Three Russell Wilson Trade Destinations

Three Russell Wilson Trade Destinations

Wednesday brought news that all but confirms Russell Wilson’s tenure as a Denver Bronco is coming to a close. Ian Rapoport reported the team is considering benching Wilson for the final two games of the year– ostensibly to “see what they have” in Jarrett Stidham, but really to ensure Wilson does not get hurt so the Broncos can get offload his contract this offseason. Or, as Rap put it, to maintain financial flexibility.

Adam Schefter confirmed the move shortly thereafter.

It is understandable if you are surprised by this news. The Broncos are technically not eliminated from the playoffs yet and Wilson has played his best football in a Denver uniform this season, even if the last few games have been bad. You would think Sean Payton would do everything he could down the stretch to win games and, if anything, maximize Wilson’s value. Yet he apparently has seen enough to just call it with two games to go, even if it means basically crushing whatever iota of hope remained for the playoffs. That is… not a very positive reflection of how the Broncos feel about Wilson at this point.

This is, effectively, just like what the Las Vegas Raiders did with Derek Carr last season. They benched him down the stretch to avoid getting him hurt and threw in the towel on the year. It feels quite likely the Broncos will then follow their divisional rival’s path by trying to trade Wilson as soon as the clock starts on their offseason.

We’ll see if they are successful. If they are not, they’ll cut Wilson just like the Raiders cut Carr and just eat the cap hit. He has five years left on his deal after the 2023 season, but can be cut after the 2025 season for “only” a dead cap hit of 31 million.

There is nobody in the league who wants to pay Wilson that money. But NFL teams can get desperate for quarterbacks and there isn’t a GM on this earth who hasn’t thought “I can fix him” about someone like Wilson. Here are a few possible teams who possess the right combination of factors to chase the former All-Pro quarterback.

The Vikings have made do this year after losing Kirk Cousins to a torn Achilles but they do not have a future at the position. Joshua Dobbs was fun for a while but got benched for Nick Mullens, who was last seen throwing four of the worst interceptions of the season in a must-win game against the Lions. Achilles injury aside, Cousins’ contract ends after this year (he only has void years remaining on his deal). Kevin O’Connell has proved himself a competent offensive play-caller and the defense has been playing at a pretty high level this season despite a lack of blue-chip talent. Given Minnesota’s complete lack of other options and having too many wins to be in a position to draft any quality prospects in the draft, Wilson is definitely a possibility they should consider.

Another wasted season has come and gone for Atlanta as they continue to refuse to give the ball to their top-10 picks while flip-flopping between Desmond Ridder and whatever backup is on the bench. This offseason might finally be the one where they acknowledge they need a better quarterback and given their pattern of decision-making recently it would not be super surprising to see them take a flier on Wilson instead of choosing a better path. Like the Vikings they will not be drafting high enough to grab an elite prospect so the free agent/trade pool is their only shot at upgrading and Wilson, whatever his faults, is indeed an upgrade over Ridder. A marginal one. But an upgrade. None of the other NFC South teams are poised to get much better in the short term so they may as well swing for the fences with this.

The Commanders are back on the list of teams that need a quarterback now that they’ve benched Sam Howell in favor of Jacoby Brisset. ‘Round and ’round goes the QB carousel in Washington. New ownership will want a brand name at the team’s biggest position as they enter into a new era, and Wilson technically qualifies. They’ll be bringing in a new coaching staff that will probably be more competent coaching quarterbacks than Ron Rivera’s clown show, and there is a history within the franchise of trading for QBs after down years with massive contracts. It did not work out last time and it probably wouldn’t work this time. But new people in charge can sometimes mean crazy things and Wilson would definitely at least be on the list of trade targets if Washington is going to aggressively look for a player who can come in and start under center immediately.

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