It’s been weeks since Russell Wilson trade rumors started to pop up. In that time, neither the Seattle Seahawks nor the quarterback has done anything to quiet the rumors. While it’s still probably a long shot that he gets traded, it’s certainly looking like a real possibility.
The Las Vegas Raiders were one of the teams that Wilson said he’d be open to playing for. Jon Gruden and company appear to be happy with Derek Carr but players like Wilson almost never become available. ESPN’s Bill Barnwell proposed that the Raiders send Marcus Mariota, Darren Waller, the No. 17 overall pick in the 2021 draft and a 2022 first-round pick to Seattle. They would also send Carr to the New England Patriots while the Seahawks received Chase Winovich and 2022 third-round pick. In return, the Raiders would get Wilson:
This is a bombshell deal, with four picks and three different quarterbacks on the move to three teams. Let’s unpack it team by team. The Patriots are sending away a third-round pick along with Winovich, who tied for the league lead in hurries but never seems to be on Bill Belichick’s good side. In return, they get a high-floor quarterback in Carr, who pushes the Patriots back into immediate playoff contention in the AFC. Carr has two years and $39.5 million left to go on his contract.
The Raiders are sending out both of their quarterbacks, two first-round picks and a star tight end in Waller. In return, they’re getting Wilson and a sixth-round pick. I could see how Raiders fans might think that was too much, but I could also see how Seahawks fans would think that wasn’t enough. When you have that combination, you typically have something close to a fair deal.
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This Trade Isn’t Happening
For whatever reason, Waller’s name has come up in a lot of trade speculation for the Raiders. Let’s get something clear: Las Vegas is not trading their star tight end for anything or anyone. Why anybody would think that Gruden would trade his best player is dumbfounding.
Now, that doesn’t mean the team wouldn’t entertain trading a number of first-round draft picks and Carr for Wilson. However, Gruden would likely rather run it back with Carr and Waller than lose both of them. It’s impossible to imagine the trade that Barnwell suggested would actually happen.
Raiders Likely Sticking With Carr
There’s no doubt that Wilson is a superior quarterback to Carr. Some weeks, there probably isn’t a better quarterback in the NFL. If all things were equal, Gruden would pick Wilson over Carr in a second. However, he’s not going to mortgage his team’s future in trade when he already has a good quarterback.
Carr is a three-time Pro Bowler coming off his best season. He’s gotten better in each season under Gruden. He’s also on a team-friendly contract. The Raiders have only been to the playoffs once since Carr took over as the starter but that’s hardly his fault. The team has failed to surround him with adequate talent. While it’s easy to get excited about landing a player like Wilson, the Raiders have far bigger needs than at quarterback.