February 25, 2021 - 2:46 pm
Updated February 25, 2021 - 3:29 pm
With Russell Wilson expressing an interest in playing for the Raiders should the Seattle Seahawks decide to trade him, the question becomes: Would the Raiders be open to exploring a deal for the Seahawks’ star quarterback?
That is the easy question. Wilson is one of the five best quarterbacks in the NFL, so it only stands to reason the Raiders would at least have some curiosity in adding a quarterback of that caliber.
The Raiders and all NFL teams are prohibited from commenting on the availability of players on other teams. But on the condition of anonymity, an NFL executive on another team said: “I could absolutely see the Raiders in on him.”
Being in on him, at least from an exploratory standpoint, and being willing to move all the various mountains required to facilitate a trade for Wilson are two different things, though.
With the Raiders expressing confidence in incumbent quarterback Derek Carr, who is coming off the best season of his career while overseeing an offense that scored the 10th most points in the NFL, and in need of defensive help to push themselves into legitimate playoff contention, it doesn’t seem likely they would be interested in Wilson enough to meet the Seahawks’ demands should they make him available in a trade.
Wilson’s agent, Mark Rodgers, confirmed to ESPN on Thursday that the Raiders are among the four teams Wilson is interested in playing for should the Seahawks explore a trade.
Wilson has not demanded a trade, Rodgers told ESPN, but persistent reports out of Seattle over the last month indicate a growing rift between Wilson and the Seahawks. That could open the door for the Seahawks to part ways with their long-time quarterback. Along with the Raiders, Rodgers said the Saints, Bears and Cowboys are teams to which Wilson would accept being traded.
In terms of the asking price for Wilson, an NFL executive indicated the recent haul the Detroit Lions received from the Rams for Matthew Stafford would merely represent a starting point for discussions rather than a viable comp.
“I think it’s way more,” the executive said.
Remember, the Rams sent Jared Goff, a 26-year-old Super Bowl and multiple-time Pro Bowl quarterback, to Detroit along with two first-round picks and a third-rounder for Stafford. With that package as the starting line for Wilson, the historically superior quarterback to Stafford, the finish line would mean at least three first-round picks and at least one veteran player.
From the Raiders’ perspective, that means parting ways with Carr, whose Raiders offense finished just two spots behind the Seahawks in points per game last season, and three first-round picks. That would include the 17th pick in April’s draft, a pick the Raiders are expected to use on a defensive player.
In a vacuum, Wilson makes sense for the majority of teams in the NFL, the Raiders included.
But what it would require to trade for him makes a Raiders pursuit of him unlikely.