I’m not the type to jump to extreme conclusions. Honestly, I thought Seattle would lose against the Steelers. At 2-4 with an injured Wilson for weeks I still think they can do well enough the rest of the way to make the playoffs thanks to three wildcard spots. I hoped the defense would improve this offseason and it looks to be improving better the last few weeks. Even with some improvement they so far look like the team over the last few years at best. Good enough to make the postseason but wouldn’t get past the divisional round at best.
Why ask then should they rebuild? They just need the right boost to their roster, right? Russell Wilson played his hand and pressured the team to get stars. Looking at the trajectory the team may finish and miss the playoffs for the second time in Wilson’s career. The year Wilson trade rumors happen, then they miss the playoffs. Relationships may be severed and there is no choice but to separate.
With a bad end to the season that many projects, what will Seattle have to do? Let’s take Wilson out of the equation. In a world where he wants to be back, and another push is made by Seattle. The offense will have to be restocked. Three of the five starting offensive lineman contracts expire. Notable the best of the line at the most important position, Duane Brown at Left Tackle. The top two Tight Ends are up as well with no real impact at the position since Jimmy Graham.
The same problems that plague the team this year will be there next year. No wide receivers after Tyler Lockett and D.K. Metcalf. No depth at Running Back with Carson another year older with health problems every year. Add the previous issues stockpiling on top to the expired contracts the foundation has eroded around the frustrated franchise QB. The defense has been a problem for years, so the team has nothing noteworthy apart from the QB and WR duo.
Now Would Be the Time
Even missing the playoffs doesn’t offer a glass half full view because the Seahawks don’t even have their first-round pick. With the team not having foundational pieces and out of options, now would be the time to cash out and trade, Russell Wilson. The team has positioned themselves to the point it may be the smartest move for the overall health of the franchise.
This past season the Seahawks could have restructured Wilson’s deal to add more money in cap space for this year. Seattle opted not to because restructuring his deal would have turned more of Wilson’s money into bonus money. The thought here is trading him then would turn into a bigger financial burden. Seattle’s front office left the door open to be more flexible and be in a position to only eat 26 million over two years if relationships go south.
Duane Brown is more proof the front office is ready to pull the plug on the push for the super bowl for now. With no successor to Brown, they opted to leave him on a one-year deal. Bobby Wagner will be in the final year of his deal in the 2022 season. Tyler Lockett and Gabe Jackson will be the only players over 30 years old under contract (not counting dead money). The team can press the reset button now and not be a burden for years.
With the context around Seattle’s roster construction, it makes sense Wilson may not want to be a part of an unstable roster. No matter which direction it goes it will be a ton of turnover with no draft capital. May as well get peak value for Wilson and build the core up. If luck is with the franchise a new leader can maybe be found for the next couple of decades again.
The value for Wilson at a minimum is three first-round picks. They can maybe get a player or lesser picks added in but that is the core package for Wilson. If they wanted to fully demolish the team, the young players like Metcalf and Adams could get additional top-end picks. I say it is unnecessary, especially with moving on with Wilson a new QB needs a weapon in Metcalf. What teams could come up with the package and needs Wilson?
The Eagles are young and are the same record as the Seahawks at the time of this article. At 2-4, the Eagles have a dynamic rookie WR in DeVonta Smith, an older but sturdy strong Offensive line. A TE in Dallas Goedert is better than anything Seattle got at the position. As well as the Running Back group that is young and talented led by Miles Sanders.
Wilson can move over and be in about the same position. It’d be new and Eagles coaches would mold to every need that needs to be met for Wilson. Not only that the Eagles would be a team that can give up picks and still has some for themselves to add around Wilson. In just the first-round draft this year the Eagles can have three picks. (The condition on one of their first-round pick is if Carson Wentz plays 75% of Colts snaps in 2021 or if Wentz plays 70% of snaps and Colts qualify for 2021 playoffs). So far Wentz meets this requirement, and the pick is a first-rounder.
The Eagle’s first-round picks are beyond incredible in the 2022 draft at the time of writing this right now. They have their own first being 2-4, Colts pick currently sitting at 2-4, and finally the Dolphins at 1-5 who just lost to the then winless Jaguars. At this rate, they will have three first of teams missing the playoffs and one that is top five possible. Eagles can trade two of their three first-rounders this year and still have a first. That is more than the Seahawks have now to build around Wilson.
Eagles can give two picks in the first this year and add a first next year and only be missing one first pick to build around Wilson’s prime. Not only that but the Eagles have an interesting prospect at QB to add to the package. Adding Jalen Hurts with two years at just over a million each year adds a possible successor or a bridge QB for the Hawks to build up around.
New York is behind the Eagles right now with less capital to give. For the Seahawks, the Giants are 1-5 and could be a top-five pick. Along with the Bears pick in 2022 who are placed at 3-3 one-third through the season. I think Wilson would still love to go to New York. Rumors have always linked Wilson to the big apple. It could be false, but Wilson is attracted to the biggest market and could be a hero if he delivers a super bowl in the media capital of the country.
Also, New York has more weapons on offense than Seattle. Their WR room has Kenny Golladay their big free agent signings this year, Kadarius Toney a first-round pick, Darius Slayton who has been a good wide receiver developed over the last couple of years. Saquon Barkley would be the most impactful back since Marshawn Lynch for Rusell Wilson. Barkley creates space for himself and can catch out the backfield. Wilson would have potential in this offense and want the challenge of New York media to push his legacy.
The Giants have the picks to give to Seattle like the Eagles. The difference is that the Giants may not have an attractive QB to deal with Seattle. Daniel Jones is further in his contract than Hurts is. Jones would only be under contract for the 2022 season and would be paid. It would be counterproductive to pay a young QB who isn’t there yet, if ever.
Lastly, the Miami Dolphins. With only one pick in the first round this year, it belongs to Seattle’s rival, the San Francisco 49ers. Luckily for the Dolphins QB search, they have theirs and San Fransico’s first-round pick in the 2023 draft. Like the Eagles, they have a young quarterback to add to the trade package.
Tua Tagovailoa was the fifth pick overall in 2020 is an attractive prospect if you are to deal with your franchise’s best QB in history. It allows Seattle two years to build around Tua and save money and build draft capital. Though with only one pick this year the Seahawks would be waiting until 2023 and have three first-rounders to solidify any holes or pick a new QB that is available. It has flexibility and possibly two good shots at the future QB with Tua and a ton of 2023 draft picks in the first round.
The early word is this 2022 draft may be bad for great prospects, which could be a bonus to this offer. However, the dolphins do have Tua and need to build up more before rushing for that franchise QB. Their offensive line is weak with only Waddle, Gesicki, Parker as weapons after this year. Rumors this week and all seasons seem to revolve around Dolphins pushing for Deshaun Watson. I just don’t see Wilson’s talents being shipped to South Beach. Though the team would love sticking him to the ends of the Earth in the AFC East, nowhere near the Seahawks to deal with post-trade.
Why Wilson Should Be Traded
The team has no stability and will have to churn multiple position groups over again. Keeping Wilson still has Seattle rebuilding, but now you are wasting prime years and not a ton of draft capital to use to build. Even if the front office was fired and a new regime built only for Wilson in mind it will take time. The best case right now is for Seattle is to turn into Kansas City from a year or two ago, be full pass-heavy and build an average defense.
That however still involves rebuilding the offensive line and investing in the defense. It just makes sense for the franchise to get picks and reset the direction and stop hemorrhaging talent from the roster every year. The best thing right now would hurt the most, admit it’s over, and fully buy into the rebuild.