It started early this season.
Instead of waiting until the offseason to ramp up trade speculation, the "Will Russell Wilson get traded?" discussion began this past week. Possible destinations leaked. Wilson called it a "non-story." And everyone braced for what's to come.
As the Seahawks prepare to face the Texans today, needing to nearly run the table to make the playoffs, they do so with questions about Wilson's future hanging over them. Again.
Last February, Wilson's agent Mark Rodgers went public with four landing spots his client would consider if he were traded. Wilson has a no-trade clause. Sources say this came after Wilson requested permission to speak with teams but was denied because Seattle didn't want to trade its franchise QB.
This year, independent reporter Jordan Schultz, who has ties to Wilson's camp and is the son of Seattle businessman Howard Schultz, the former Starbucks CEO, reported that Wilson would strongly consider waiving his no-trade clause for the Broncos, Giants and Saints. A source later confirmed the information, while Wilson didn't deny it. He insinuated it was not relevant, adding, "I'm focused on what we're doing here. Obviously I love Seattle. This is a place I've loved every day, every moment."
Multiple calls to Rodgers went unreturned.
It has been an up-and-down season for Wilson, who quickly returned from a gruesome finger injury but has taken a few weeks to look like himself. Meanwhile, Seattle is 4-8 and on the outside looking in at the playoff picture.
This year was viewed as a make-or-break one by Wilson's camp, but it's unclear if that's the way Seattle viewed it. In fact, similar to last year, the team has a very strong say in what happens next.
Wilson is under contract for two more years for $51 million, and the Seahawks have two franchise tags available after that. Coach Pete Carroll is always youthful, but he is 70 and would seem unlikely to want to rebuild.
Absent a better option at QB or a suitable replacement, the Seahawks could just stand pat and rebuff offers like last season. Either way, as Seattle gets set for the home stretch, Wilson's future is now very much in focus.
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