The Chicago Bears are rumored to be targeting Russell Wilson in a big way this offseason, with hype growing over the last few weeks. After Wilson’s agent named Chicago as a desired destination for the quarterback should he be traded by the Seattle Seahawks, multiple analysts, including ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler and, most recently, Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune, have gone on record saying the Bears were going to do everything they can to acquire Wilson.
According to Biggs, “the Bears have prioritized making a run” at the eight-time Pro Bowl quarterback, but many critical of the idea tend to point out one glaring issue: Seattle would incur a $39 million dead cap hit if they traded him. Now, someone on the Seahawks beat has weighed in and broken down why trading Wilson wouldn’t ultimately be as costly as many think.
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Rob Staton: ‘The Cap is Not a Roadblock’ for Bears
The notion that the Seahawks won’t trade Wilson due to a huge dead cap hit has been dissected and broken down by Rob Staton, writer for the Seahawks Draft Blog. Here’s what Staton had to say about why trading Wilson in 2021 wouldn’t be as fiscally crippling for Seattle as many think:
If you trade Russell Wilson this year, you create $37m in cap space for 2022. The Seahawks would have $178m next year — by far the most in the NFL. You can comfortably restructure/extend contracts in 2021 to borrow tens of millions. So while a $39m dead cap hit this year is inconvenient, they’d still have total freedom and flexibility. If you wait 12 months, as many suggest, you’re still paying Wilson $26m in dead money in 2022. So if the situation is untenable and a trade is inevitable, you’re only waiting a year for the sake of $13m today. It’s not worth it if he wants out and there’s no pathway to a truce. This is purely a case of whether the situation is tenable. Can the Seahawks & Wilson find common ground? Not just for this year – but for the long term to avoid any future drama? If not, and a move is inevitable, nothing relating to Seattle’s cap prohibits both parties from moving on in 2021. None of this means the Seahawks will trade Wilson. It just means if they decide to go in that direction, the cap is not a roadblock to a deal. The narrative that he can’t be dealt due to the dead cap hit isn’t true.
Basically, if Wilson and the Seahawks can’t find a way to make all parties involved happy this offseason — and soon — a trade in 2021 is absolutely in the cards.
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Bears Have Become Favorites in Wilson Sweepstakes
While neither Bears coach Matt Nagy nor GM Ryan Pace would comment publicly on the team’s rumored interest in Wilson, citing the fact that he’s still under contract with the Seahawks, Chicago has emerged as the likeliest destination for the 32-year-old signal caller if he can’t work something out in Seattle.
“It hasn’t yet reached the point where he’s asked out,” Biggs wrote about Wilson, adding: “Two of the other three teams on Wilson’s list probably can be ruled out. The New Orleans Saints are mired in salary-cap hell and the Dallas Cowboys are expected to keep Dak Prescott. The fourth is the Las Vegas Raiders, and they’ve showed strong public support for Derek Carr.”
Thus, of the four teams on Wilson’s list of desired trade destinations, the Bears have creeped to the top — and with Staton saying it’s a “myth” the quarterback’s contract is prohibitive of a trade, Bears fans may have received the best news yet in regards to landing Wilson.