How Seahawks Can Avoid Dining on Cap Cash

If the Bears and Seahawks look really hard, there is a small opening for a deal to be made for Russell Wilson provided all parties are up for something completely different

Another media report on Russell Wilson lit up the Bears Twitterverse on Friday, all while the chief obstacle to any such talk remained largely unaddressed.

A report by the Tribune's Brad Biggs said the Bears, according to multiple sources, "have prioritized making a run at Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson."

GM Ryan Pace earlier in the week himself suggested as much.

"Any scenario where there's a potential trade, we're going to explore every one of those," Pace told media members Tuesday. "You know we'll be thorough with that. It's just us doing our due diligence on all different things and exploring every avenue to improve our team and improve our roster."

The part of the column by Biggs no one seems too concerned with is the same one longtime Seattle broadcaster John Clayton brought up on Hub Arkush's WSCR-AM  radio show on Thursday. That's the Seattle end of it.

Oh by the way, "Keep in mind Seattle would take a $39 million cap hit if it trades Wilson before June 1, another potential obstacle to a deal," Biggs wrote.

This is a huge obstacle. This makes the deal unlikely at all. A team has to be really motivated to want to eat a league-record $39 million in cash.

It's a clear way to ruin your team for at least one season, regardless of the number of draft picks a team gets in the deal.

There is one small escape hatch for Seattle to climb through in order for such a deal to get done, and Biggs had pointed it out. But no one seemed too excited about this. They should.

It's the date.

If the trade occurs after June 1, the difference for the Seahawks in a salary cap hit is $26 million less according to In other words, they can manage it then. Seattle no longer would be taking the biggest salary cap hit in NFL history in one feeding and could do this if stubborn and foolish enough to want to trade one of the game's most exciting quarterbacks.

What's ironic is Wilson's big problem with the Seahawks is he doesn't think their offense can protect him well enough and coaches aren't willing to pass more. In Chicago, he'd find a line no better and a team finally figuring out how to run it more under Matt Nagy.

Regardless, if the Bears are willing to sell out their future for a 33-year-old passer who has had inadequate blocking but has been over 100 in passer rating six of his nine seasons, and over 105 each of the last three, then it can all actually be done.

It's still the longest of odds and depends entirely on Seattle deciding to do something totally ridiculous, but teams have definitely done dumber things in NFL history—such as passing on Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson to trade away three picks and move up a spot to select Mitchell Trubisky; such as trading two firsts and a third to get Jay Cutler; such as trading a first-round pick for Rick Mirer.

Insert any number of other Bears managerial gaffes throughout 101 years of footballs being snapped here.

There is one other problem with this concept. 

Trading draft picks after that June 1 date would most likely mean the picks would come from 2022 and later and not this draft, unless they found some other way to circumvent the issue. For example, the Bears could draft someone for Seattle who would be then given to the Seahawks in the deal later for Wilson.

Waiting until June 1 also would mean the Bears wouldn't get their new quarterback until after they'd gone through part of their on-field spring work. 

Considering they've been waiting for this moment since the retirement of Sid Luckman or perhaps since Jim McMahon got thrown down and broken on the artificial turf of old Soldier Field by Charles Martin, June 1 doesn't seem like much of an inconvenience. 

Twitter: BearDigets@BearsOnMaven