Dare to dream about Russell Wilson — but at your own risk
The Bears are on Wilson’s short list of four teams he would agree to be traded to — if the Seahawks end up trading him. But, just like the Deshaun Watson scenario, it’s another long shot.
This must be a plot.
The football gods have saddled Bears fans with a frustrating dearth of quarterbacks for more than half a century. Now, as a championship-caliber defense grows older every day, they’re just taunting those star-crossed fans with one tease after another.
With a golden chance for a Super Bowl run, they compelled general manager Ryan Pace to trade up for Mitch Trubisky at No. 2 in the 2017 draft when he could have had Patrick Mahomes or Deshaun Watson at No. 3. Now, with the torturous pain of that misstep showing no signs of subsiding, those dastardly football gods are toying with the emotions of Bears fans with tantalizing dream scenarios that have little chance of becoming reality.
First, it was Watson demanding a trade from the Texans. He hasn’t changed his stance after meeting with new Texans coach David Culley last Friday. Now, Seahawks kind-of-disgruntled quarterback Russell Wilson has put the Bears on a list of four teams he would agree to be traded to. It’s only a matter of time before Aaron Rodgers wants out of Green Bay and says he wants to stay in the NFC North.
With the Bulls on the rise, Zach LaVine an All-Star, the Blackhawks better than we thought and the White Sox in Arizona thinking they can win the World Series, we don’t really need the jolt of sports banter.
But here we are after ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweeted that Wilson is not demanding a trade and wants to play for the Seahawks in 2021 despite expressing unhappiness with poor pass protection — but in case the Seahawks want to trade him, he will waive his no-trade clause to go to only the Cowboys, Saints, Raiders and Bears.
Seahawks’ QB Russell Wilson has not demanded a trade, his agent Mark Rodgers told ESPN. Wilson has told the Seahawks he wants to play in Seattle but, if a trade were considered, the only teams he would go to are the Cowboys, Saints, Raiders, Bears.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 25, 2021
Of course the Bears should be interested. Of course they should make the phone call. Wilson is an elite quarterback still in his prime at 32. Relative to his supporting cast, you can argue he has been better than Mahomes over the last three seasons — a really good argument, in fact, through Wilson’s MVP-worthy start in 2020. Despite the 443 sacks he has taken in nine seasons, Wilson has not missed a game.
He is the embodiment of the “it” factor — a quarterback who exudes leadership and makes everyone better. And culture? The 2020 Walter Payton Man of the Year winner takes that to another level — and wins, too.
It says something for the Bears that Wilson would include them on his list. And it’s a tacit endorsement of their offensive line that a guy who is tired of poor pass protection would come to Chicago. But it’s a real long shot. It’s also a long shot that Wilson is even traded. He’s an elite quarterback still at the top of his game. He’s not just good, he’s special. The Seahawks would incur a $39 million cap hit if he’s traded before June 1. And they almost certainly would not replace him with a better quarterback. It just doesn’t make sense for the Seahawks to trade him.
But stranger things have happened. This episode is unlike Wilson: Publicly airing his complaint, however delicately and fairly he did it; The Seahawks reportedly being miffed at their franchise quarterback for publicly expressing his gripe; And Wilson’s agent, Mark Rodgers, stating that Wilson is not demanding a trade, he wants to play in Seattle. But if the Seahawks decide to trade him . . . that isn’t normally part of a Wilson story. Something’s up.
But even if Wilson is traded, the Bears are in the same spot they would be in with Watson. Other teams can give the Seahawks a better quarterback in return. The Bears don’t have the draft capital to offer the best deal.
Even though the Bears are one of four teams on Wilson’s short list, they still have only the seventh-best odds at 15-1 of landing Wilson, according to SportsBetting.com. Of the other teams on Wilson’s list, the Raiders are 4-1, the Cowboys 10-1 and the Saints 12-1.
The Bears seem like they’re always on the outside on these quarterback deals. Watson demands a trade but doesn’t have the Bears on his list. Wilson has the Bears on his list but isn’t demanding a trade. Maybe Pace and the football gods can get together and create some magic.
Just don’t count on it. When it comes to quarterbacks, fate rarely moves its huge hands to make things happen for the Bears.