Russell Wilson trade rumors: Washington, Steelers among best fits for Seahawks QB in 2022



Russell Wilson wasn’t traded in the 2021 offseason. But while the focus has been whether Aaron Rodgers and/or Deshaun Watson will be available within reason for some team to upgrade to an elite veteran QB option in the near future, it looks like the stars are aligning for Wilson to be dealt from the Seahawks in 2022.

Wilson, although signed through 2023, can be traded for $26 million in salary cap relief with Seattle only losing $11 million in dead money next year. This past offseason, he had some unhappiness with the direction of the offense and got a coordinator change there, But with a finger injury causing him to miss the first games of his career and facing what will be the first losing season of his career, Wilson may need to change teams for his best shot at a second Super Bowl ring.

The Seahawks’ quarterback is looking to extend the prime of his career as he turns 33 on the same day his team plays at Washington to end Week 12 on “Monday Night Football.” Wilson did have a early reported trade destination wishlist, but recent developments regarding QB situations around the league should have changed that. Several well-rounded talented teams that feel like they are only a top QB away — see the 2020 Buccaneers before Tom Brady — will be aggressive to try to get the Seahawks to move Wilson, especially if Rodgers can stay in Green Bay and Watson can’t clear his big off-field obstacle.

According to report in March, Wilson’s preferred four destinations were the Cowboys, Saints, Raiders or Bears. For Wilson’s purposes, three of those teams no longer make any sense. Dallas has Dak Prescott. Las Vegas is in a tough coaching transition with Derek Carr. Chicago must move forward with Justin Fields in a new regime. New Orleans also might be out given the unique investment in Taysom Hill.

So where should Wilson really want to go most in a 2022 trade to give himself an improved chance at a championship?

MORE: Timeline of Russell Wilson’s offseason feud with Seahawks

Russell Wilson’s best 2022 landing spots

Washington Football Team

Washington has a great offensive system and diverse passing game with coordinator Scott Turner. Norv’s son has some of the power-run sensibilities the Seahawks have had but also likes to push the ball downfield. Taylor Heinicke has flashed in the scheme because of his arm and athleticism.

Between Antonio Gibson, Terry McLaurin, Logan Thomas, former Seahawks scatback J.D. McKissic, there’s also plenty of offensive skill support. With Ron Rivera, Martin Mayhew and Jason Wright, WFT has a more appealing leadership team now. The Football Team also has the potential to have a top defense again once it gets all its talented pieces out of a fog.

When Wilson celebrates his birthday playing in “other” Washington, he should think about whether he can rock a second act in the nation’s capital. It doesn’t hurt that Washington isn’t far from his Virginia hometown of Richmond. With Prescott in Dallas and Jalen Hurts rising in Philadelphia, Wilson can change WFT’s QB status in the NFC East a lot faster than a drafted rookie.

Pittsburgh Steelers

The Steelers are going through Ben Roethlisberger’s swan song, more likely ending with him retiring before his age 40 season than them being forced to make a tough decision in 2022. As they battle for a playoff spot in the AFC, they figure to have a mid-to-late first-round draft pick.

They have a team ready to win big now with T.J. Watt leading the defense and Najee Harris featured in the running game. They also have immediate young receiving appeal with Diontae Johnson, Chase Claypool and Pat Freiermuth. Wilson can also re-create a strong head coach relationship with Mike Tomlin, also a Virginia native.

Denver Broncos

The Broncos have had limited returns with Teddy Bridgewater replacing Drew Lock. They will be in the market for a long-term franchise-type QB solution through every avenue available for John Elway and general manager George Paton. Denver will have decent draft position to land a top prospect, but it also has been tied to going after either Rodgers or Watson. 

The real question is whether Wilson would perceive the Broncos as potential contenders, given their hard fade in the AFC West behind the Chiefs, Chargers and Raiders. They also could be headed to a major transition by moving on from coach Vic Fangio. Remember that Brady and then Matthew Stafford — going from the Lions to the Rams — ended up in stable organizational situations to help maximize their veteran presence.

Carolina Panthers

The Panthers signed Cam Newton and he’s had his moments cleaning up their absolute midseason mess at quarterback, but he shouldn’t be a real solution for 2022 and beyond. Like Wilson, Newton is in his final season as a 32-year-old. 

So where will aggressive general manager Scott Fitterer and coach Matt Rhule go to solve the most important position for several seasons? Watson, at only 26, is a good bet to be targeted if he would avoid any disciplinary action. But when weighing the more seasoned QBs, Wilson would be a better fit in their offensive philosophy with Joe Brady than Rodgers.

The Panthers need to upgrade at left tackle, but they would offer strong skill support in Christian McCaffrey, D.J. Moore and Terrace Marshall Jr. They also have a promising young defense when everyone’s healthy? Will they have enough to sell Wilson, a former NC State QB, to relocate back to North Carolina. That part is the most questionable.

Miami Dolphins

If Miami has continued interest in Watson as a potential young upgrade for Tua Tagovailoa, then it would follow that GM Chris Grier and coach Brian Flores are exploring all possible QB options in 2021, from Rodgers to a rookie. Wilson falls somewhere in between that spectrum.

Like the other teams above, there are appealing coaching and personnel elements, on top of a high-profile market. It comes down to whether the Dolphins want to invest draft-pick capital in a older QB.

New York Giants

This is the wild-card team for Wilson’s services. There might be more sweeping big change in New York, with perhaps GM Dave Gettleman and/or coach Joe Judge involved in the house cleaning. That also may include rebooting from Daniel Jones in the search of a franchise QB.

There are some dynamic offensive pieces for the Giants, including running back Saquon Barkley and wide receivers Kenny Golladay, Kadarius Toney, Sterling Shepard and tight end Evan Engram. Andrew Thomas has emerged as a strong left tackle, too. Their defense can also be a more effective complementary unit with a better offense.

With the Giants, Wilson might have an opportunity to gain the veteran QB personnel and scheming power that Brady enjoys with the Buccaneers. But it would come down to selling him on a great package to replace Jones while tied to a preferred play-caller and/or coach.





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