One of the biggest stories of the past offseason was Russell Wilson’s trade potential. The rumors have persisted now that the Seahawks failed to make the playoffs for just the second time in his 10-year career.
So where will Wilson play in 2022?
From most unlikely to our No. 1 prediction for where he will play next season, we consider the possible trade destinations that have been frequently suggested by NFL analysts and observers.
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- Russell Wilson (-350)
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NFL teams who could acquire Russell Wilson
The Steelers don’t have a high enough pick in the first round this season (No. 20) and would likely not have a sufficient pick next season to attract Seattle’s interest if they acquired Wilson.
There are fans of several teams that would love to acquire Wilson, but the deal has to make sense for both sides. So many proposed trades that are widely constructed involving Wilson only take into account how such deals would help the team that receives him.
New Orleans Saints
The Saints have the No. 18 pick in the first round, which may not be too tempting. Additionally, Sean Payton — who Wilson may have liked to work with — is gone.
New Orleans has the least amount of cap space in the NFL and may be ready to unload talent rather than acquire it.
The Commanders have the No. 11 pick in the first round, a quality offensive line when everyone is healthy, and some available cap space to acquire more playmakers to pair with Wilson.
However, this is one of many scenarios where the Seahawks would likely not be satisfied with the return, because it leaves them with significant uncertainty at QB.
New York Giants
The Giants have the No. 5 and No. 7 picks in the NFL Draft this season. Wilson could become legendary if he were to win his second Super Bowl in the New York market. Again, though, Seattle’s return in any possible deal with New York would be unsatisfactory.
Daniel Jones would not be the guy to fill the chasm created by sending Wilson away, and the group of quarterbacks in the upcoming draft is widely considered a weak one. Plus, the Giants’ offensive line was ranked 30th by Pro Football Focus last season.
The Broncos have the No. 9 pick in the NFL Draft, and it’s conceivable that they would pursue Wilson if they miss out on Aaron Rodgers. Denver has playmakers on offense all around the QB spot, and adding a passer like Wilson could lead to a Super Bowl berth.
With that said, this is another instance where the Seahawks would be left with a gaping hole at QB, and the trade only makes a lot of sense for one side.
Unlike many other teams that have been listed in Wilson trade scenarios, the Dolphins can offer a respectable quarterback option in return for the Seahawks. Tua Tagovailoa can at least be a decent NFL starter with the right pieces around him.
On the flip side, the Dolphins don’t have a pick until later in the first round, PFF ranked their offensive line last in 2021, and there are no significant offensive playmakers they feature outside of Jaylen Waddle.
Also, it is unclear if Miami how much still wants to pursue an upgrade from Tagovailoa, which was a reported desire of ownership during revelations of recent controversies.
The Eagles have three top-20 draft picks this season, can offer a seemingly promising quarterback in return, and have a good offensive line. The Seahawks would then have to decide if Jalen Hurts can be their QB of the future and if they would want to trade Wilson to another team in the NFC.
Hurts is an inconsistent passer, which is a concern. Not many quarterbacks take a Josh Allen-type of leap at some point early in their career. If the Eagles could pick up another viable pass-catcher, though, this destination could ultimately make the most sense.
Where will Russell Wilson play in 2022?
This is where Russell Wilson will play in 2022. Published reports indicate that the Seahawks have no intent to trade Wilson, and he has not publicly declared that he wants out, either.
Also, Pete Carroll has no apparent interest in rebuilding, and trading Wilson could take the Seahawks out of potential contention immediately and for several seasons to come.
Consider how many NFL teams are searching for a solid quarterback. Landing a franchise signal-caller is the goal that eludes so many of them every year.
By dealing Wilson in many of these and other scenarios that have been cooked up, the Seahawks would solve a QB problem for another team and possibly create a large one of their own.
Wilson is 33 years old, which is not “old” for his position, and still played well early in 2021 and late in the season before his finger injury and after he was clearly healed.
Draft choices in an uninspiring 2022 QB class and a mediocre group of available passers in free agency point to Seattle being sensible and keeping Wilson.
Unless the Seahawks decide to take a shot on Tagovailoa or Hurts — which would be risky for other reasons — expect them to use their decent amount of cap space available and the draft choices they do have (six in 2022 despite not having a first-rounder) to attempt to fill perceived holes and get back to the postseason.
Wilson has an outstanding pair of wide receivers to work with in Seattle, and Rashaad Penny could boost the running game in 2022. Addressing areas on the offensive and defensive lines can be two keys to the Seahawks re-emerging as a playoff team next year.
Wilson is one very important piece as Seattle looks to become a contender again. Having a top QB can be one essential element of a championship team, and removing him makes the goal so much more difficult to achieve.
Consider that during Seattle’s first Super Bowl title run, the Seahawks were a seven-win team the year before he was drafted and they had Marshawn Lynch and the Legion of Boom secondary already in place. A quality QB was a final piece to a championship puzzle, as the Seahawks advanced to the NFC Divisional playoffs in his rookie season, and won it all in his second year.
Many credit a legendary defense and a standout running game for what Seattle achieved in 2013 and 2014, yet Wilson played his part in their run to two consecutive Super Bowls. He threw decisive TD passes in both NFC Championship Games, one of which was a game-winner in overtime.
Addressing roster issues around Wilson can propel the Seahawks back into the mix of the better teams in the NFC. Pete Carroll knows that, so a QB change will likely not be an area of focus in the 2022 offseason.