The Seahawks seem destined to move on from Russell Wilson, but it looks like it might not be this year — unless Wilson is willing to go to Miami or Philadelphia.
Adam Schefter reiterated this morning that the Seahawks are still open to dealing the star QB if they could secure a “surefire quarterback solution.” That has been the line since mid-March, but that “surefire” replacement seems very elusive at this point.
One possible option seemed to disappear later in the day as the Jets traded Sam Darnold to Carolina. We had mentioned this scenario as part of a possible flip to Seattle for Wilson (if Wilson would agree), but it sounds like the Panthers are going to pick up Darnold’s option and keep him for a couple of years – or at least as a fallback to a possible rookie.
Scott Fitterer, Carolina’s new GM via Seattle, told reporters the Panthers wanted to improve competition across the roster, and he also said this does not preclude them from drafting a QB at No. 8 overall.
If they are keeping all options open, it’s possible Fitterer and his old boss, John Schneider, could end up talking a Wilson trade if the QB were to approve it. Carolina was not on Wilson’s initial list of teams, but there reportedly are teams he would play for beyond Chicago, Dallas, Las Vegas and New Orleans.
Of course, any talks would presume that Pete Carroll likes Darnold as much as reported. And it would presume Fitterer is OK spending a ton of draft capital on Wilson. He reportedly sent a 2021 sixth-rounder, plus a 2 and 4 in 2022, to the Jets for Darnold. Wilson likely would cost Carolina’s No. 8 overall pick and at least a couple more first-rounders on top of that. That would be at least six picks for Wilson.
That’s a lot of “ifs,” which is why Darnold and Carolina seem out of any Wilson trade formula.
There simply are no “surefire” veterans available. Deshaun Watson was our main thought in early March, but he’s surely off the table after the surprising torrent of lawsuits by masseuses.
The top veteran options seem to be Teddy Bridgewater and Marcus Mariota, and neither screams “Super Bowl!” Carolina will look for a trade partner for Bridgewater but may end up cutting him despite owing him $10 million guaranteed and $17 million overall – unless the Panthers pay a bunch of his salary in any deal. Mariota has a no-trade clause in his new deal with Vegas, but he surely would waive it to go start in Seattle.
The Bears are still interested in Wilson, so would Carroll consider either of those QBs if they could be part of a deal with Chicago (which of course would have to pay the freight for the QB)? It seems doubtful, but you never know with Carroll and Schneider. Remember, in 2012, they brought in one-game wonder Matt Flynn as their ostensible starter and then drafted Wilson in the third round.
If they don’t want a veteran, they are looking at needing a high draft pick expressly for a QB. Would Wilson be open to going to Miami (No. 6) or Philadelphia (No. 12) — if either of those teams wanted him? They have young QBs they could send in return, along with the first-round selections that could be used to draft a QB.
One thing the Seahawks know: They are not going to get back the same caliber of player – at least not a proven one. Mariota, for example, would be a gamble on rehabilitating a busted No. 2 overall pick. Tua Tagovailoa and Jalen Hurts are young, inexperienced guys. Any rookie would certainly be a gamble.
But Carroll won with Wilson as a rookie. Would he be OK with some of those young guys? And would Wilson be willing to play in Miami or Philly — if a deal could be made?
If not, we are in for a tense season with a likely lame-duck quarterback under a new OC. But things could line up much better in 2022. Chicago could be top 10 in the draft. New Orleans could be open to a new QB. Las Vegas as well. And Wilson certainly would expand his list of approved teams if he demanded a trade.
It sure sounds like the Seahawks are quite willing to part ways. It’s just a question of whether they can get their “surefire” QB this month or have to wait until next year.