Seahawks Could Land Star Running Back in Blockbuster Trade, Says Analyst

Saquon Barkley Trade

Getty The Giants continue to be linked to Russell Wilson.

The future of Russell Wilson will be the story of the Seattle Seahawks offseason despite the franchise quarterback’s best attempts to squash trade rumors. Wilson has a no-trade clause which gives him ultimate control over his future, but the Seahawks could opt not to deal their franchise quarterback even if he presses the matter after the season ends.

If both parties agree to a breakup, one team to watch is the Giants who could potentially put together one of the most appealing offers. Heading into Week 15, the Giants hold the No. 5 and No. 6 picks in the 2022 NFL draft with the potential for these selections to be even higher. As USA Today’s Dan Benton pointed out, one name that could peak the Seahawks’ interest is star running back Saquon Barkley.

“Considering the Giants will find themselves in salary cap trouble in 2022, it might make more sense for them to dangle a player package out there in any potential trade for Wilson,” Benton detailed. “What would that look like? Some possibilities include quarterback Daniel Jones, safety Xavier McKinney, wide receiver Sterling Shepard, running back Saquon Barkley, cornerback James Bradberry or even a sign-and-trade situation with tight end Evan Engram.”

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Barkley Has Been Sidelined With Multiple Injuries in Recent Years

Barkley is one of the most talented running backs in the NFL, but the star has had unfortunate injury luck in recent years. The running back has already missed four games this season after playing in only two contests in 2020. Barkley has yet to match his 1,307 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns he posted during his rookie season in 2018. The Giants rusher also added 91 receptions for 721 yards and four touchdowns in the same season.

All this means Barkley would be far from the focal point of a deal for the Seahawks centered around Wilson, but the team could still find him an appealing addition while also receiving multiple first-round picks. Seattle will need to address the position this offseason given Chris Carson is coming off a significant neck injury. Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll praised Barkley after the team selected Rashaad Penny in the 2018 NFL Draft.

“Pete Carroll says Penny is ‘right there’ with Saquon Barkley when talking about the running backs in this draft. Called Barkley a player ‘we haven’t seen in years,'” CBS Sports’ Will Brinson tweeted on April 27, 2018.

Wilson on Trade Rumors: ‘Hopefully, I Get to Play Here for 20 Years’

Insider Jordan Schultz and NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport both reported that Wilson could consider pursuing a trade this offseason. Schultz reported on December 8 that Wilson will “strongly consider” okaying a trade to the Giants, Broncos or Saints. Wilson shot down these rumors calling it a “non-story” and later adding that he wants to play “20 years” for the Seahawks.

“Yeah, that’s my hope [to fulfill my contract with the Seahawks],” Wilson explained during a December 9 press conference. “My hope is to not just fulfill it. Hopefully, I get to play here for 20 years of my career. Will it happen? I don’t know, but that’s my prayer, that’s my hope. All that stuff, that stuff’s in the future. That stuff’s down the road.

“I think my mission and my focus that I can only do right now is focus on right now, today, third down, red zone, light it up, have a great day. Bring as much energy, as much focus as I can to this football team. As I mentioned, I love this place. I love this city, this team and what we can do. So, I think my focus is on that and that’s really what matters.”

According to Rapoport, last offseason Wilson requested the opportunity to speak with other teams about a potential trade but the Seahawks nixed this idea. Wilson still has two seasons remaining on his current contract.

“Last February, Wilson’s agent Mark Rodgers went public with four landing spots his client would consider if he were traded,” Rapoport detailed on December 12. “Wilson has a no-trade clause. Sources say this came after Wilson requested permission to speak with teams but was denied because Seattle didn’t want to trade its franchise QB.”