NFL Exec Sounds off on ‘Declining’ Russell Wilson Amid Trade Rumors

Seahawks Rumors

Getty Russell Wilson intends to play into his 40's.

Russell Wilson continues to emphasize his “hope” that he will be back with the Seattle Seahawks in 2022, but this has not stopped trade rumors from swirling about the team’s franchise quarterback. Not everyone around the league is convinced that Wilson’s career is still on an upward trajectory.

The Athletic’s Mike Sando noted there is evidence to suggest that Wilson’s production has dropped dating back to 2020. One NFL executive told The Athletic that Wilson is a “declining player” but left the door open for a potential bounce-back season in 2022.

“Wilson’s statistical production has fallen along the way,” Sando detailed on January 3. “He has averaged 7.3 yards per attempt in his last 25 starts, down from 8.3 in the 25 starts before that. His passer rating has fallen from 110.6 to 97.4. His rate of pass attempts gaining more than 15 yards is down. His EPA per pass play has plummeted despite no change in EPA lost to sacks. His turnovers have nearly doubled to 20 from 11. He has nine fewer touchdown passes and seven more interceptions, despite taking fewer sacks and fewer hits on a similar number of pass plays, according to Pro Football Focus charting.

“’I think you have to assume he is a declining player,’ an exec from a team with an established quarterback said. ‘Having said that, recent history is full of examples of older quarterbacks who had a down year and came back to play incredibly well.’”

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Wilson’s perception around the NFL becomes more relevant if the Seahawks opt to explore trading their star quarterback. That said, the Seahawks cannot exactly create an open bidding war as Wilson possesses a no-trade clause, something we know he was willing to waive last offseason for four potential destination. Another NFL executive speculated that a potential Wilson trade likely would start with two to three first-round picks heading the Seahawks’ direction.

“This part [trade compensation] is tricky because the Seahawks will control whether a deal gets done,” Sando added. “They could insist for unprecedented return in a trade. Wilson himself could even push for max compensation if being part of the biggest trade in recent memory mattered to him, as some execs suspect it might, given Wilson’s open talk about winning at least three more Super Bowls, achieving greatness, etc.

“’I think it would take at least two ‘ones’ (first-round picks) and a player — maybe three ones,’ an exec speculated. ‘The (Matthew) Stafford trade is pretty informative, but it would be more than that.’”

Wilson Continues to Say He ‘Hopes’ to Play for Seahawks But QB Has a No-Trade Clause

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As The Athletic’s Michael-Shawn Dugar pointed out, Wilson is partly to blame for the trade rumors continuing to stir. Wilson’s no-trade clause means the quarterback has ultimate control over his future. Yet, Wilson continues to use the term “hope” in correlation with his future in Seattle, which opens the door for a second straight offseason of speculation.

“Yeah, like I said earlier, I hope so,” Wilson responded on January 2 when asked if he expects to be with the Seahawks in 2022. “I hope that’s the case and [I] take one day at a time, and today is really about our team today and that’s what I’m gonna focus on today, but it was special today. But yeah, that’s my hope.”

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