The Seattle Seahawks selected their Quarterback of the Future in Week 1. If they want to keep him, they will have to trade for a lot more than $37 million dollars however.
The Seahawks traded Russell Wilson to the Vikings for a first-round pick, two seconds and $37 million. The move was made possible because of the new NFL CBA that has changed how much teams can spend on players in contracts.
Last summer, the Seattle Seahawks quarterback (kind of) wanted a trade, but the Russell Wilson contract made that improbable. Following a disastrous year in the Pacific Northwest, rumors are circulating that the signal-caller would seek a ticket out of town once again.
Thanks to various modifications in Wilson’s contract position, this is a much more likely possibility in 2022.
Last summer, there were rumors that Russell Wilson wanted to be traded.
Russell Wilson was linked to a trade shortly after the NFL season ended in 2020. The premise of the stories was that although the veteran quarterback was not asking a trade, he would accept a transfer to multiple clubs if the Seattle Seahawks wanted to deal with him.
The Las Vegas Raiders, Miami Dolphins, New York Jets, and New Orleans Saints, according to some reports. Others speculated that it was the Saints, Raiders, Cowboys, and Bears.
In any case, it was the most clear non-trade-request-trade-request in history.
The issue, though, wasn’t Russell Wilson’s not-so-subtle trade proposals. It has anything to do with Russell Wilson’s contract.
Wilson was in the midst of a four-year, $140 million contract deal with Seattle when the 2021 season began. The quarterback’s cap amount for that season was $32 million. His dead cap amount at the time, though, was $58 million.
That means dealing the now-10-year veteran would have cost the Seahawks an extra $26 million on top of what he was paid in 2021. By itself, this deal would have pushed the Seahawks’ cap from $11 million under in 2021 to $15 million above.
Let’s take a look at what’s changed in the Russell Wilson contract situation as we enter the 2022 offseason, fresh off another poor season for Seattle and its quarterback.
Why is it simpler for the Seattle Seahawks to trade quarterback Russell Wilson this offseason?
Russell Wilson | Photo courtesy of Getty Images/Lindsey Wasson .
Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks had a difficult season in 2021. With a finger injury, the former Wisconsin and NC State quarterback missed the first three games of his NFL career. On their route to a 7-10 season, the team went 1-2 during those games.
Wilson, on the other hand, had a good year. He completed 64.8 percent of his passes for 3,113 yards, 25 touchdowns, and six interceptions. It was enough to earn the quarterback his seventh Pro Bowl selection.
The quarterback demonstrated that he is still a viable force in the league, even if his club isn’t. As a result, a trade is now the greatest choice for both the quarterback and the team.
And the new reality of Russell Wilson’s 2022 deal makes it much simpler.
Wilson’s contract is worth $37 million this season. His dead cap number, on the other hand, drops to $26 million. If GM John Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll decide to move Wilson this summer, the club will save $9 million in salary cap obligations while still accumulating draft capital to help rebuild.
It now seems like trading Wilson — and the Wilson contract — is the best option for all parties concerned.
Teams in the NFL that can afford Russell Wilson’s contract
The simple truth is that practically any NFL club with significant salary-cap flexibility can afford Russell Wilson’s deal in 2022.
Wilson, on the other hand, wants to win, so he’s unlikely to join a club that is completely maxed out and has no way to acquire quality via free agency. The New Orleans Saints and their league-worst $76 million above the limit would be ruled out based on last year’s authorized list.
With Zach Wilson and Justin Fields at the helm, the New York Jets and Chicago Bears are out in 2022, and Dak Prescott is suddenly untradeable in Dallas.
The Miami Dolphins are still in the mix, and they have the most cap space in the league, with a $62 million excess. With $19.7 million in cap space, the Raiders have a relatively decent salary cap position. Furthermore, selling quarterback Derek Carr (who does not have a dead cap penalty this summer) would save up about $20 million.
The Washington Commanders ($30 million under the cap), Pittsburgh Steelers ($29.5 million under), Philadelphia Eagles ($20.9 million under), and Tampa Bay Buccaneers ($6.8 million under) are among the new clubs that might enter the Wilson Sweepstakes in 2022.
Wilson’s apparent desire to go, along with a plethora of suitors with lots of contract space, makes a trade appear certain this summer. While this may be disappointing for Seahawks fans, it is the wisest option for all parties concerned.
Pro Football Reference provided all numbers, while Spotrac provided contract statistics.
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The Seahawks are trading the $37M QB Russell Wilson to the Denver Broncos. The move was made easier by a new rule that allows players with less than 4 years of experience to be traded. Reference: nfl news.
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