As the Chicago Bears come to town for the first of three meaningless games for Seattle, Russell Wilson trade talk is heating up again.
It’s an apropos topic considering the Bears did their best to try to pry Wilson from Seattle last offseason, offering a combination of players and picks that included three first-rounders. John Schneider seemingly was willing to take it, but Pete Carroll said no.
Now, as the Bears come to Seattle and Wilson comes off another terrible performance against the Rams, his future is again front and center. (And it will be until he is traded, which we assume will happen next March.)
Wilson of course declined to address his future or the Bears trade talk from last March, saying, “Listen, I’m focused on right here. … Everybody wants to talk about this and that. I’m not going to let it waver my mind or my mindset and what I want to do and how I can go about my business.’’
Wilson did admit what we all know: He was not healthy when he returned prematurely from his finger injury. Remember, this is a guy who has said he is trying to build a personal legacy – a guy whose ego has overtaken his ability. Of course he would come back as soon as he thought he could. His hubris made him think he could overcome it and write a magical ending to this season.
Instead, he has played horribly in four of the six games since his return and now has the first losing season of his career. We never thought he would be below .500, and this is all pretty much on him. Geno Smith went 1-2, so he shares some blame, but he certainly would not have been any worse than Wilson during this 2-4 stretch.
Wilson stunningly was named a Pro Bowl alternate this week, showing that his reputation remains strong across the NFL.
The Bears offered a combination of six picks/players, including three first-round picks, last March. Seattle still seems likely to get similar offers.
We mentioned the Saints as the likely No. 1 option, because Wilson’s agent said he would like to play there and Sean Payton would “love” to have Wilson. ESPN’s Bill Barnwell this week proposed a deal to send him there – and one that would bring Derek Carr to Seattle (another option we previously mentioned).
Schneider should try to get the Saints to give up star cornerback Marshon Lattimore in a Wilson deal – maybe Lattimore (who is worth probably two firsts), a first and a third for Wilson. The Hawks definitely need a lockdown corner, and Lattimore would fit that bill.
Simmons put Carr’s cost at a second-rounder, which is about what we figured as well (maybe another pick thrown in). Carroll surely wants a veteran, and Schneider would do that deal in a heartbeat if he needed to replace Wilson.
There will be other interested teams. We mentioned the Eagles, who have three first-rounders, as one Schneider surely would love to do a deal with. Would Wilson accept a move to the Eagles? It seems likely that his list of teams might expand this time, giving Schneider a little more to work with than just Chicago.
The Bears are out after giving up their 2022 first-rounder to move up for QB Justin Fields, who has had an injury-mottled rookie season and won’t play in this game (Nick Foles will start).
But the Giants, Broncos, Panthers, WFT and others might be interested as well. There will be suitors, and this time we think there will be a trade.
Some people are still in denial that the Hawks would or should get rid of Wilson, but he so obviously has hit his ceiling. It was clear after the loss to Washington that put Seattle at eight defeats, and it was reinforced when Wilson again struggled in another season-ending loss to the Rams (who are in his head to stay).
Even in the unlikely event that Carroll and Schneider are not back, there is no reason to keep Wilson. The Hawks need to get a good haul for him while his Pro Bowl reputation is still intact.