Could Fractured Relationship Between Russell Wilson, Seahawks Lead to Blockbuster QB Swap?

According to his agent, Wilson hasn't demanded a trade and wants to stay with the Seahawks. But if the organization believes the relationship is beyond repair and makes him available, the quarterback has four potential destinations in mind, which could open the door for a historical three-team swap.
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Russell Wilson would prefer to remain with the Seahawks in 2021. But if the franchise decides to move on from him with tensions between the two sides escalating, he has a few destinations he'd be willing to waive his no-trade clause for.

Wilson's agent Mark Rodgers told Adam Schefter of ESPN that the star quarterback hasn't asked for a trade out of Seattle. However, if the organization decides to make him available and begins investigating potential deals, he would be willing to play for the Cowboys, Saints, Raiders, or Bears.

This latest report comes on the heels of a bombshell of an article dropped by Mike Dugar, Jayson Jenks, and Mike Sando of The Athletic, who outlined a growing rift between Wilson and the Seahawks spanning several seasons. The seven-time Pro Bowler hasn't been pleased with coach Pete Carroll's unwillingness to hand over the keys to the offense, while the organization wasn't pleased with the quarterback's decision to air his frustrations about pass protection woes and lack of involvement in personnel decisions publicly.

In recent months, the situation has only gotten worse between the two sides. Wilson reportedly "stormed out" of a meeting with Carroll prior to a Week 11 game against the Cardinals when the coach apparently ignored his suggestions to help a struggling offense get untracked. Then weeks after an early playoff exit, he witnessed Tom Brady winning his seventh Super Bowl in Tampa Bay, which emboldened him to speak out on a number of pertinent issues.

There's still plenty of time for the Seahawks and Wilson to make things right. The organization did allow him to play a prominent role in the hiring process of new offensive coordinator Shane Waldron and if the team improves the offensive line as requested, that could go a long way toward repairing this relationship.

But as reported by ESPN's Jeremy Fowler on Thursday, many league executives are under the presumption that Seattle will still make Wilson available eventually. If that does happen, considering his "wish list" as far as teams he would be willing to suit up for, there's the potential for general manager John Schneider to orchestrate a blockbuster trade of sorts to bring in a viable replacement.

Two of the teams on Wilson's list - the Saints and Bears - don't have franchise quarterbacks or the draft capital that the Seahawks would want in return to part ways with Wilson. They would have to offer first-round picks for the next four or five years to have any shot at a deal. But that's far from the case with the Cowboys and Raiders, who each have promising young quarterbacks with Pro Bowl pedigree in Dak Prescott and Derek Carr that could be included in a trade package.

Looking at the Cowboys specifically, Prescott needs a new contract and he's coming off an injury-shortened season. But the former fourth-round pick threw 30 touchdown passes in 2019, he's only 27 years old, and he also possesses dual-threat capabilities similar to Wilson. Dallas also has a top-10 draft pick, something none of the other team's on Wilson's list can offer.

As for the Raiders, Carr enjoyed one of the best seasons of his career in 2020, throwing 27 touchdown passes compared to just nine interceptions and passing for a career-best 4,103 yards. He will turn 30 in March, but he's still two years younger than Wilson and Las Vegas has a number of other young players who could be enticing as part of a trade package, including defensive end Mason Crosby and cornerback Trayvon Mullen.

If Schneider truly wanted to make the most out of a difficult situation for the Seahawks, however, he could try to find a way to get the Texans involved in a three-way swap with the Cowboys or Raiders. Star quarterback Deshaun Watson, who threw 33 touchdowns last season, reportedly has demanded a trade and to this point, the organization hasn't shown a willingness to engage in trade discussions.

Looking at a possible structure for the deal, Seattle could offer Wilson to Las Vegas or Dallas, who would then ship a proven starter in Prescott or Carr to Houston. The 25-year old Watson ultimately would end up in the Pacific Northwest to be paired with DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett, completing the quarterback musical chairs. A number of draft picks would need to be exchanged to help facilitate the deal, with the Texans most likely receiving a first and a second round pick to go with Prescott or Carr as minimum compensation.

In the aftermath of the trade, all three franchises would be able to replace their starting quarterbacks with viable alternatives. Watson would get the fresh start he desires with a Seahawks squad ready to contend for a Super Bowl, Wilson would make the Raiders an instant threat to the Chiefs in the AFC West, and either Prescott or Carr would present the Texans with a capable signal caller they could build around while still remaining competitive in the AFC South.

Ultimately, such a three-way swap would be unprecedented, making the chances of it actually happening slim. There's a lot of financial logistics that would have to be worked out, especially with all of the dead cap charges associated with moving big name quarterbacks. And like the Texans with Watson, the Seahawks haven't been willing to talk to teams about Wilson's availability, believing they can do damage control and execute the moves necessary to make him happy again.

But if Seattle decides to move one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL - and a future Hall of Famer at that - these are the only types of deals the organization should entertain, as Schneider shouldn't settle for less than landing a boatload of first round picks or another All-Pro talent like Watson in return.