So, we may not really know if Russell Wilson wants to be traded.
Despite several reports of unhappiness with the Seahawks, neither Wilson nor his agent, Mark Rodgers, have publicly said he wants out and the Seahawks have made no comment one way or the other.
Both of ESPN’s Adam Schefter’s reports noted that if Wilson were to be traded he has four preferred destinations — the Dallas Cowboys, New Orleans Saints, Las Vegas Raiders or Chicago Bears, a somewhat oddly specific list considering Wilson reportedly says he wants to stay in Seattle.
It continues to be worth noting that it seems really unlikely Wilson will actually be traded.
The team doesn’t want to trade Wilson and never has, and it would also be really cost prohibitive to do so. Seattle would take a $39 million hit against its 2021 cap if he is dealt before June 1.
After June 1, that changes. The $39 million (which is what is remaining for Seattle to account for against its cap of bonus money Wilson has already been paid) could then be spread out over the last three years of his contract with Seattle. So, that would mean Seattle taking a $13 million cap hit for each of the 2021, 2022 and 2023 seasons if Wilson were traded after June 1.
However, unlike with cutting players, where two players can be designated as post-June 1 cuts for salary cap purposes even if they are cut after the new league year begins (which this year is March 17), trades cannot be executed earlier but then designated as post-June 1.
So, if Seattle were to trade Wilson before June 1 — which most logically is when any trade would probably happen — it would hugely torpedo the team’s chances of being competitive in 2021.
With Pete Carroll turning 70 in September and having signed a new five-year deal with the team last fall, the last thing anyone wants is what could amount to a resetting or rebuilding year, which the dead cap hit would make more likely than not regardless of the quarterback Seattle might get in return (and we’re going on the assumption the Seahawks would definitely want a ready-made QB in any trade).
Wilson also has a no-trade clause, something his side asked for when he signed a four-year, $140 million extension in April, 2019. Seattle put up zero fight on that, the Seahawks not envisioning having to even think about trading him at the time.
But it may suddenly be relevant now as the clause essentially gives Wilson veto power.
And with Wilson’s side suddenly naming four preferred teams, we at least have some names to ponder. (None of which is Houston, which has a QB issue of its own with Deshaun Watson wanting out. But apparently any possible Watson-for-Wilson deal is off the table if Wilson doesn’t want to go there.)
Let’s look at each and whether a trade could even be thought possible.