The Cleveland Browns are looking for a long-term solution at quarterback and a recently proposed trade has the team going all-in for Seattle Seahawks star Russell Wilson.
Wilson’s true availability via trade is still to be determined, considering dealing the nine-time Pro Bowl talent would be a franchise-altering move for Seattle. Wilson hasn’t outright demanded a trade and the Seahawks rebuffed offers for their quarterback last offseason. However, there are signs that Seattle could leap at the right deal.
In a proposed trade from Bleacher Report, the Browns would send QB Baker Mayfield along with a 2022 first-round pick (No. 13 overall) and a 2023 first-round pick for Wilson. Here’s what Ian Wharton had to say about the proposed deal:
Although injuries contributed to Mayfield’s struggles in 2021, the Browns front office must do its due diligence looking for an upgrade under center.
The Browns could appeal to Russell Wilson because of their elite offensive line and pair of standout running backs to complement a rising defense. After trading Mayfield, acquiring Wilson and making reasonable cuts, the Browns could still have about $30 million in cap space to find two starting-caliber receivers.
Wilson missed three games last season with a finger injury and went 6-8 in his starts. He passed for 3,113 yards 25 touchdowns and six interceptions, posting a QB rating of 103.1. Wilson has finished with a passer rating above 100 in each of the last four seasons.
Russell Wilson Has No-Trade Clause
It would come down would want to play in Cleveland, considering he has a no-trade clause, which gives him a ton of power in the situation.
“First of all, when it comes to a no-trade clause in sports, the main reason is so teams can’t trade somebody to anywhere. That’s the No. 1 reason,” Wilson told reporters in January. “Because in sports, you could wake up the next morning and you’re gone somewhere else. So that’s the No. 1 reason.”
Wilson has said this offseason that he wants to play the next decade with Seattle, although scrubbing the Seahawks from his social media accounts was an interesting maneuver.
“I’ve been fortunate to be able to play 10 amazing years in Seattle,” Wilson said. “My hope and goal is to be back there and keep winning there. That’s the vision, that’s the goal. That’s always been it, never been anything different.”
Browns Expect Mayfield to Bounce Back
As mentioned above, Mayfield was compromised for most of the year, battling through a torn labrum in his non-throwing shoulder that required a brace. Mayfield gutted through the injury but was wildly inefficient and inconsistent, passing for 17 touchdowns and 13 interceptions.
Despite his struggles, the Browns have publicly backed Mayfield as the starter and expect the former top pick to bounce back.
“We are looking forward to Baker obviously getting healthy in the offseason and then putting good work into the spring and with his coaches for having the type of season we know he can have moving forward,” Browns general manager Andrew Berry said on January 11. “We fully expect Baker to be our starter and bounce back.”
Words and actions are two very different things in the NFL and Berry has shown that he’s willing to get aggressive for the right deal. If an opportunity to land a player of Wilson’s caliber emerges, expect the third-year general manager to make an offer.