Russell Wilson may appear to want to trade out of Seattle as the NFL offseason kicks into top gear, but who will be his next team? And what are the betting odds?
The All Pro quarterback is clearly frustrated by the team’s direction, a far cry from the Super Bowl years when Wilson and the Legion of Boom defense terrorized opponents.
Seattle may be coming off a 12-4 season and another NFC West title, but the year ended on a huge low with a 30-20 home loss to the Los Angeles Rams in the playoffs.
Why is Russell Wilson unhappy in Seattle?
Wilson personally started 2020 in stellar form, but regressed significantly as the season wore on. He complained of being tired of being hit so much, and clearly feels the team is not putting enough resources into protecting him.
So much so that news leaked in the last week that not only was Wilson unhappy, he was already thinking about potential new destinations in the NFL.
Wilson, whose four-year $140million contract includes a no-trade clause, would only entertain trades to the Dallas Cowboys, the Las Vegas Raiders, the New Orleans Saints or the Chicago Bears.
It seems unlikely though that Seattle would agree to trade Wilson right now – letting him go would incur a massive salary cap hit, as well as losing their best offensive player.
The bounty they could receive for Wilson may be substantial (see the recent Matt Stafford trade from the Lions to the Rams) but starting again at QB is a daunting prospect. The NFL is littered with moribund franchises who have been wandering in the QB wilderness for years, desperately seeking that next solution.
Online bookmakers certainly don’t believe a trade is likely, with PointsBet heavily favoring him to stay in Seattle – with odds of -1250 for him to take a snap for the Seahawks in 2021.
Those preferred landing spots? Not so hot – with PointsBet believing any blockbusting trade is unlikely. Wilson is +450 to play a snap for the Raiders, +650 for the Cowboys, +750 for the Saints and +900 for the Bears.
The contenders: Russell Wilson landing spots
So let’s look at the teams Wilson would like to be traded to if the Seahawks decide to deal him. Why would they do it, and why would Seattle agree?
Las Vegas Raiders: The Raiders are still pretty new to Vegas and Jon Gruden has the ‘security’ of a 10-year deal. Landing Wilson to be the face of the franchise would be pretty cool right? Perhaps they’d also throw in current starting QB Derek Carr to sweeten the deal. Gruden doesn’t appear completely sold on Carr yet, but would Seattle even want him?
Dallas Cowboys: The Cowboys have a massive question at QB themselves – what happens next with Dak Prescott? The former fourth-round pick played 2020 on the franchise tag.Unless the ‘Boys can finalize a long-term deal by March he’ll do the same in 2021. That would likely signal the end of his time in Big D. At this stage it seems more likely that Dallas will finally get a deal done with Prescott, but Jerry Jones has pulled the trigger on shocking moves before…For now any trade talks are completely moot of course. Dallas can’t trade what it doesn’t have as it were.
New Orleans Saints: The Drew Brees era appears to be coming to an end in the Big Easy, and the Saints need a successor. It has Taysom Hill under contract but is he really anybody’s long-term option as QB1? It also had former #1 pick Jameis Winston in 2020 on a very cap-friendly deal. Which way next for the Saints? And does that future include Wilson?
Chicago Bears: For more than half a century now Chicago has been where QBs go to see their careers die. If Wilson looks back in history he might be wary about moving to Chi Town – despite the Bears storied past and the rabid fan base. The Bears – seemingly as ever – are in need of bona fide QB1 after the Mitch Trubisky experiment failed. Surely this is a match made in heaven? Or is it hell?
This promises to be a lengthy saga, so buckle up and enjoy the ride…