Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson has been saddled with trade rumors throughout most of the NFL offseason. It began at the end of 2020, when the Super Bowl-winning quarterback went public to criticize pass protection in front of him. Wilson aired his grievances with the franchise, particularly the protection he has had to make do with during his nine-year career in Seattle.
He was sacked 47 times last year, the third-most in the league.
Other reports pointed towards how Wilson disapproved of how Seattle was running the offense, from the scarcity of protection by the offensive line to a blatant disregard for how he thinks the team can fix the offense during the season.
Russell Wilson trade rumors intensify
Afterward, the drama metastasized, taking a life of its own. Reports first began to surface that Wilson was not thrilled about the on-field personnel decisions made by head coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider. That transitioned into a perceived estrangement with Carroll, leading to the Chicago Bears offering Wilson the farm.
Russell Wilson recently went on record insisting that he has not requested a trade out of Seattle. However, a few months ago, a list of Wilson's acceptable trade destinations was leaked.
The report came after Russell Wilson's agent put out a list of four teams the quarterback would like to play for back in February, feeding into speculation that Wilson intends to move on from Seattle. The four teams were the Dallas Cowboys, New Orleans Saints, Las Vegas Raiders, and Chicago Bears.
Wilson stressed this week that he intends on staying with the Seahawks, even though the disclosed locations are accurate.
Russell Wilson's contract situation
According to Spotrac, one of the significant impediments to trading Wilson is his contract. He has a salary cap of $32 million in 2021, and it progresses upwards to $37 million in 2022 and $40 million in 2023.
According to Pro Football Talk, Wilson has "always wanted to play here [Seattle]."
"I think there were some unfortunate frustrations after the season. Obviously, you want to win it all and do it all and do everything you can. I think everybody on our team does...I think at the end of the day, the reality is I'm here, and I'm here to win. I'm here to win it all," Russell Wilson told reporters (via PFT).
The 2020 season was another excellent year for Russell Wilson; he led the Seattle Seahawks to a 12-4 record with 4,212 passing yards, 513 rushing yards, and two rushing touchdowns, simultaneously posting career-best completion percentages with 68.8 and 40 passing touchdowns.