by @SteezyASmith, FTFN Seahawks writer
Allow me to preface the title that comes before you. It would be ABSOLUTELY LUDICROUS and borderline blasphemy to trade a QB of Russell Wilson’s caliber. You just don’t do that. Franchise QB’s don’t grow on trees. Unless, said QB forces the organization’s hand, which is what Deshaun Watson is doing with the Houston Texans. And that’s exactly what makes his situation different from Russ’. Watson has demanded a trade, while Russ ‘wants’ to stay in town, but would welcome a change of scenery if the ‘Hawks are so inclined; which, as has already been reported, is not the case. Prior to Wilson’s arrival in 2012 as a third-round rookie, the Seattle Seahawks had NEVER had a franchise Quarterback. With all due respect, Dave Krieg, Jim Zorn, Jon Kitna, Matt Hasselbeck (among others) were not franchise quarterbacks and were certainly not MVP-caliber ones. So you mean to tell me that in 36 years of existence, the Seahawks had never had an MVP-caliber quarterback before Russ? If the Seahawks were to trade him away, when can we expect another franchise signal-caller back in town? 30+ years? Exactly.
For the record, the Seahawks should absolutely turn down ALL calls for Russell Wilson and they should think twice about the idea of even entertaining offers for the face of the franchise. However, if in the unlikely event that Russ demands a trade for whatever reason, he puts the Seahawks in no position but to trade him, then so be it. However, of the four listed teams that his agent Mark Rogers gave ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the one team that makes the most sense didn’t actually make the final cut. Yet, as initially reported on by CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora, the Miami Dolphins were on the initial four-team list that was leaked, so there’s something brewing there & I have no doubt Russ wouldn’t mind a trade to South Beach, who wouldn’t if it meant living in Miami? A state with no income tax?
Before we delve deeper into why the Miami Dolphins are the only logical trading partner for both Russ and the Seahawks, let’s break down the other teams that were on Russ’ list. Beginning with the Dallas Cowboys, I just don’t see them as a realistic landing spot. Never mind the fact that they’re intent on bringing Dak Prescott back, Dallas is a mediocre team that’s run by an incompetent GM in Jerry Jones who seems to be in over his head in that role. Do we really think that Jones would be willing to cede control over personnel decisions to Russell Wilson? If not even cede control, would he be willing to let Russ have input on personnel? I highly doubt it, seeing as how Jones has never been one to let go of his power nor share any of it. While the Cowboys bring the glitz and the glamour and for some reason still happen to be ‘America’s Team,’ there’s certainly appeal there. However, that’s where it ends. This has been a mediocre franchise since they last won a Super Bowl in 1995, and that was before I was even born. Would Russ really be willing to bet on Jerry Jones to be the guy he wins Super Bowls with? I think by now we all know the answer to that question. Oh yeah, and they want Dak Prescott back.
As for the New Orleans Saints, while their Mayor really wants Russ and Ciara in town, don’t bet on that happening. For one, they’re $66 million in the red, meaning that they’re well over the cap by $66 million dollars. Yes, if a team really wants a player to fit into their cap situation, they’ll make it work. But, the Saints have a lot of fat that they need to trim before even considering trading for Russ. Even if they were to build up a package of salaries that match Russ’, would the Seahawks be inclined to trade Russ for a package that wouldn’t include any top 10-20 picks nor a young quarterback? For as much intrigue as Tayson Hill can provide, he’s already 30 years old. Jameis Winston, AKA Mr. 30 for 30? No thanks, and he’s a free agent himself. Unless the Saints were willing to include a combination of two, maybe three of the following players: running back Alvin Kamara, wide receiver Michael Thomas, superstar tackle Ryan Ramczyk, cornerback Marshon Lattimore, and/or defensive end Cameron Jordan including draft compensation, the Seahawks should steer clear of any deal involving Wilson as the Saints just wouldn’t be able to muster up a package that would entice both sides.
Moving on to the Chicago Bears. One of the reasons why this entire Russ drama blew up in the first place, is because Russ threw his offensive linemen under the bus while appearing on Dan Patrick’s show a few days after Super Bowl LV. He talked about he feels that he’s been hit far too often during his tenure in Seattle. If that’s truly the case, then where did Chicago come from as far as Russell Wilson trade destinations go? Their offensive line was horrific last season, and while Seattle’s has been underwhelming to say the least, the Seahawks had better o-line play last season than the Bears did. While their defense is no longer elite yet still great, one could argue that Seattle’s defense has more long-term upside based on how they ended the year last year (6th in the NFL in sacks, top-5 in points allowed in the second half of the season, etc.) One more thing, to play in the same division as Mr. MVP? While Russ has been playing in the toughest division in football for the last few seasons now, you could argue that playing in the same division as Aaron Rodgers and the Packers would be just as tough of a path as playing in the NFC West. As far as draft assets go, what do the Bears really have to offer? They have the 20th overall pick in this year’s draft, but that’s not quite high enough for Seattle to want to give up a top-5 quarterback, even if the Bears offered three to four of them down the line.
On to the Las Vegas Raiders. Of the four teams that Russ listed, Vegas might be the most attractive. However, like the Saints, they too, are in the red in terms of their cap situation. Would the Seahawks really take on a guy like Derek Carr? While he’s an above average quarterback, he’s no longer the 2016 MVP candidate we once knew. The appeal in Vegas definitely goes beyond just being in a burgeoning market. Jon Gruden is one of the most respected Head Coaches in the business. They’ve had one of the better offensive lines in football for the last couple of seasons. However, they also play in the same division as the best quarterback in all of football in Patrick Mahomes. Justin Herbert’s there. What if Deshaun Watson gets traded to the Denver Broncos? The AFC West would become the gauntlet the NFC West already is, if not tougher. In looking at draft capital, I don’t think the 17th overall pick would be close to enough, unless Vegas was also looking to unload two of the following three skill position players: RB Josh Jacobs, TE Darren Waller, and WR Henry Ruggs III in addition to a minimum of three first rounders plus other draft compensation.
Finally, that brings us to the Miami Dolphins. While the teams that I mentioned above either appeal to Russ and/or the Seahawks, none of them compare to the Dolphins’ ability to satisfy both what Russ craves and also what the Seahawks crave in a potential deal. On Russ’ side of things, Miami would make sense because for one, it’s a big market/city which certainly would make Ciara happy. Second, it’s South Beach, who wouldn’t want to live in South Beach? Not to mention, there’s no state income tax in the state of Florida. This very Miami Dolphins team went 10-6 and narrowly missed out on the playoffs last season, despite being a few years ahead of schedule. With an elite Head Coach and a top 10 defense in play, in addition to the fact that the Dolphins play in the AFC East (the same division that Tom Brady ruled for so long) and are a QB away from potentially being a Super Bowl contender, the Miami Dolphins are a very intriguing option for Russ (even if they gave up the haul that Seattle would be looking for). As for the Seahawks, trading Russ to the Dolphins would enable Seattle to trade the only franchise quarterback in Seahawks history not only all the way across the country, but also to the opposite conference in the AFC. In terms of compensation, the Seahawks could demand the 3rd overall pick in this year’s draft, the 18th overall pick, both of the Dolphins’ second-round picks (36th and 50th overall), Tua Tagovailoa (still on his rookie deal), RB Salvon Ahmed, and either cornerback Xavien Howard (led the NFL with 10 INT’s last season) or Byron Jones or a future first and/or second. Miami has the capitol, the cap space, the need, AND the desire to execute this trade, while the Seahawks get to shed salary, send their beloved quarterback to a team they won’t see until either the Super Bowl or for a few years, get SIGNIFICANT draft capitol and assets in exchange, and get a QB whose been compared to Russell Wilson in the past (minus the durability issues) who happens to be on a rookie contract! Some of you might look at this as too exorbitant of an amount to give up for Russell Wilson, but, as I stated in the beginning, franchise quarterbacks don’t grow on trees. It has to be assumed that if Seattle is going to give up and trade Russ, they need more than just a haul. They need it ALL.
Let me know in the comment section below, am I tripping? Don’t forget to get at me on Instagram @SteezyASmith, on YouTube @SteezyASmith, on Facebook at the same handle, and TikTok @SteezyASmith. Be sure to show some love to my fellow Seahawk content creators as well at @NorbCam & @DjSquabo. Go Hawks and I look forward to connecting with you guys all again!
#SteezyOUT, @SteezyASmith, FTFN Seahawks writer