Story is a couple days old but if true, nearly changed the NFL landscape. Two days ago, Pro Football Talk reported that in 2018, the Seattle Seahawks floated the idea of trading star QB Russell Wilson to the Cleveland Browns for the #1 overall pick.
Per PFT’s Chris Simms.
“Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the Browns contend that the idea was “floated” conceptually, but that the discussion did indeed happen. At the time, the Seahawks were staring at another extension for Wilson, one that would result a year later in a contract with a new-money value of $35 million per year. And the placement of a no-trade clause in the latest contract was indeed influenced by chatter regarding the potential trade to Cleveland, we’re told.”
It doesn’t appear those talks ever got serious and then-head coach Hue Jackson denies they happened at all. But it is curious that Wilson’s contract included a no-trade clause, something that generally doesn’t need to be added in deals for franchise quarterbacks.
Cleveland took Baker Mayfield #1 that year with mixed results so far. He’s gone 12-17 as a starter, taking a step backwards last year despite being surrounded with more weapons. His completion percentage dropped under 60% and he threw a whopping 21 interceptions. Still, his highs have shown the ability to be a franchise quarterback and he’s already more successful than Tim Couch, Johnny Manziel, and virtually every other QB the organization has drafted since returning to Cleveland.
From the Steelers’ standpoint, it’s probably a good thing the trade didn’t happen. Wilson is a Top 5 quarterback in football; facing him twice a year would’ve been a headache. Wilson and the Seahawks beat Pittsburgh last season. He threw for 300 yards, three touchdowns, and had a couple key scrambles to close out last year’s 28-26 victory. Wilson is 2-0 in his career versus the Steelers. In 2015, he threw a whopping five touchdowns, carving up Pittsburgh’s Cover 3 defense in a 39-30 win.