Seahawks Could Trade for Former No. 1 Pick, Says NFL Exec

Seahawks Rumors

Getty The Seattle Seahawks are headed towards a critical offseason.

The Seattle Seahawks are at a crossroads for the future of the franchise and all eyes are on how they handle Russell Wilson’s future. The Seahawks’ dismal season combined with Wilson’s unhappiness last offseason could lead to changes for 2022. The question is whether it will include head coach Pete Carroll, general manager John Schneider or trading Wilson who is under contract through 2023.

Things are nearly as bad for the Browns as drama continues to surround the offense, and Baker Mayfield faces an uncertain future with the team. An NFL executive floated a trade idea to The Athletic’s Mike Sando in an attempt to solve both team’s woes.

“The downside of paying a Baker Mayfield (earlier) is that you end up being able to trade him,” the exec told The Athletic. “It is unlikely he is going to end up in such a place that he is just toxic, that you can’t even move him. You would want to trade him if you could get a better player. Let’s say they could trade him for Russell Wilson and draft picks. Maybe you’d do that, maybe not. But that is the level we are talking about.”

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Mayfield Would Require Just a 1-Year Commitment From the Seahawks

Dan Orlovsky on Browns loss: 'They are a MESS offensively, and its bigger than Baker Mayfield' | KJMKeyshawn, JWill & Max are joined by Dan Orlovsky to break down the Cleveland Browns' offense during their loss to the Baltimore Ravens during Week 12 of the 2021 NFL season. #ESPN #NFL ✔️Subscribe to ESPN+ ✔️ Get the ESPN App: ✔️Subscribe to ESPN on YouTube: ✔️ Subscribe to NBA on ESPN…2021-11-29T13:45:01Z

Despite Wilson’s recent struggles, the Seahawks quarterback is still much more valuable than Mayfield. The executive is clearly referencing the Browns needing to add picks to the trade package to land Wilson. Why would the Seahawks consider a Wilson for Mayfield swap?

This discussion hinges on Wilson’s unhappiness ramping up this offseason as the team’s obvious preference is to keep their franchise quarterback in Seattle. Wilson can control where he goes thanks to the no-trade clause in his deal.

If Wilson hits the nuclear button by requesting a trade, the Seahawks will be faced with a difficult decision. Let’s play out this hypothetical trade proposal and say the Seahawks could land three first-round picks plus Mayfield.

This is the kind of deal that could get the Seahawks’ attention for a few reasons. Mayfield is only under contract through the 2022 season, so the Seahawks could get an up-close look at him for one year before being forced to make a long-term decision. Mayfield is playing through multiple injuries and is still just 26 years old. The Browns are currently projected to have the No. 15 pick in the 2022 NFL draft, an appealing asset given the Seahawks’ first rounder is going to the Jets as part of the Jamal Adams trade.

The Seahawks Could Explore Trading for a QB Who Is on Their Rookie Contract

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Mayfield’s salary is $18.8 million for the 2022 season while Wilson has a $19 million salary along with a $37 million cap hit. Mayfield may be a bit cheaper, but the Seahawks would take a big cap hit by dealing Wilson.

Realistically, the Seahawks only save significant cap space by moving on from Wilson in favor of a quarterback on his rookie deal. This is the path that led the Seahawks to their Super Bowl run during the 2013 season as Wilson was on his rookie contract, allowing the franchise to spend more money at other positions. During an April 2020 interview with ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, Carroll discussed the challenges of building a competitive roster with a sizable quarterback contract.

“It’s a challenge,” Carroll said at the time. “It affects you, first, in free agency — to be real active in this early part is a real challenge. You have to do really well with all your draft picks. We try to get as many as we can because we feel that that competitiveness in our camp will help us.”

The Seahawks & Browns Discussed a Wilson Trade in 2018: Report

Simms: SEA-CLE trade talks over Russell Wilson were real | Pro Football Talk | NBC SportsMike Florio and Chris Simms share what they know about the Browns and Seahawks trade discussions over Russell Wilson before the 2018 NFL Draft. #NBCSports #ProFootballTalk #RussellWilson » Subscribe to NBC Sports: » Watch Live Sports on » Get more Pro Football Talk on NBC Sports: NBC Sports Group serves sports…2020-05-18T13:53:29Z

This is not the first time the Seahawks have been linked to a trade with the Browns. Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio and Chris Simms both reported in May 2020 that the two teams discussed a blockbuster trade ahead of the 2018 NFL draft. It would have landed the Seahawks the No. 1 pick to potentially take Mayfield or another quarterback.

“Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the Browns contend that the idea was ‘floated’ conceptually, but that the discussion did indeed happen,” Florio noted. “At the time, the Seahawks were staring at another extension for Wilson, one that would result a year later in a contract with a new-money value of $35 million per year.”

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