It All Adds Up to One More Swing

Ryan Pace swung and missed on the first trade attempt for Russell Wilson but everything seems to add up to the Bears GM taking another rip at it before either the draft or June 1.
Author:
Publish date:

It's been 11 days since the end of the Russell Wilson siege by the Bears with reports about a clandestine meeting in Fargo, N.D. and the trade rejection by Pete Carroll.

Like other teams, the Bears have turned attention to the draft, and filling out their roster depth with lower-cost signings .

Yet, nothing has changed. Every single factor adding up to the possibilty a trade could occur remains intact.

It's all pointing toward one inevitable conclusion: The Bears will try to revisit their trade offer in some form and make another attempt to coax Wilson out of the Seahawks. That's not to say it ever happens, but everything is in place for it to remain a possibility.

1. The Seahawks have not restructured Wilson's deal

They have the contractual right to restructure it, but haven't. This is huge. They could have come up with extra cash to bring in an extra offensive or defensive lineman this way. 

A team intent on keeping a player would restructure because the bonus money gets guaranteed against their cap for future years. If they wanted to trade him, they wouldn't restructure because they don't want that restructured bonus money counting against their cap in the future. Wilson's deal still has plenty of money that isn't bonus cash for 2021 and this makes him very tradable.

2. Seattle has only $6.5 million in cap space

According to Spotrac.com, the Seahawks were at this level after their latest roster moves cutting Jarran Reed and paying for Al Woods and Carlos Dunlap. They could  use the extra money a Wilson restructuring would bring. 

Curiously, they didn't restructure.

3. The Seahawks have done nothing drastic to improve the line

This was reportedly a bone of contention between Wilson and the team. He wanted better blocking. 

The Seahawks brought in former Raiders guard Gabe Jackson, but it only cost them a fifth-round pick and he had a mundane 63.7 rating from Pro Football Focus last year. Their guards and centers remain questionable. Damien Lewis last year at guard had a miserable 48.4 PFF pass-blocking grade. Center Ethan Pocic has been only average on the line and has started just 30 of 64 games he's played. 

If the line is going to be better, the improvement will have to come from within. The Bears happen to have some extra interior lineman who is highly respected and still in his first contract—James Daniels. And Daniels has been consistently better than the interior three linemen the Seahawks currently have in place, according to PFF grades. Talk about trade bait.

4. Seattle has no first-round draft pick

Coming up with effective linemen after the first round isn't an easy matter. Whether it's Wilson or some other quarterback, the Seahawks need better pass blocking and they're less likely to get it with second- and third-round picks.  They can use a trade to ensure better blockers.

5. Nothing publicly has been said by Seattle or Wilson patching things up

The mysterious comment by Adam Schefter in his report on the possible trade earlier was the Seahawks would not have interest in trading Wilson "...at this time."  No one's talking, so is this a sign the sides have kissed and made up? Or does it mean everything is stewing, leading to an inevitable trade?

6. The Bears kept Akiem Hicks but let Kyle Fuller leave

They were reported to have offered Hicks in the trade to Seattle. Fuller is only 29. Shouldn't they have kept Fuller and let Hick leave since he's younger and Hicks has had some injuries in recent years? Not if they wanted to trade him in the future for Wilson.

Seattle just made a defensive line move, cutting Jarran Reed and signing Al Woods to a new deal. This wouldn't affect whether they would want Hicks because they knew all along Woods was returning. He simply missed last year with an opt-out. So they haven't even really gained anything or broke even with these moves. They still could use Hicks. He upgrades their line considerably.  

7. Hicks' contract 

It still provides the Bears about $10.5 million in savings if he's traded after June 1. Who else would they be trading him for other than Wilson?

8. Bears could afford Wilson

An Allen Robinson contract extension could still allow the Bears plenty of cap space for this year and, combined with the trade of Hicks, would just about be enough to pay for the cap cost of Wilson on the Bears roster after June 1. They may need to do one or two other smaller cap adjustments, too. Or in the event of a trade, they could restructure Wilson's deal the way they did with Nick Foles' deal after the trade.

9. Sam Darnold remains with the Jets 

It's a foregone conclusion the Jets will be trading him, and they have reportedly backed off on the ridiculous demand for a first-round pick in exchange. Considering Seattle's Carroll is said to like Darnold, and also that the Seahawks liked Andy Dalton coming into the league originally, and that Dalton's contract structure actually offers the Bears cap savings if they cut him post-June 1, a three-team deal might not be too far-fetched. The Seahawks could get Darnold and Dalton, the Bears would get Wilson and the Jets would receive draft picks to help support new quarterback Zach Wilson.

This one takes a lot of imagination.

10. Possible future deal reports continue to percolate 

After Schefter's report and one by Brad Biggs of the Tribune saying this wasn't done in the Bears' minds, Schefter's comment earlier, "at this time," still resonated.  ESPN's Dianna Russini was the latest to say the flame still flickers.

"The door is still open," she said on ESPN's "Get Up" on Thursday. "This isn't something people are just speculating about. We know. I've been talking to enough people who say that the Bears aren't taking this off the table."

As long as it can be revisited, and all other factors remain in alignment, no one can discount this becoming reality regardless of how unlikely it seems.

Twitter: BearDigest@BearsOnMaven