Seahawks, Browns Discussed Russell Wilson Trade In 2018

In 2018, the Browns were armed with a very rare assortment of premium draft capital: the No. 1 and No. 4 overall picks. Ultimately, of course, they used those picks on quarterback Baker Mayfield and cornerback Denzel Ward, but they were reportedly involved in trade discussions that would have sent at least one of those selections to the Seahawks in exchange for superstar quarterback Russell Wilson.

In a recent appearance on the PFTOT podcast, Chris Simms says that Cleveland and Seattle discussed a trade wherein the Seahawks would have acquired the No. 1 overall pick from the Browns while sending their Super Bowl champion signal-caller to Ohio (story via Mike Florio of PFT). And according to Florio’s source, the discussion did indeed happen, though the source couched it as being more of a conceptual conversation.

These sorts of discussions certainly happen all the time, and they never really get anywhere because the teams involved have no real intention of trading their assets but simply want to exercise due diligence in case their prospective trading partner is willing to make an offer that’s impossible to turn down. But the fact that the Seahawks even considered trading Wilson is notable, especially given that he was only 29 at the time and had already established himself as one of the best QBs in the game.

As Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times writes, the ‘Hawks would not have traded Wilson for just the No. 1 pick; they would have demanded the No. 4 selection as well. Even that, however, seems like a small price to pay for a player of Wilson’s caliber, and one would think that the Browns would have pounced on the opportunity if it had truly presented itself.

At the time, Wilson and the Seahawks were in the midst of contract discussions that would culminate with Wilson becoming the highest-paid player in NFL history. And he has more than lived up to that deal thus far, posting back-to-back MVP-worthy seasons with an average QB rating of 108.6 and an average triple-slash of 3,779/33/6. He has added 718 rushing yards and three rushing scores for good measure, and he has yet to miss a game in his career.

Nonetheless, Florio’s sources do say that Wilson will be traded at some point in the relatively near future. By Wilson’s own admission, the inclusion of a no-trade clause in his current contract was instrumental in getting the deal done — perhaps because of the Cleveland discussions — but he could always waive it if he feels the time is right. Though a trade in the next several seasons would not be feasible because of the dead money charges it would leave on Seattle’s books, something could happen by 2022.

Indeed, Condotta notes that the Seahawks likely would have selected Patrick Mahomes if he had fallen to them in the 2017 draft, and GM John Schneider was also poking around Josh Allen the following offseason. In a couple of years, he may pull the trigger on a collegiate signal-caller and send Wilson elsewhere, difficult though that may be to fathom.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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41 comments on “Seahawks, Browns Discussed Russell Wilson Trade In 2018

  1. DarkSide830

    due diligence. nothing wrong with it, but that was undoubtedly all this was.

  2. UaintsGotsToLieCraig

    “Florio’s sources say Wilson *will be traded at some point in the relative near future.” ?!?!? Really?

  3. HubcapDiamondStarHalo

    Wilson in church ALL DAY today: “Thank you thank you thank you thank you…”

  4. abssamanta

    A trade featuring Russell Wilson in the near future? Why though…? I mean here you have an already established QB who is still in his prime and not showing any signs of slowing down… And you would want to replace him with a rookie potentially. I mean yes Mahomes or even Deshaun Watson would be great choices to have at QB but I mean when you already have an established guy who’s not like a Alex Smith type player, then why would you even fathom letting this guy go…? Eh, idk I’m not a front office decision maker so I don’t know any better, apparently…

    • crosseyedlemon

      I’d bet that Florio is working on the theory that there must be a day of reckoning for Wilson since he failed to make Carroll look like a genius by completing that one yard pass in the SB. Never mind that it was not Wilson’s call.

      • abssamanta

        Yeah, crosseyedlemon, idk what is going through Florio’s head lol but Wilson should not be to get the blame for that pass for sure.

        • crosseyedlemon

          Maybe when Russell is retired he will reveal his reaction to that play call. I think he would have been quite content to just hand the ball off to a RB.

    • In hindsight, Pat Mahomes and Deshaun Watson would be a worthwhile trade, but what if it were the actual 2018 draft class would you have drafted a Lamar Jackson which was considered pretty far down the list or would it have been Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold, or Josh Rosen.

      They could have easily Mitch Trubiskied it.

      • abssamanta

        Yeah, that is true. Also, yeah exactly you bring up Mitchell Trubisky and that could most definitely be the case with rookie QBs. Maybe some aren’t viewed as highly in the draft or pre-draft process, like say a Lamar Jackson, but now who’s having the better season, and career most likely? That’s why I don’t understand taking a gamble on a rookie when you already have an established option. This isn’t like a Mahomes-Smith situation in Kansas City, so it would be dumb imo to trade Wilson at all, or at least in like whatever the near future is. I don’t think I could ever come up with a reason why I’d get rid of Wilson, though, lol and I’m not even a Seahawks fan.

    • carlos15

      Maybe because he makes too much money and they can’t spend to help anyplace else on the roster.

      • abssamanta

        Carlos15, yeah that is right though. That can be said of any good QB, and it most likely will if we have to start paying QBs upwards of 40-50 mil a season, if we have guys like Mahomes, Watson, and Jackson (when his negotiations will occur) setting the bar so high…

    • Jcool90

      Rather have Patrick or Lamar. Can’t put my QB IN there. But Deshaun HAHA he’s a bum. Wont win them anything.

  5. abssamanta

    I guess it could be part of a strategy like hey here we have good players in their prime, so let’s trade them for a haul, train new rookies to take over the open spots, and then wash, rinse, and repeat… No need to keep any established guys long term, and you gotta just trade anyone and everyone good for picks and/or players year after year.

    • HubcapDiamondStarHalo

      It’s worked well many time for the Tampa Bay Rays in MLB…

      • abssamanta

        Yeah, that is true. I forgot that that is how the Rays essentially operate, or at least operated if they don’t anymore. Still, it kind of sucks though, like I wouldn’t want to see that happen often but whatever it’s just my opinion.

      • Eatdust666

        Who somehow manage to find success despite having the smallest or one of the smallest payrolls in baseball.

  6. JJB0811

    SF asked about Brady. Just talk, nothing was going to materialize. PFT is up to their usual ‘anonymous sources’ during the slow season for click bait.

    • crosseyedlemon

      Sports journalists aren’t JJ’s favorite people right now so nobody better mention Mike Tyson may be planning a comeback…lol.

      • JJB0811

        All journalists aren’t my favorite people. They write their opinions rather than facts. Wait, wait, wait… a new tweet its documented!

        • crosseyedlemon

          Enjoyed our debate the other day but we will have to find a new topic for discussion since we appear to be at a stalemate here.

    • Eatdust666

      Just like the Dolphins were going to trade up for the 3rd overall pick for an offensive tackle, yet they stayed put at 5 and got who everyone in their right mind knew that they would get.

  7. Browns were rebuilding in 2018, sending draft picks for an established QB seems to bcounter to their overall strategy of building a core… I thought only the #1 over pick was a little light for Wilson. Even #1 and #4 overall seems a bit light. but why would you trade a Super Bowl winning QB for anything? There are very few as special as Wilson, even entertaining the idea, at age 29 with a new contract upcoming, seems foolish.

  8. sufferfortribe

    A nothing burger. Damn, not only do we need sports to restart, so do writers.

    • crosseyedlemon

      William Shakespeare needed sports so badly he made himself available for the inaugural NFL draft.

  9. robluca21

    Can you imagine if Seattle hot the number 1 and 4 pick for wilson and then drafted mahomes that season? Wow

    Maybe saqoun Barkley goes to the hawks at number 1. Crazy possibilities

    • ender

      should have pulled the trigger, thats what the hawks gm is known for yet he let key players from 2 sb walk away.

  10. Marner#16

    YA right Rory Parks or anyone who believes this.

    Even with the 1st and 4th pick they still wouldn’t have made that trade. Wonder what your smoking when you wrote this!!

  11. Aaron Masser

    This is so dumb.

    If Cleveland offers 2 #1s and the Seahawks declined, is that really “considering” it?

    Just check out the Florio article itself:

    ‘Wilson is likely to be traded in the relatively near future’. AND. ” Wilson is unlikely to be traded for the next several seasons”…

    Obviously there’s a pretty strong contradiction there.

    But, maybe Florio can tell the future and he knows the Browns in 2030 (then of course being run by Bill O’Brien) will trade 7 #1 picks to Seattle for Russell Wilson.

    • abssamanta

      Dang, that last line was a good one, NGL! Probably true and freaking hilarious man!

        • phillyballers

          BOB already tried to trade Russell Wilson for a 5th, 7th, and a long snapper, but the league informed him that he can’t trade players on other teams.

  12. phillyballers

    For all the lore of Aaron Rodgers and Brett Favre, they only have 2 SBs between them and 3 appearances.

    Trading Russell Wilson is not an outlandish idea. His contract makes it harder to build around him. They proved they can win with a QB on a rookie deal, they almost won 2. Resetting the salary clock on your QB is just smart. All these high dollar QBs, like 3 or 4 have an actual shot at a SB.

    • Yancey Berry

      Yeah, but your in the same boat, in a couple of years.. Mahomes is a rarity, QB’s take a couple of seasons to be become playoff competitive. QB pay is not the issue. When the salary cap is 200M, whether your QB makes 20M or 32M isn’t what hurts teams. GM’s that pay “through the roof” prices for free agents then get cut in three seasons.. the Dead Money is what kills teams.. The funny thing is they call it ‘saving money”.. A player is due 12M with 7M dead. They cut him, saving 5M to spend on other players. They just lowered the amount of money to spend on 53 players by 7M.. bad GM management. But if your on the hot seat, who cares thats the next guy problem. The secret (IMO) have a balence of rookie contracts..(good drafting) and Vet contracts that can stay healthy. Teams need to draft players that fit their system not build system around players.. Those players get hurt or leave theyre screwed. Andy Reid didn’t build his offense around Mahomes, he was taught his system..he added quirks.. but back-ups have success..

  13. driftcat28

    Browns should’ve done that for the 1st and 4th pick. You can’t put a price on a franchise QB like Wilson and Baker is garbage

  14. ender

    About time, sorry russ but u make an excellent backup. yep time for a change, give the reins to the rookie cougar.

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