football-player football-score football-helmet football-ball Accuracy Arm-Strength Balance Ball-Security Ball-Skills Big-Play-Ability Block-Deconstruction Competitive-Toughness Core-Functional-Strength Decision-Making Discipline Durability Effort-Motor Elusivness Explosiveness Football-IQ Footwork Functional-Athleticism Hand-Counters Hand-Power Hand-Technique Hands Lateral-Mobility Leadership Length Mechanics Mobility Pass-Coverage-Ability Pass-Protection Pass-Sets Passing-Down-Skills Pocket-Manipulation Poise Power-at-POA Progressions RAC-Ability Range Release-Package Release Route-Running Run-Defending Separation Special-Teams-Ability-1 Versatility Vision Zone-Coverage-Skills Anchor-Ability Contact-Balance Man-Coverage-Skills Tackling Lifted Logic Web Design in Kansas City clock location phone email play chevron-down chevron-left chevron-right chevron-up facebook tiktok checkbox checkbox-checked radio radio-selected instagram google plus pinterest twitter youtube send linkedin search arrow-circle bell left-arrow right-arrow tdn-mark filled-play-circle yellow-arrow-circle dark-arrow-circle star cloudy snowy rainy sunny plus minus triangle-down link close drag minus-circle plus-circle pencil premium trash lock simple-trash simple-pencil eye cart
NFL Draft

Buy Or Sell: The Russell Wilson To Cleveland In 2018 Rumor

  • The Draft Network
  • May 14, 2020
  • Share

The NFL offseason is an odd time of year. For much of the dead period, the rumors and whispers are centered around who will be signing where and what team will be drafting who. 

But once the NFL's annual draft comes and goes, what else is there left to speculate? 

A lot of times attention shifts to the future, or the past, to look at the hypotheticals that lie ahead or the near-misses that almost changed the league's landscape as we know it.

A perfect example stems from ProFootballTalk’s Mike Florio and former quarterback Chris Simms debate about which NFL players are currently untradable. While both agreed that Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson is currently an untradable asset, Simms dropped a fascinating nugget based on prior rumors about Wilson and a potential phone call placed to the Browns ahead of the 2018 NFL Draft.

"I'll say this … I have heard a rumor from people that I trusted a few years ago that Seattle called Cleveland when [it] had the No. 1 pick and there was this rumor going around the NFL that [the Seahawks] offered Russell Wilson to the Browns for the No. 1 pick the year they drafted Baker Mayfield," Simms said.

Are we buying this? We should, to some degree, certainly believe that a phone call was placed or that some discussions were had conceptually regarding a potential deal. This isn't to say that a trade was imminent, and it certainly shouldn't be an indicator that the Seahawks and Wilson are anything other than a perfect fit in the here and now. As many have pointed out, the call between Cleveland and Seattle would have taken place ahead of Wilson's record-setting contract with the Seahawks; he penned a four-year, $140 deal ahead of the 2019 season.

So, certainly, a call to a cellar-dwelling team could be spun as a bit of leveraging for Seattle in contract negotiations with Wilson and his camp.

But forget about Wilson moving on from Seattle any time soon. It’s hard to envision that these discussions got very far in reality ahead of the 2018 draft too. And, had the hypothetical deal been actually offered, the Browns would have been wise to take the offer and run with it. Wilson, even at the age of 29 at the time, would be worth so much more than just the No. 1 overall pick; even in a draft class that boasted Mayfield (No. 1), Sam Darnold (No. 3) and Lamar Jackson (No. 32). Seattle, by the way, drafted running back Rashaad Penny at No. 27 with Jackson still on the board.

Ultimately things worked out for all involved. Cleveland kept picks Nos. 1 and 4 in 2018; let's be honest, Wilson would have likely cost both and then some more on top of that based on his resume at the time, which has only gotten better since. Wilson got his long-term contract to stay in Seattle, and the Seahawks kept their All-Pro caliber quarterback for the prime of his career.

Wilson not making a single All-Pro team until 2019 is a surreal fact, and his status as never receiving a single MVP vote is mind-boggling. Wilson has won 67.5% of his starts in the NFL (86-41-1) and has never lost more than six games in a season while starting every game for Seattle since entering the league in 2012. He led the NFL in touchdown passes (34) in 2017 while accounting for 4,569 yards of offense and 37 total touchdowns that season — all ahead of the rumored call to Cleveland.

Wilson is one of five quarterbacks to surpass 200 passing touchdowns in his first eight NFL seasons (227). The others are Matt Ryan with 202 (2008-15), Brett Favre with 213 (1991-98), Dan Marino with 241 (1983-90) and Peyton Manning with 244 (1998-2005). And yet Wilson has half as many interceptions (68) than Marino and the fewest on the list by 39. Wilson's 28 game-winning drives and 21 fourth-quarter comebacks are second to only Ryan of these five in both categories. 

Maybe the Seahawks called the Browns to talk about a swap for Wilson. But based on his resume, don't believe for one second there was any legit chance of it actually going through.

Filed In

Written By

The Draft Network