Sports | February 10, 2021 10:10 am

Russell Wilson Is the Latest Name Thrown Into NFL Offseason’s Impending QB Apocalypse

Adam Schefter set the over/under of teams changing QBs this off-season at 18 last month

Russell Wilson Is the Latest Name Thrown Into NFL Offseason's Impending QB Apocalypse
Russell Wilson of the Seahawks leads his team onto the field.
Steph Chambers/Getty Images

Last month, ESPN’s top football reporter Adam Schefter theorized there would be a literal arms race between quarterback-needy NFL teams this offseason.

“There are roughly 10 QBs locked into starting jobs for Opening Day of the 2021 NFL season,” Schefter tweeted in January. “This is expected to be an unprecedented offseason of QB movement. My Over/Under of teams changing QBs this off-season is 18. I’ll go with the over.”

In his tweet, Schefter listed Matthew Stafford, Deshaun Watson, Aaron Rodgers, Sam Darnold and Dak Prescott as some of the quarterbacks whose futures are in question.

We know what ended up happening with Stafford, who was traded from the Lions to the Rams for Jared Goff and a haul of draft picks, but the rest of the names on Schefter’s list have stayed put — so far.

And, per a report from NFL reporter Jason La Canfora that is gaining a little steam, perhaps Schefter’s list is actually short a name … and it is a pretty big one.

“I’m hearing Russell Wilson’s camp has grown increasingly frustrated by the Seahawks inability to protect the 8-time Pro Bowler,” La Canfora wrote on Twitter on Monday. “He has been sacked 394 times in 9 seasons. This situation warrants serious monitoring.”

The 394 sacks are the most in a player has taken in his first nine seasons since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger, according to ESPN. Randall Cunningham is next at 366.

In a conference call with reporters on Tuesday, Wilson expressed his frustration with the number of times he’s been hit since being drafted in the third round in 2012. 

“Like any player, you never want to get hit,” Wilson told reporters via Zoom on Tuesday. “That’s the reality of playing this position. Ask any quarterback who wants to play this game. But at the same time, it’s part of the job and everything else. I’m frustrated [about] getting hit too much. I’m frustrated with that part of it. At the end of the day, you want to win.”

Is Wilson’s dissatisfaction with getting sacked almost 400 times and the team’s failure to get back to the Super Bowl after making it in back-to-back seasons enough to get him to waive his no-trade clause and approve a trade out of Seattle? He certainly didn’t outright dismiss the possibility during an interview with The Dan Patrick Show on Tuesday.

“I’m not sure if I’m available or not,” Wilson said on the show. “That’s a Seahawks question. I definitely believe they’ve gotten calls. Any time you’re a player that tries to produce every week and has done it consistently, I think people are gonna call for sure. I think that’s part of the process.”

Wilson also told Patrick he wants to be more involved with the team’s personnel decisions, the same way Tom Brady was with some of the moves Tampa Bay made after he signed with the team last March after two decades in New England.

“I want to be able to be involved because at the end of the day, it’s your legacy, it’s your team’s legacy, it’s the guys you get to go into the huddle with, and at the end of the day, those guys you’ve got to trust,” Wilson told Patrick. “When you think about one of the reasons why Tom went to Tampa was because he felt like he could trust those guys and [coach Bruce Arians] was going to give him the opportunity … You think about guys like LeBron [James], he was able to be around great players that he can trust.”

An eight-time Pro Bowler, Wilson has three years left on the four-year, $140 million extension he signed in April of 2019 and dealing him before June 1 of this year would trigger $39 million in dead-money charges against Seattle’s 2021 salary cap.

The dead money alone makes it exceedingly unlikely the Seahawks would really consider dealing their 32-year-old star quarterback, but Seattle would be wise to start protecting Wilson on the field and listening to his input off of it to avoid a messy situation.