Trades before the draft?
Regular readers will know what I think the chances of that are.
It’s highly unlikely a team will offer the Seahawks an attractive deal for Frank Clark. He’ll cost at least $65m in guaranteed money. This is a sensational draft class for defensive linemen. You could be looking at a $50m difference in contract guarantees. If the Seahawks were going to deal Clark it likely would’ve been done by now. A much more likely scenario is both parties work towards the July 15th deadline and either come to an agreement or Clark will play on the franchise tag. You can’t force another team to make an attractive offer.
As for Russell Wilson, it’s even more unlikely. You don’t trade your franchise quarterback without a plausible alternative on the roster. They can’t guarantee a rookie quarterback they like will be available in the requisite range. If they try and trade for someone like Jacoby Brissett, the price will be extortionate because the Seahawks will be desperate.
If they believe this is a relationship that can’t last they at the very least need to try and draft a potential replacement first, then exhaust all avenues on a contract extension. Only then would it be right to move on.
That’s my take. Yet something isn’t right.
Adam Schefter isn’t a rumour-monger. Jack Del Rio has no reason to talk about Wilson’s future.
Both indulged in some serious speculating this week:
This is starting to remind me of the Michael Silver piece from just over a year ago. He reported that the LOB era was coming to an end after the week-15 debacle against the Rams. Cliff Avril and Kam Chancellor would retire. Richard Sherman and Michael Bennett were on the way out. Earl Thomas could be moved. It was all true — even though many fought it at the time.
Schefter isn’t reporting Wilson will go but just consider this. He made an appearance on a Mel Kiper and Todd McShay mock draft show. It was all about the draft. Yet Schefter had his own personal segment dedicated to the future of Russell Wilson. He brought up Wilson three separate times in the one-hour special. His body language throughout was interesting too.
Then there’s Del Rio, casually dropping out that Wilson could be moved. His reasoning for it happening was a little flawed and he was a little off on why Seattle has moved on from certain players recently. However — it’s clear there’s talk within the NFL that this could happen. Whether it does or not — it’s still a thing being discussed.
And while I still don’t think Wilson will be traded before the draft (or Clark) — it’d be totally wrong to just ignore this.
It would be a ground-breaking move. It’s hard to imagine they would do this and then simply hope for the best in the draft without a viable veteran option on the roster.
It’s also possible this is just Seattle’s counter in what is increasingly becoming a contract war waged through the media.
It’s set to be an interesting few days as that April 15th deadline approaches. Whether Wilson is traded or not before the draft — there’s a reason we’ve talked up Will Grier. He’s a superb downfield thrower who fits Seattle’s offense. If they can’t get a deal done with Wilson before the draft, don’t be surprised if they spend their first pick on Grier just in case they head towards a parting in 2020.
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