The Cleveland Browns will explore all their options to upgrade the quarterback position this offseason, which could include Seattle Seahawks perennial Pro Bowl quarterback Russell Wilson.
With rumors swirling about Baker Mayfield’s future in Cleveland, Bleacher Report proposed a blockbuster deal that would send Mayfield and a treasure trove of picks to Seattle for Wilson. In the proposed deal, the Browns would give up Mayfield, first-round picks the next two seasons, a 2023 third-round pick and a 2024 second-round pick.
Here’s what B/R author Kristopher Knox had to say about the proposed deal:
The Cleveland Browns want to be where the Bengals are, and we’d love to see Cleveland make a run at its first NFL title since 1964. Adding a top-tier quarterback like Russell Wilson just might make that happen.
The Browns finished the 2021 season ranked fifth in total defense but only 20th in scoring offense. Poor quarterback play—perhaps a result of the torn labrum Baker Mayfield suffered in Week 2—was a big factor. Cleveland is set to give Mayfield another (healthy) season to prove himself in 2022, but Wilson is a future Hall of Famer and a clear upgrade over what Cleveland had this past season.
Wilson Will ‘Look Around’ This Offseason: Report
The big hiccup in the proposed deal is that Wilson has a no-trade clause, which means he won’t go anywhere he doesn’t want to. While the Browns have a stellar run game and strong defensive unit, the team needs to reload at wide receiver, which would likely deter Wilson from making Cleveland a preferred destination.
That being said, it looks like Wilson will be weighing his options this offseason.
“Russ wants to know his options. I’m not saying he’s definitely going to go, but he wants to look around and see,” NFL insider Ian Rapoport said on the Pat McAfee Show on February 4.
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.
Browns Said Baker Mayfield Will be Starter Next Season
Mayfield played the majority of last year injured after tearing his labrum in Week 2 while attempting to make a tackle following an interception against the Texans. Mayfield had surgery in January to repair his shoulder and the Browns are confident the former top pick can bounce back if he’s healthy.
“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.”
It’s a clear statement from Berry but the Browns would be remiss to not check out their options this offseason. However, Cleveland will have a hard time finding a trade partner. Mayfield won’t carry much trade value considering he’s making nearly $19 million next season on the fifth year of his rookie deal and is coming off the shoulder injury.