NFL, Seattle Seahawks

Seahawks have been looking to Russell Wilson’s replacement since 2017

Recent reports have made it appear that the Seattle Seahawks have been looking for Russell Wilson’s replacement since 2017.

In a world with no sports, it seems like every rumor under the sun has appeared. Reports are coming out that may have never seen the light of day if we had other things to talk about. But that’s not the case, and all sports fans have to fill this void are speculation and rumors.

One of the reports that surfaced this week was that the Seattle Seahawks had an offer on the table with the Cleveland Browns to trade Russell Wilson in exchange for the first pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.

This, without a doubt, would have been one of the biggest trades in the NFL this decade. It’s honestly difficult to wrap your head around the reasoning behind this decision.

If Seattle would have made this trade, the expectation is they would have taken Baker Mayfield  with the first pick in that season’s draft. It’s an interesting “what if” to be pondered and a move that would have transformed the direction of not just the NFC, but the entire NFL.

According to Pro Football Talk, the idea was “floated” out there between Seattle and Cleveland and conversations were had. It is not known how serious those conversations were, but it is still noteworthy that the Seahawks contemplated dealing away their franchise quarterback.

Since this initial report came out earlier this week, the speculation and questions around Wilson’s status with the team has only grown stronger. Is it possible the Seahawks are still looking to get rid of Wilson, and possibly have been trying to do so since as early as 2017?

It’s a fair question to ponder and when you dig deeper there could possibly be some reasons to why Seattle could be looking to make a move. There is little doubt that Wilson is one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. He won a Super Bowl in his second season and reached another one the following season. To add, he has been to six Pro Bowls, started every game possible, and has been to the postseason in every season except for 2017.

But, football is a team sport, and when Seattle made its two consecutive Super Bowls, they did it with Wilson on his rookie deal. Not spending much at the quarterback position allowed the Seahawks to build around Wilson. They had arguably the best defense in the league, and a solid supporting cast on offense.

Since Wilson signed his first extension, Seattle has not been to the NFC Championship game. Allocating much of the salary cap to Wilson has handcuffed the Seahawks in other spots of their roster.

Their once daunted secondary is not as good, and it has been hard to build up their offense. As recently as last year, Seattle has relied on cheap running backs on their rookie deals. As commonly known throughout the NFL, it is hard to build a team when you are committing a lot of money to the quarterback.

If you look at some of the teams who have made Super Bowls in recent years, they all have one thing in common. Quarterbacks on rookie deals. The Kansas City Chiefs had Patrick Mahomes, The Los Angeles Rams had Jared Goff and the Philadelphia Eagles had Carson Wentz.

Then, on the flip side, you look at a team like the Green Bay Packers. As good as Aaron Rodgers is, the Packers have only been to one Super Bowl with him. The lack of talent around Rodgers shows how hard it is to build a team when you are financially tied to a quarterback long term.

There is no denying how good Wilson is. He has quite literally carried the Seahawks to the playoffs over the last few years. But, once Seattle gets deeper in and the competition gets tough, they just don’t have the talent outside of quarterback to really match up.

Could Seattle try to continue to build around Wilson and make another Super Bowl run, of course they can. But, it is hard to do it by making splashy high-price signings and trades. The Seahawks are going to have to continue to make moves around the margins with cheap talent with high upside.

Drafting D.K. Metcalf was a great addition, but how much can you rely on the draft to surround Wilson with talent?

With Wilson at quarterback, Seattle fans know they are close to a guarantee to make the playoffs each season. But, can they really sit there and believe they are Super Bowl contenders? It seems that window closed when Malcolm Butler picked off Wilson in Super Bowl 49.

2020 will be the second season of Wilson’s four-year/$140 million contract. He counts for $31 million against the cap this season and $39 million next season. Wilson is 31 years old and is most certainly in his prime, but how much longer can he play at a high level for?

So, it appears Seattle wants to return to the blueprint that got them a Super Bowl championship. Have a cheap quarterback on a rookie deal and use the extra money to build a talented team around that quarterback.

It was obviously their goal when they talked about flipping Wilson for the number one pick, but now will have to find a new way to go about it if that is still Seattle’s goal. They could take the Packers route and draft a young QB then try to trade Wilson.

It remains to be seen what happens with Seattle and Wilson. Expectation is he will be the Seahawks quarterback for 2020 and the near future.

After 2022, there is an out in Wilson’s contract with only a $13 million cap hit, so that could be the next opportunity to make a move. But, for now, Wilson is the guy in Seattle and all those other rumors and speculation can be put behind him.

Next: If Russell Wilson ever leaves the Seahawks, it’ll be for 1 of these 5 teams

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