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Report: Russell Wilson approached the Seahawks about a trade

In a detailed story from The Athletic, Seattle’s QB may have reached his breaking point

Seattle Seahawks v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images

The Athletic’s Michael-Shawn Dugar, Mike Sando, and Jayson Jenks put together an incredible piece Thursday morning detailing Russell Wilson and the Seahawks' rift.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Wilson, who has a no-trade clause, has not demanded a trade, but if there were a trade, the only teams Wilson would be willing to play for are the Cowboys, Saints, Raiders, and Bears.

Back to the article, which has plenty of fascinating nuggets. From the sounds of it, Wilson views himself one way, and Seattle views him in another. Before a Thursday night matchup with the Cardinals this past season, Wilson pushed for a change in scheme and personnel in a meeting where he outlined his own ideas on fixing Seattle’s offense. Wilson’s thoughts were dismissed, which led him to storm out of the room.

For as much as the “Let Russ Cook” movement took off early in the season, competent defenses exposed Wilson’s limitations. They forced Russ to throw over the middle of the field, find his hot route on blitzes, and play within the structure of Seattle’s offense. Wilson had no answer.

During the final eight weeks of the season, Wilson finished 21st in EPA per play, 17th in success rate, and 28th in yards per attempt. The Giants and Bills gave the blueprint. San Francisco shut the Seahawks down for three quarters in Week 17. But it was the Rams who exposed all of Wilson’s flaws in the playoffs.

For as much complaining as you see surrounding Seattle’s offensive line, Wilson is responsible for a lot of the pressure as he drops his eyes against the blitz and often runs out of clean pockets. So it wasn’t a surprise to see these types of quotes in the article from coaches around the league:

“He’s finally catching heat,” one person told The Athletic. “That’s the main reason for all of this. … People are talking and holding him accountable because he’s one of the highest-paid quarterbacks, he says he wants to be the greatest, so now people are holding him to that standard.”

“It’s a PR game,” that person added. “He’s trying to protect himself.”

Another source agreed: “What he’s trying to do is save face.”

“What the fuck is wrong with Russell Wilson?” a veteran coach who watched the game said at the time. “He is seeing ghosts. They act like they are not protecting him, but he kills the protection. There are times they got a clean pocket, he runs up in there, he just panics. He is not playing very good at all.”

“People say their protection is not that good,” the coach went on. “That whole ‘Let Russ Cook’ thing, he is better when they can run the ball and they play off that, there is no question. No one likes that because they want him to be Dan Marino. Well, he is not Dan Marino. You are who you are. But he looks bad right now.”

Those quotes read as harsh, but there is also a lot of truth in them.

There is a lot to take in when reading the article, but, ultimately, this line stood out: “Some people around the league think a trade could happen, if not this offseason then sometime in the near future.”

Russ would have $39 million in dead money on his contract for 2021 if he were traded this offseason. If Seattle were to use a post-June-1 designation, though, they’d actually save $6 million by trading Wilson. There’s always a way, as the Rams showed with Jared Goff.

Who knows if a trade happens this or next season for Seattle. It’s difficult to imagine the Seahawks not getting a quarterback in return or a massive haul of draft picks if it does. Either way, it’d be music to the 49ers' ears.