There are plenty of Russell Wilson trade rumors floating around but most leave the Seattle Seahawks with the same dilemma: a giant hole at quarterback. Sports Illustrated’s Corbin Smith noted there is only one trade the Seahawks should consider, and it involves Deshaun Watson heading to Seattle.
The challenge is Wilson is unlikely to approve a deal to the Texans as his agent Mark Rodgers has publicly released the four teams the quarterback would sign off on in a deal. This means a third team would need to be involved for any hopes of a deal happening. Smith suggests either the Cowboys or Raiders as a viable third team with either Dak Prescott or Derek Carr going to the Texans along with draft picks.
“Looking at a possible structure for the deal, Seattle could offer Wilson to Las Vegas or Dallas, who would then ship a proven starter in Prescott or Carr to Houston,” Smith detailed. “The 25-year old Watson ultimately would end up in the Pacific Northwest to be paired with DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett, completing the quarterback musical chairs. A number of draft picks would need to be exchanged to help facilitate the deal, with the Texans most likely receiving a first and a second round pick to go with Prescott or Carr as minimum compensation.”
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Watson Is Slated to Have a $10.5 Million Salary Next Season
Responding to a fan’s comment, Smith noted on Twitter that “there should only be ONE trade package that warrants moving Wilson.” Smith is referencing a deal that lands the Seahawks Watson in return for their franchise quarterback. The Texans quarterback has demanded a trade but the Texans remain steadfast in their desire to repair the relationship.
Watson recently signed a four-year, $156 million contract extension with the Texans that runs through 2025. There is a reason Watson has no shortage of suitors. Not only is Watson one of the best quarterback in the NFL, but he is on a team-friendly deal where he is slated to have a $10.5 million salary next season, per Spotrac.
The Cowboys Have Shot Down the Wilson Trade Rumors
The Cowboys remain committed to Prescott, at least publicly. With a long-term deal yet to be completed, the Cowboys’ commitment to Prescott feels hallow.
Smith’s hypothetical trade sends Wilson to the Cowboys, while Prescott goes to the Texans. There are arguments for the Cowboys making a move for Wilson, despite the overall complications of Prescott having to agree to any sort of trade likely by signing a franchise tag offer. Wilson is older than Prescott but comes with a long-term contract, Super Bowl experience and a cheaper price tag.
“Dak with a franchise tag is 20 percent [of the Cowboys’ salary cap],” Fox Sports’ Colin Cowherd explained on a recent episode of The Herd. “Russell Wilson goes to the Cowboys, he’s less than 11 percent. So, think about that. Jerry can get on the phone at 78, he wants a Super Bowl. I get a better quarterback for half the cap hit because Dallas won’t have to pay that $13 million-a-year signing bonus. Don’t have to pay it. Dallas also, this is interesting, of all the teams that Russell Wilson mentioned, Dallas has the highest draft pick. The advantage is of course they can call Pete Carroll and say, ‘Okay, we’ll give you Dak. We’ll give you the No. 10 pick.’ That’s just the starting point.”
The Cowboys, Seahawks and Texans all share the same desire not to trade their franchise quarterback. Yet, all three quarterbacks are looking for different things. Wilson and Watson have both hinted at trades, although the Texans quarterback has been much more forceful by demanding a deal.
Prescott appears happy in Dallas but has not found the Cowboys willing to sign him to a long-term contract to his liking. NFL Network’s Jane Slater cited her Cowboys sources as finding the trade rumors to be comical, but they are likely to continue until they are able to sign Prescott to an extension.
The Texans Continue to ‘Stand Firm’ with Watson
It is important to note that Watson’s cap number jumps up to $35 million in 2022. By comparison, Wilson has a $32 million cap hit for the Seahawks next season and $37 million in 2022. NBC Sports’ Peter King reported the Texans are unlikely to make a move on Watson any time soon.
“I reported last week that Texans GM Nick Caserio is not even responding to teams that have expressed interest in Watson,” King detailed. “Because off-season programs are very likely off because of the pandemic again this year, it’s not essential that Watson gets moved soon; the first real milepost would be April 29, the first day of the 2021 NFL Draft. That is eight weeks away. I wouldn’t expect much action in the next month. I’d expect Caserio to stand firm for the next few weeks.”
The Seahawks have maintained a similar stance with Wilson with the dead cap hit making a deal this offseason improbable. That said, if Wilson’s relationship with the Seahawks continues to deteriorate, landing a Pro Bowl quarterback in return is appealing.
“But if Seattle decides to move one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL – and a future Hall of Famer at that – these are the only types of deals the organization should entertain, as Schneider shouldn’t settle for less than landing a boatload of first round picks or another All-Pro talent like Watson in return,” Smith added.
Watson is coming off a career year notching 4,823 yards, 33 touchdowns and seven interceptions while completing more than 70 percent of his passes in 2020. The Texans quarterback also added 444 rushing yards and three touchdowns.