Rost: Making sense of trade rumors surrounding Seahawks’ Russell Wilson
Welcome to the NFL offseason! It’s already a wild ride.
While some fans have leaned into home improvement projects or a new show – side note, I’ve been binging Bryan Cranston’s “Your Honor,” which has phenomenal performances but a storyline that necessitates some reality TV palate cleansing afterward – others have their eyes and ears tuned to the latest trade rumors. Over the past 48 hours, two separate reports have surfaced surrounding none other than Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson.
So, for both the avid rumor-watchers and the fans just trying to figure out what the heck is going on so they can get back to some television, here’s how to make sense of the latest news.
What’s being said?
There are two reports, one coming Sunday from a trio of NFL media insiders and another on Monday from Jason La Canfora.
On Sunday, Ian Rapoport, Tom Pelissero and Mike Garafolo collaborated for an NFL.com feature detailing potential landing spots for several quarterbacks. The article closes by mentioning that teams have even gone so far as to inquire about a trade for Wilson, but “there’s no chance the Seahawks are dealing their star QB.” 710 ESPN Seattle’s Brock Huard later echoed that sentiment.
So that’s that, right?
The second report, this one from La Canfora on Monday, added a bit more fuel to that fire.
“I’m hearing Russell Wilson’s camp has grown increasingly frustrated by the Seahawks inability to protect the 8 time Pro Bowler,” La Canfora tweeted Monday evening. “He has been sacked 394 times in 9 seasons. This situation warrants serious monitoring.”
I’m hearing Russell Wilson’s camp has grown increasingly frustrated by the Seahawks inability to protect the 8 time Pro Bowler. He has been sacked 394 times in 9 seasons. This situation warrants serious monitoring.
— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) February 9, 2021
Does Wilson want a trade from Seahawks?
We don’t know what Wilson wants, but if he is seeking a trade (and it’s one he’d have to approve due to the no-trade clause in his contract) he’ll have a hard time finding a quarterback-needy team that also has great protection, great weapons, the salary cap necessary for his contract, and the draft capital necessary to acquire him.
So, what now?
Nothing, which feels anti-climactic, but also honest. The Seahawks, by all outward appearances, aren’t at all interested in trading Russell Wilson. Wilson would need to approve a trade, which limits the potential suitors, and a team with multiple first round picks wouldn’t necessarily be able to guarantee an easier path to a Super Bowl, which would limit Wilson’s interest.
What’s likely happening, if anything at all, is a push for improved protection for a quarterback who has been sacked at least 40 times per season since his second year in the league. Part of that responsibility will fall on Wilson and new offensive coordinator Shane Waldron. Wilson’s ability to make magic out of a broken play makes him one of the league’s best passers; it also means he takes on more sacks than the average quarterback. He’ll need to find a better balance there, hopefully with help from Waldron.
To Wilson’s credit, he’s been able to sustain a prolific career without consistent protection up front. The Seahawks haven’t been able to build a top-10 offensive line through the draft or free agency. Their best offensive lineman is 35-year-old Duane Brown, who was acquired via trade in 2017. The last first-round pick spent on an offensive lineman was Germain Ifedi, who was not signed to a second contract. Since 2013, the year after Wilson was drafted, the Seahawks have drafted the following linemen: Ryan Seymour, Michael Bowie, Justin Britt, Garrett Scott, Terry Poole, Mark Glowinski, Ifedi, Rees Odhiambo, Joey Hunt, Ethan Pocic, Justin Senior, Jamarco Jones, Phil Haynes, and Damien Lewis.
Of those players, only Jones, Haynes and Lewis remain under contract for 2021, and Lewis is the only starter. While Lewis had a promising rookie campaign, just one drafted lineman – Justin Britt – received any Pro Bowl honors (Britt was a Pro Bowl alternate in 2016).
So, while Wilson isn’t likely to be going anywhere anytime soon, and while the Seahawks are equally unlikely to push to be rid of him, the team’s issues on offense are very real. That’s with execution, with playcalling, and with talent acquisition.
The new season brings more promise; there’s a new offensive coordinator, another year of two top-tier receivers, another year with a franchise quarterback, and months to figure out just what went so wrong in the second half of the season. If that can’t be worked out, and if the Seahawks are once again ousted early in the playoffs, don’t be too surprised to hear more rumors just like this one.
Such is the NFL rumor offseason rumor mill.
If you needed to watch some trash tv to escape from that reality, no one could blame you.