Handicapping where Seahawks’ Russell Wilson plays next season

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There is a legion of doom-and-gloom feel around the Seahawks, and growing intrigue about whether a dream franchise marriage will end unhappily ever after.

There are desperate fan bases littered across the NFL pleading:

Go get Russell Wilson.

At all costs, salary-cap machinations and draft capital included.

Wilson has been restless in Seattle since before this wretched season, when his agent identified four teams — the Saints, Cowboys, Raiders and Bears — for which Wilson would waive his no-trade clause. Comeback kid Dak Prescott is entrenched in Dallas, Derek Carr has revved up his career with the Raiders, and Justin Fields is the Bears’ quarterback of the future.

So Wilson, if he decides that it is time for a change of scenery (or if the Seahawks decide that they no longer want him concluding interviews with “Go Hawks”), will seek as many new suitors as he and celebrity wife Ciara possibly can.

“They need a change of perspective,” former Super Bowl champion quarterback Trent Dilfer said, “so either they change or he needs to change. That thing has to become light and fun and energetic and not heavy, or then yes, he needs a change.”

Wilson just turned 33, and since returning from a fractured middle finger, he has hardly been DangeRuss, but if you are a Giants fan, or a Saints or Eagles or Washington fan (and the list goes on), you would let him cook in your kitchen next season as much as he desires, without thinking twice.

“If you don’t have a flamethrower in this business,” CBS Sports Network’s Rich Gannon said, “you’re better off selling life insurance.”

Seattle
Russell Wilson
Getty Images

Wilson has never looked this flummoxed — or this inaccurate. No one, however, should forget his record of elite sustained success, and that were it not for the worst play call in Super Bowl history — apparently Marshawn Lynch was just there so he didn’t get fined — Wilson would have two Super Bowl rings and Tom Brady would have a mere six.

If parting is such sweet sorrow, though, could Wilson, who has two years remaining on his contract, and Pete Carroll decide that the grass isn’t always greener?

“We all look at it like everything is rocky and bumpy. … I don’t know that that’s necessarily as true as we make it to be,” NFL on CBS analyst Charles Davis said. “A lot of times you start to look at the person you’ve known for all those years, you can say, ‘Hold on a second. Let’s remember the good.’ It certainly sounded like last year might have been irreconcilable differences and they came back together.”

Just because they’re back together now doesn’t mean they’ll stay together in the future. Here is a look at the prospective field should the Russell Wilson Sweepstakes begin following the season, with odds established by the Serby Says crack staff:

Saints (6/5)

Sean Payton has the pelts on the wall. But he doesn’t have a championship-caliber quarterback. He does have a quality offensive line and Alvin Kamara. Payton undoubtedly would let Russ cook. How would Ciara feel about Mardi Gras? Would she give a thumbs-up to the chickory coffee and beignets at Cafe du Monde?

“I love what Sean Payton did with Drew Brees. … If I were Russell Wilson’s representative, you gotta take a good, hard, long look at that situation,” Gannon said. “Tom Brady’s not gonna play forever, Matt Ryan’s not gonna play forever, and Carolina doesn’t have a quarterback.”

Dilfer: “Sean’s one of the greatest quarterback coaches of all time, he’s one of the greatest play-callers of all time. … Russell would thrive in that situation.”

Panthers (2-1)

Coach Matt Rhule and offensive coordinator Joe Brady make for an impressive team. Running back Christian McCaffrey — when healthy — is any quarterback’s best friend, and receiver D.J. Moore is a talent. Remember, the Panthers were in on Deshaun Watson, and owner David Tepper, a billionaire hedge fund manager, has some Steve Cohen in him.

“Their offensive line is terrible. I don’t know who could be really successful behind it,” NFL Network’s Brian Baldinger said. “But they probably have the most money and the most resources and the hungriest owner of anybody. That owner wants to own the corridor from Washington all the way to Jacksonville.”

Seattle
Pete Carroll jumps into the arms of Russell Wilson.
USA TODAY Sports

Washington (3-1)

The toxic environment of recent yesteryear could understandably be a turnoff, but everyone loves coach Ron Rivera and “Scary” Terry McLaurin is every bit the weapon that Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf have been for Wilson. Ciara would be an odds-on favorite to perform at a White House function. Taylor Heinicke is merely a nice story.

“They’ve been building the team the right way,” Baldinger said, “and all they need is a quarterback. That could be a good fit.”

Eagles (4-1)

“It would be a great fit,” Baldinger said. “This offensive line is the best in football. DeVonta Smith is a big-time player. They’re probably one really good wide receiver away with [Wilson] saying that’s a good fit. The Eagles have the draft capital to do it, and they have the money to do it.”

Does Ciara like cheesesteaks? Pat’s or Geno’s? The Eagles currently own two top-10 picks in the 2022 draft.

“I like Jalen Hurts, but the owner [Jeffrey Lurie] is really into analytics and throwing the football, and you gotta throw it to win it, and really Jalen is the opposite of that. He’s not a bad thrower, but he’s a great runner,” Baldinger said. “The owner would like Russell, and that part of it.”

Dolphins (5-1)

The Miami and Watson marriage seemed like a fait accompli, but his legal issues intruded. Tua Tagovailoa has stepped up his play, but would owner Stephen Ross change his mind and chase a Super Bowl with Wilson? If he changes his mind on Watson, Wilson would be the clean face of a franchise anyone would crave. Joe’s Stone Crab and Carbone and Prime 112 headline the hot dining scene, and who wouldn’t want to take his or her talents to South Beach? And Bill Belichick won’t be coaching forever, will he?

“You’re not talking about a 38-year-old quarterback,” Gannon said. “You got a guy that can play another eight years, seven years.”

Broncos (6-1)

Teddy Bridgewater isn’t taking John Elway back to the Super Bowl, and Drew Lock looks like a backup. Wilson would have a trio of talented receivers in Jerry Jeudy, Courtland Sutton and Tim Patrick, a tight end threat in Noah Fant, as well as a promising young running back in Javonte Williams. Does Ciara ski? Aspen is a mere 198 miles from Denver.

“[Coach] Vic Fangio would give his right arm to have a guy like Russell,” Gannon said.

“I think you need somebody different than the offensive coordinator they have there [Pat Shurmur]. … I just think it’s just very stale with what he goes,” Baldinger said. “But they’ve got three really young talented receivers when they can stay healthy. This running back is the real deal. I could see Denver being a good fit.”

Steelers (7-1)

Ben Roethlisberger is on his last legs, and you would think Wilson would have a good deal of respect for coach Mike Tomlin. Impressive young weapons in WRs Diontae Johnson and Chase Claypool, TE Pat Freiermuth, and RB Najee Harris, but the offensive line is a problem, and Wilson has been there, done that lately. Great city, great people, but how gung-ho would Ciara be waving a Terrible Towel? The downside: The division is very competitive.

“That could be a good fit with a good coach,” Baldinger said.

Giants
Daniel Jones
Getty Images

Giants (10-1)

Who’s the GM?

“If I was him, I wouldn’t go,” Baldinger said. “It’s just too dysfunctional. It doesn’t make any sense what they do.”

The Giants Way hasn’t been giving up on a Daniel Jones.

“The most dysfunctional thing you can do with a young quarterback is just keep pulling the rug out from under him,” Gannon said. “When you watch him, there’s a lot of things to like. I think part of it is his confidence is shaken a little bit because he doesn’t know it he’s coming or going half the time.”

Wilson will want to win. That offensive line won’t seduce him. This would be a hard sell. Broadway, on the other hand, would be an easy sell for Ciara.

Lions (OFF)

Next question.

Seahawks (10/1)

“Pete Carroll’s one of the top 15 coaches we’ve ever seen at any level,” Dilfer said. “He will figure out what needs to be done to fix it. Great coaches are pliable. They’re flexible. They’re fluid. They have standards, they have convictions, but they’ll morph around those to make it work. I think Pete can make this work. Pete’s a master relationship guy, and I think he can fix this if he wants to.”

Or as Gannon says: “What does life look like without him?” Not nearly as good as life with him.

“There are so many more great years ahead,” Wilson said on Thursday.

Where?

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