Clayton: Teams on Seahawks QB Russell Wilson’s trade list don’t offer what he wants
Remember a week ago when Mark Rodgers, agent for Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, said Wilson hasn’t asked to be traded, while also naming four teams Wilson would consider a trade to?
Rodgers said Wilson would be willing to go to New Orleans, Dallas, Las Vegas or Chicago. Three are unusual choices for a quarterback demanding to be surrounded by more offensive talent and better blocking on the offensive line.
The Saints are a strange choice because they are currently well over the salary cap. Despite getting $24 million of financial relief from Drew Brees’ retirement, the Saints have already released four players and might have to let four or five more go to get under the cap. And even though they have been a playoff team and Super Bowl contender for years, they would struggle to have a winning record in 2021 because of a depleted roster and too much dead cap money.
But here is the amazing twist to Rodgers’ selection of these four teams: All four may have less talent along the offensive line they had had last year. The Saints have already cut guard Nick Easton and might need to cut guard Andrus Peat. Would Wilson be happy going to a team that might not go to the playoffs and be without their top three guards?
Now let’s look at the Las Vegas Raiders. They are shopping right tackle Trent Brown in trade talks, and if they can’t get a trade they might cut him. They informed guard Gabe Jackson that he will be released. They will probably do the same thing with guard Richie Incognito, who is coming off Achilles tendon problems. It’s easy to figure the Raiders might give up more than the 26 sacks endured by Derek Carr last year if they are down three starters on the offensive line.
The Cowboys could be off the list if owner/general manager Jerry Jones franchise tags or re-signs quarterback Dak Prescott, but if not, remember the mess they had along the offensive line last year. Center Travis Frederick retired in the offseason. Tackles Tyron Smith and La’el Collins played in only two games last year because of injuries. And it’s not certain the Cowboys can keep Collins on the roster because of salary cap issues.
The Bears might cut right tackle Bobby Massie for cap reasons. Left tackle Charles Leno could be a cap casualty if the Bears acquire a pricey quarterback, too.
Say what you want about the Seahawks’ offensive line, but it was the best they’ve fielded in three years. Brandon Shell worked out at right tackle. Damien Lewis was one of the best rookie offensive linemen in the league last year.
The Seahawks have to make the right decisions at left guard and center – where Mike Iupati retired and Ethan Pocic is entering free agency, respectively – but they aren’t cutting any linemen for cap reasons. They can add to the mix.
We are starting to see some of the $10 million-plus players who were cut signing with new teams. Wide receiver Tyrell Williams, who was released by the Raiders from his $11 million a year contract, has agreed to take more than a 50 percent reduction in salary to sign a one-year deal in Detroit. Houston running back David Johnson took more than a 50 percent paycut to stay with the Texans instead of being cut and struggling to get a good deal.
Jackson was making $11 million a year with the Raiders. Center Nick Martin was making $11 million a year in Houston before he was cut. They might be available for $5.5 million each and could be good options for the Seahawks if they don’t re-sign Pocic.
Wilson wants to be hit less, and that is fair. But does he want to go to lines that might offer less protection than he had last season?
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