Do Seahawks want Russell Wilson gone as much as he wants to be traded?
Things have been fairly quiet on the Russell Wilson trade rumor front over the last few weeks, but a recent report may shed some light on Wilson’s future with the Seahawks for 2021 and possibly beyond.
On Pro Football Network’s Draft Insiders, NFL insider Tony Pauline shared Wednesday some of what he’s heard from a source “close to the situation” in Seattle. Pauline said that not only does Wilson want out of Seattle, but the Seahawks seem to be as interested in getting a trade done as Wilson is.
“What I was told by someone close to the situation yesterday is that the Seahawks want to trade Russell Wilson as much as Wilson wants out of Seattle, which kind of surprised me,” Pauline said.
But before you start thinking that the Seahawks will trade Wilson any day now, Pauline doesn’t believe a deal will happen – this year, at least.
“It’s going to be tough for it to happen this year because of Russell Wilson’s salary cap number and the fact that you have a deflated salary cap,” he said. “The (2021) salary cap just came in at ($182.5 million, down from $198 million in 2020). So that’s going to make it very tough for the Seattle Seahawks to move Wilson. Or at least that is what people are telling me. They are also telling me that if they can’t move him this year, which they don’t expect to happen, this will be Russell Wilson’s final season in Seattle.”
If Wilson is traded before June 1, the Seahawks would eat a dead cap hit of $39 million in 2021, but that number decreases after June 1 and next offseason.
As far as what Pauline said about the team’s interest in trading Wilson equaling the quarterback’s interest in a fresh start, former NFL quarterback Brock Huard thinks that may be the case with a key part of the Seahawks organization.
“I do think (general manager John Schneider) and (vice president of player personnel) Trent Kirchner and those guys in the personnel department and the team-building environment … I think those guys are a bit perturbed,” Huard said Thursday on 710 ESPN Seattle’s Danny and Gallant. “I’m not saying that on a firsthand account, I have not talked to (Schneider or Kirchner) or those folks in the front office.”
Huard and his Brock and Salk co-host Mike Salk have said that the Seahawks front office is likely more upset at Wilson’s offseason comments regarding pass protection than head coach Pete Carroll, the team’s coaching staff and even some of Seattle’s players because the front office and scouting department are ultimately the ones who find those players who are signed, traded for or drafted.
Huard compared how members of the Seahawks front office are feeling to how a parent feels when they’re upset with their child.
“That line between being mad and disappointed,” he said. “I think they were mad originally and initially (with) the whole Dan Patrick thing (thinking about Wilson) ‘you’re better than that.’ And now all of this continues and the trade (partners) he’d be willing to go to and the ridiculousness of that, now I think it hits a level of disappointment.”
The COVID-19 pandemic may also play a role in this situation lingering and growing more than it would in a normal year.
“Distance creates that. They are not around one another, they cannot have contact, there’s no practices, there’s no routine to get into and I think distance probably creates the disappointment, as well,” Huard said.
Is the writing on the wall?
Danny O’Neil wondered if it’s a foregone conclusion that Wilson’s relationship with the Seahawks is now at a point where it’s no longer salvageable, comparing it to when a couple starts sleeping in separate beds before an eventual breakup or divorce. Huard said there’s a chance that the Seahawks can change Wilson’s mind, and it starts next week.
“I think that’s going to depend on what happens here beginning next week in free agency,” Huard said. “I think that’s going to depend on what is able to get done in the draft. I think that depends on the reshaping of this roster that happens every year.”
Huard said that on average, most NFL teams see 30-35% of their rosters turn over every year through free agency, drafts and trades. If the Seahawks can add some better pieces around Wilson, Huard thinks the drama of this offseason could be a thing of the past.
“I think it’s going to depend on those pieces and what they look like, and what Mr. Wilson and his camp think about (the moves the Seahawks make),” he said, “and whether they legitimately bolster their chances and their beliefs that they can win this division again, and ‘We’re not going to lose a home playoff game because we’re a better football team talent-wise and personnel-wise than the one that ended the 2020 season.'”
You can hear Huard’s full discussion with Danny and Gallant in the Blue 42 segment that starts off the podcast at this link or in the player below.