means to facilitate a trade. Restructuring could reduce the amount of dead money this year, and make the deal more lucrative for better/additional draft picks.

  13. Wilson has delusions of grandeur. He thinks he is Tom Brady but he is not even close.

  14. Teams may NOT unilaterally add void years to an existing contract. That would involve a new contract.

  15. If they trade him, the cap hit is humongous. However, if they can restructure his salary to reduce the cap hit, wouldn’t it be more likely that he can be traded.

  16. chawk12thman says:
    March 13, 2021 at 1:08 pm
    I’m actually thinking a restructuring would be part of an overall trade plan. The Seahawks lower this year’s cap hit and spread the “dead$” over two more voided years. They then have much needed free agency $ to grab a Veteran QB to augment the drafting of a QB (assuming they get high draft pick) in this year’s draft.

    ————————————

    That high draft pick would go to the Jets for the Jamal Adams trade. Hawks get no first until 2023.

  17. itsunclepauley says:
    March 13, 2021 at 11:45 am

    If (big if) a team blows you away with a trade offer, you can take it.
    ____________________________________________________

    He also has a no-trade clause. You can only take a trade offer if RW is on board with it, too.

  18. vikingboy26 says:
    March 13, 2021 at 12:39 pm
    It seems any QB who’s available is suddenly “on the Bears radar” because they currently have only ONE QB on their roster because their GM is a moron and didn’t draft the right one in the first place.

    That isn’t just a Chicago problem. For years it’s been how everyone wants to play in NE. Now it is TB. They didn’t and they don’t. Players either want compensation or competitiveness, sometimes both. But there’s a lot of teams out of 32 that can offer that.

    Now as to poor GMing, assuming you are a Vikings fan, that is definitely not just a Chicago problem as you know. Kirk Cousins the savior indeed LOL! SKOL!

  19. Russell Wilson & the Seahawks could restructure their deal as a means to facilitate a trade. Restructuring could reduce the amount of dead money this year, and make the deal more lucrative for better/additional draft picks.
    =========

    Signing bonus money is tolled annually over the duration of the contract. Seattle can’t just wipe it out.

    3 years left, $13mil per year. Even if Russ signed a new contract, that money would still have to be accounted for.

  20. Wilson has gotten this worked up because the team didn’t ask him if it was ok to hire somebody? Seems incongruous. It looks like he will have to console himself with the 17mil that’s arriving ahead of schedule. Is this about a new deal? If not, why would he want to go to a team that rebuilding? Too many questions(marks?).

  21. Why such the big deal made out of Russ’ comments about the OL? We’ve all been saying the same thing – about the OL – for the last few years. We know that continuing to treat it as the bastard child of the team is only going to get our beloved QB killed. All this trade chatter started as a one little dingleberry from one interview and took on a monstrous life of its own, swelling through controversy-stoking talking heads like Stephen A., et al. All the FO has to do is acknowledge that the OL will get more priority investment, and this could all go away.

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