Should Bettors Put Stock in Russell Wilson Trade Rumors?

Russell Wilson
Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks.

Russell Wilson is reportedly frustrated in Seattle, sparking the rumor mill with speculations of a potential trade.

Super Bowl Sunday saw Russell Wilson, along with his wife Ciara, cozying up to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in a private box at Raymond James Stadium. They watched Tom Brady, in his tenth career Super Bowl appearance, lead the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a comprehensive victory over the favored Kansas City Chiefs. What was going through Wilson’s mind as he watched history unfold before his eyes is anybody’s guess, but like everyone watching the big game on Sunday (most from the confines of their homes), he must have been suitably impressed by Brady’s incredible accomplishment in turning around a modest franchise into a championship-winning team against the NFL odds.

Winning the Man of the Year award predicated Wilson’s appearance in Tampa Bay on Sunday. A noteworthy honor, but a small consolation prize nonetheless considering the manner in which is 2020 NFL season started. The Seahawks burst out of the gates with a 5-0 SU mark, largely on the back of Wilson’s elite play. That prompted MVP talk for Wilson, seeing as he was a major reason why the Seahawks went undefeated in the first five weeks of the season. However, his high level of play proved unsustainable, masking the Seahawks’ flaws only for so long before they reared their ugly head.

It was Seattle’s bottom-ranked defense that ultimately proved their undoing. Although the Seahawks did go on to win the NFC West, they flopped spectacularly in the playoffs as the defense failed miserably against the offensively shorthanded Los Angeles Rams in the wildcard round.

Wilson’s Frustration

Two days after witnessing Brady’s triumph at Raymond James Stadium, Russell Wilson has expressed some frustration with his current situation in Seattle. In a couple of interviews, he expressed his wish to be involved when it comes to making future personnel moves.

“I think if you ask guys like Drew Brees, Peyton Manning, you know even Tom (Brady), you know, I think that you saw this year how much he was involved in the process – I think that’s something that is important to me,’’ Wilson said.

Nine seasons with the Seahawks have seen Wilson receive seven Pro Bowl nods, make eight playoff appearances, win one Super Bowl ring and now clinch an NFL Man of the Year award. And yet, he’s also one of the most pressured quarterbacks in the league (394 sacks in 9 seasons and 47 sacks in 2020).

Inasmuch as the NFL is a quarterback-centric league, it takes the sum total parts of a team to lift the Lombardy Trophy. The Seahawks haven’t done enough to build around their prized quarterback – one that they signed less than two years ago to one of the most lucrative contracts at the time. Clearly, they invested in Wilson, but not enough around him.

At the beginning of Wilson’s career, when the Seahawks won Super Bowl 48 at the expense of the Denver Broncos, he had the infamous Legion of Boom to rely on. Seattle’s D-unit was formidable in those days, doing much of the heavy lifting and that allowed Wilson to flourish. Since then, after the dismantling of the Legion of Boom, the Seahawks remained somewhat competitive enough, at least in the regular season, but they haven’t been able to carry the momentum deep into the postseason.

Where Will We See Russ Cook?

Wilson has three years remaining on his current contract that averages $35 million per season. On the pay scale, he is third after Patrick Mahomes ($45 million) and Deshaun Watson ($39 million) among the NFL’s highest-paid players. Wilson has a no-trade clause on his contract, so any trade would have to go through him and seek his approval. And yet, when asked about the potential of a trade, he responded, “I’m not sure if I’m available or not – that’s a Seahawks question.’’

Over the weekend, an NFL Network report indicated that some overtures were made towards Wilson. The Seahawks don’t appear to be interested in parting ways with their talisman, but that hasn’t stopped several top-rated betting sites from rolling out a market on the potential of a Wilson trade. As it stands, betting is open on where Wilson will play his first game in the 2021 NFL season. Seattle is the favored landing spot at a whopping -1100, but teams such as the Raiders, Cowboys, Jaguars, Niners, and Broncos are some potential landing spots that are on offer in the betting.

The offseason is only just getting underway, and It remains to be seen what happens. It’s a longshot NFL pick to be fair to bet on Wilson being traded elsewhere. However, after Tom Brady showed the league that change can bear out rewards – fortune favors the brave, as the saying goes – this is a developing situation that is worth paying close attention to.

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