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NFL Draft

No, Russell Wilson Is Not Getting Traded

  • The Draft Network
  • February 9, 2021
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The quarterback carousel is going to begin spinning at full speed. With the NFL offseason fully in bloom, and a number of teams looking for a new quarterback, rumors are flying; some of these rumors are so mind-bogglingly ridiculous that one can’t help but laugh and try to ignore the absurdity. 

Yet, here we are, addressing the absurdity, really only because it is so preposterous. A somewhat shocking name came up in quarterback conversations over the weekend. According to NFL.com—which recently detailed a number of possible QB moves, including the looming decision facing New Orleans Saints’ Drew Brees and the quarterback conundrum in Washington—an unknown number of teams have contacted the Seattle Seahawks about trading for Russell Wilson. The Seahawks are, obviously, not interested. More specifically, NFL.com stated, “there's no chance the Seahawks are dealing their star QB.”

There really is no chance Seattle would deal Wilson, because, in reality, it can’t. Wilson’s no-trade clause prevents the Seahawks from trading the eight-time Pro Bowl passer unless Wilson himself wants out, which—despite Seattle’s frustrating inability to fully utilize Wilson—is very unlikely.

“We talked about the idea of a no-trade clause just because we really wanted to be here,” Wilson said at the time of his contract extension in April 2019. “That was the thing we were really excited about and that's kind of what sealed the deal for us.”

For the last two months, in particular, there’s been an influx of teams that need a new passer for one reason or another; and there are not enough good quarterbacks to fill the demand. It leaves these respective teams desperate, and, in turn, NFL media desperate too. So, where does Wilson really fit into the quarterback turnover we’ll see this offseason? 

The answer is simple: nowhere. 

When Wilson and the Seahawks agreed to a four-year, $140 million deal, which made him the highest-paid player in NFL history at the time, he stressed the importance of staying in Seattle and building a type of legacy we rarely see with the frequent player movement across the league. If it were solely up to Wilson, and the Seahawks continued to meet his asking price, then he would probably stay in Seattle forever. However, things are rarely that simple.

If teams are inquiring about the star quarterback now, they should call back following the 2021 season. Wilson has an out with two years and $40 million left in his current contract; and Seattle, at a different point, was wrapped up in another trade rumor that would have sent Wilson to Cleveland in exchange for the first overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft; it would have put Buffalo Bills’ Josh Allen in Seattle, which now isn’t completely far fetched. This was, of course, prior to Wilson’s blockbuster extension.  

There’s no feasible reason to buy into this rumor; there isn’t a reason to do so past the 2021 season, either. The Seahawks have brought in a new offensive coordinator, head coach Pete Carroll will continue his very long career after agreeing to his own extension to keep himself at the helm through the 2025 season, and there’s Wilson, who is the sole reason the team continues to stay relevant. If Seattle’s smart, which is often debatable, it’ll do whatever it takes to keep Wilson; similar to how it conceded to his negotiations in the 11th hour of the 2018 extension. If Wilson is to leave the Seahawks, it’ll be on his terms alone; and while we’re all constantly frustrated with how the organization misuses him, the oft mild-mannered Wilson will likely continue to let his legacy play out in the Pacific Northwest.

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