The Seahawks (4-8) have stumbled badly during the 2021 NFL season and are on pace to finish the season with their worst record during Pete Carroll’s 12 seasons in charge of the team. That’s part of why Seattle will consider significant changes to its core during the 2022 NFL offseason.
Carroll — who is the oldest coach in the NFL at 70 — has come under fire of late. The Seahawks may consider replacing him if he can’t deliver a surprising playoff berth down the stretch.
Then there’s Russell Wilson. Some tensions bubbled up between him with the Seahawks last year that led to rumors that the veteran quarterback could be traded. And it seems like we could be in for another offseason of those.
In fact, the rumor mill is already starting to buzz with news about potential trade partners for Wilson. Who might they be? Here’s the latest about where Wilson could go if the Seahawks opt not to bring him back next season.
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Russell Wilson trade rumors: Where QB would like to play in 2022
If Wilson has it his way, there are three teams that stand out as top options for him. NFL podcaster Jordan Schultz reports that Wilson would “strongly consider” waiving his no-trade to join the Broncos, Saints or Giants.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported the same thing on “NFL Gameday Live” before Sunday’s NFL action.
Interestingly enough, only one of these teams is the same as the four-team list that Wilson and his agent discussed last offseason. That would be the Saints. None of the Cowboys, Raiders or Bears made the cut this time around, and that’s probably because those teams have either an established quarterback or a recent first-round quarterback pick on the roster.
But the three teams that Schultz mentioned all do not have an answer at quarterback. As such, Wilson would be a good fit in those offenses. Here’s exactly what he would have to work at with each of the three teams.
The Broncos may be the best of the options that Schultz mentioned. They are currently 6-6 and have a loaded roster; they just happen to be weak at the quarterback spot.
Teddy Bridgewater has been fine for the Broncos, but he hasn’t made enough explosive plays to win some of their close losses this season. Drew Lock doesn’t look like anything more than a career backup at this point either. So, adding a quality quarterback to distribute the ball to their weapons would go a long way toward helping Denver.
Adding Wilson would give the Broncos a legitimate threat at the quarterback position and would take their excellent receiving corps of Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy, Tim Patrick, KJ Hamler, Noah Fant and Albert Okwuegbunam to the next level. The Broncos would have one of the AFC’s better offenses if they acquire Wilson and could focus on adding talent at their other weakness, linebacker, with their other resources.
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New Orleans Saints
The Saints are officially in the post-Drew Brees era and the quarterback room is in a bit of disarray. Jameis Winston won the starting job coming out of camp, but he suffered a torn ACL around the midpoint of the season. Trevor Siemian and Taysom Hill have started in recent weeks and that has sparked a five-game losing streak.
New Orleans could opt to roll with the Winston/Hill combination again in 2022, but if a player like Wilson is on the market, the team may pursue him. He would certainly be an upgrade for the Saints and his mistake-free approach to offense could approve to Sean Payton.
As for Wilson, playing with the Saints would give him his first chance to play with a high-end offensive line during his career. Seattle’s blocking was a source of frustration for Wilson during the 2021 offseason and the Seahawks worked to address it by trading for Gabe Jackson. However, it has still been middling at best, so the Saints would provide an upgrade.
Wilson would have more time to throw in the pocket thanks to the Saints’ great blocking unit. And while he wouldn’t have the same one-two punch at receiver as he did in Seattle, he’d still get a chance to work with Michael Thomas and a group of solid role players like Deonte Harris, Tre’Quan Smith and Marquez Callaway.
New York Giants
The Giants are an interesting fit for Wilson. Obviously, they need a quarterback, but in some ways, they are like the Seahawks. They have a lower-level offensive line and some good-looking pass-catching weapons. However, unlike the Seahawks’ weapons, Kadarius Toney, Kenny Golladay and Sterling Shepard haven’t proven that they can stay healthy.
Still, if the Giants acquired Wilson, stayed healthy and addressed their O-Line, they would have a pretty solid-looking offense to go along with an underrated defense that is strong on the defensive line and in the secondary. They also play in one of the NFL’s weaker divisions, so that drop in competition could help Wilson as he looks to win the second Super Bowl of his career.
It’s also worth noting that the Giants have Chicago’s first-round pick in addition to their own this season, and both are projected to be top-10 selections. As such, the Giants have the ammunition needed to trade for him. The other preferred options Schultz reported don’t have that same type of flexibility.
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Why would the Seahawks trade Russell Wilson?
This boils down to one thing. Draft capital. The Seahawks have very little of it but they are inching closer and closer to a rebuild. If they decide to embrace the future, moving on from Wilson, 33, would be a sensible decision.
This also happens to be a year during which many teams could have multiple early first-round picks. The Giants and Jets are on a crash course for two top-10 picks while the Eagles could eventually join them, pending how they do the rest of the season. That could create a bidding way for Wilson and net the Seahawks some resources with which to rebuild their team.
Creating a bidding war might not be easy. Wilson has a no-trade clause, so he would have to pre-approve any move. That will limit the pool of potential trade partners for the Seahawks. But still, they could get substantial resources in exchange for Wilson.
Seattle lacks its first-round pick in 2021 because of the Jamal Adams trade, a deal that’s looking worse and worse as more time passes. Suffice to say that trading Wilson would get them at least one first-round pick for this season, and if they do make a trade like that, it would be all about the picks.