While the Seahawks try to fill out their defensive staff, the Russell Wilson rumblings persist.
At the Pro Bowl, where he was invited for his ninth appearance, Wilson once again refused to shut down any thought that he might leave.
People also ate up a photo of him and Washington star defensive end Jonathan Allen with their wives – and Allen followed that up by saying he hoped Wilson would end up Washington’s new Commander in chief on the field.
As we suspected, Wilson apparently would be fine with that. League sources at the Pro Bowl told The Kevin Sheehan Show “that Russell Wilson is not against being traded to Washington.”
Washington’s braintrust (and we’re not talking about Dan Snyder) has said they are going quarterback hunting.
“We’re going to explore all avenues,” coach Ron Rivera said.
GM Martin Mayhew added, “We’ve been talking about this for several months now and how we move forward. Every avenue, uncover every stone. We (will) look at every situation out there and try to find the right guy.”
Jimmy Garoppolo seems like the favorite to land there, but Rivera and Mayhew surely would prefer Wilson, if they can get him.
The other NFC East team that seems like a possible fit is Philadelphia, despite the team’s public backing of Jalen Hurts after their playoff loss to Tampa Bay. Albert Breer of SI.com is the latest to make that connection.
“If I had to guess, I’d say he’ll eventually get moved,” Breer wrote. “And I’d have said the destination was going to be the Saints a month ago. Now that Sean Payton’s gone, let’s put him in the NFC East … to the Eagles. In a way, it’d be a sort of redemptive move for Howie Roseman, who was part of a front office that planned to take Wilson in the third round in 2012, only to have Seattle scoop him up earlier in the round.”
Breer called Seahawks owner Jody Allen “the X-factor. I’ve heard she’s for keeping Wilson—which wouldn’t exactly be a wild train of thought for an owner. The question has been how badly and what it’ll mean if Wilson … becomes more forceful about seeking a new home.”
We agree with Breer that this is the time to trade Wilson. As he wrote, “From a team-building standpoint, it’s fair to surmise that this might actually be an ideal time to move Wilson, while he’s still relatively young (33) and has two years left on his contract (that’s what Matthew Stafford had left when he was traded).”
[UPDATED Feb. 13] Meanwhile, making radio rounds at the Super Bowl in L.A., Wilson continued to sound like a player who knows he won’t be in Seattle for much longer.
In one interview, he said, “My hope and goal is to be back there and keep winning there.” Again, there is no reason for a player who has a no-trade clause and two years left on his contract to “hope” he stays.
In another interview, Wilson was asked whether the list of four preferred trade destinations his agent made public last year still applies.
“No, man, I’m focused on where I’m at right now,” Wilson said. “Just to be in Seattle, it’s been a blessing to play 10 years there, so hopefully we get to win more Super Bowls there. That’s my focus, that’s my plan and that’s where my head’s at.”
But he added, “The reality about sports is things always change; they’re always evolving, always changing. So, for me, I’m just staying focused on the moment, staying focused on where I am right now.”
We’ll put emphasis on “right now.”
And, like us, Wilson is not afraid of what the future might hold.
He said trades are “part of the game. It’s part of stuff that happens. … It’s what makes the game fun. … You see that in any sport; I think a lot of players move and change. But … I’m focused on Seattle and where I’m at right now.”
Right now. As in mid-February.
We’re less than five weeks away from the start of the league year (when trades can resume). If Wilson is going to be moved, it almost surely will happen before he is due a $5 million roster bonus on March 20.
That’s when we should know for sure what “right now” means. [END UPDATE]