Wilson suffered the injury just hours after news broke that the NFL star could explore a trade once again after dealing with years of frustration caused by the Seahawks’ front office. With Seattle’s playoff hopes potentially sunk and the franchise headed for uncertainty, a blockbuster trade feels inevitable this offseason.
Let’s examine four trade destinations that would benefit Wilson and the Seahawks.
Russell Wilson traded to Miami Dolphins
The Miami Dolphins will give quarterback Tua Tagovailoa the rest of the 2021 season, but it would take a lot to convince this franchise it should stick by him moving forward. Miami has enough talent to compete for the playoffs now and an elite quarterback would give them a chance to compete with the best in the AFC.
- Seattle Seahawks receive: Tua Tagovailoa, 2022 first-round pick (via 49ers), 2022 second-round pick, 2023 first-round pick (via 49ers), cornerback Byron Jones
- Miami Dolphins receive: Russell Wilson
For Seattle, it’s a simple evaluation. Tagovailoa could be their buy-low quarterback, hoping for the same results the Carolina Panthers are benefiting from with Sam Darnold. The Seahawks also acquire a pair of first-round picks and take a chance on Byron Jones, with the hope he returns to form as a Pro Bowl cornerback. If he does, that fills a void in the secondary or Seattle can flip him during the 2022 season.
As for the Dolphins, this trade doesn’t significantly hurt their long-term flexibility. Miami would still have its own 2023 first-round selection and creates cap space by moving on from Jones’ contract. Plus, unlike Deshaun Watson, there are no off-field worries.
Denver Broncos land franchise quarterback
The Denver Broncos made a strong effort to land a franchise-caliber quarterback last offseason but came up short. Teddy Bridgewater is a solid stop-gap solution, but he doesn’t do enough to make this team a Super Bowl contender. Enter Wilson, who could join a division loaded at quarterback.
- Denver Broncos trade: 2022 first-round pick, 2022 second-round pick, 2023 first-round pick, 2023 second-round pick, guard Dalton Risner, quarterback Drew Lock
- Seattle Seahawks trade: Russell Wilson
Similar to the trade with Seattle, but to a lesser extent, Seattle acquires a young passer to roll the dice on. Lock is unlikely to be an NFL starter, but he could serve as a one-year option to bridge the gap to the Seahawks’ next big investment. More importantly, the Seahawks acquire two first-round picks and a pair of Day 2 picks, ammunition to build out the roster’s depth with inexpensive, young talent.
As for Denver, the rationale is self-explanatory. Wilson in an offense with Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy and Noah Fant will be among the highest-scoring units in the NFL. Pair that with a strong defense and the Broncos can challenge the Kansas City Chiefs and Buffalo Bills in 2022.
Washington Football Team swings blockbuster deal
The Washington Football Team is certainly pleased with how quarterback Taylor Heinicke is performing this season. But if Ron Rivera and the front office are honest with their evaluation, they know Washington needs a high-end quarterback to compete with the Dallas Cowboys for the NFC East.
- Washington Football Team acquires: Russell Wilson
- Seattle Seahawks acquire: 2022 first-round pick, 2022 second-round pick, 2023 first-round pick, 2024 fourth-round pick, quarterback Taylor Heinicke
Of the teams on this list, Washington puts the best quarterback on the table. Heinicke isn’t a player an NFL team can build around, but he can hold down a starting job for two seasons. In Seattle’s case, that could mean filling out the roster with young talent in the 2022 and 2023 NFL Drafts. After that, the Seahawks look to repeat history by finding a gem in the draft to start and taking advantage of roster construction with a rookie quarterback’s contract.
Meanwhile, Washington lands a player it can build a new identity around. Wilson would have an All-Pro talent at wide receiver in Terry McLaurin and running back Antonio Gibson could also thrive in this environment. That is all complemented by a defense that still boasts plenty of young talent, making Washington a potential NFC power for two years.
Pittsburgh Steelers pull off Russell Wilson trade
The Pittsburgh Steelers are one of the most quarterback-needy teams in the NFL. It would also be unusual for this franchise to make a blockbuster deal, it goes against the nature of an organization that rarely trades its first-round picks. But this would be an instance where it’s worth the gamble.
- Pittsburgh Steelers trade: 2022 first-round pick, 2022 second-round pick, 2023 first-round pick, 2023 second-round pick, 2024 third-round pick
From Seattle’s perspective, an offseason deal with Pittsburgh might offer the highest pick possible. It seems this team won’t bench Ben Roethlisberger and that means more losses are on the horizon. A top-10 pick, a top-40 selection and multiple first-round picks are exactly what general manager John Schneider needs to rebuild the Seahawks’ foundation.
Again, this is a huge risk for Pittsburgh. But the defense is place is already good enough to help this team stay competitive. Offensively, Wilson could spread the ball around to Diontae Johnson, Chase Claypool, Pat Feiermuth and Najee Harris. That’s a team that becomes a force in the NFL once again.