NFL Exec Doesn't See Russell Wilson Going to Steelers; Seahawks QB 'Values Celebrity'

Adam WellsDecember 27, 2021

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - DECEMBER 26: Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks throws the ball during warm-ups before the game against the Chicago Bears at Lumen Field on December 26, 2021 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
Steph Chambers/Getty Images

If the Seattle Seahawks decide to move on from Russell Wilson this offseason, at least one NFL executive doesn't see the Pittsburgh Steelers landing the eight-time Pro Bowler in a trade. 

Speaking to The Athletic's Mike Sando, a league executive explained that it's hard to see Wilson "wanting to go" to Pittsburgh because he seems to value the celebrity aspect that goes with being a high-profile quarterback. 

Even though there are still two weeks remaining in the regular season, Sunday may have been the final nail in the coffin for the Wilson-Seahawks partnership. 

Seattle's 25-24 home loss to the Chicago Bears dropped the team to 5-10 overall and officially eliminated it from playoff contention.

This is the first season in Wilson's 10-year career that the Seahawks will finish with a losing record and just the second time they will miss the playoffs (2017). 

There was speculation last offseason that Wilson wanted out of Seattle, but he didn't go so far as to make a formal trade request. 

Wilson's agent, Mark Rodgers, told ESPN's Adam Schefter in February that his client—who has a no-trade clause—wanted to remain in Seattle, but he would consider the Bears, Dallas Cowboys, New Orleans Saints and Las Vegas Raiders if a trade were to happen. 

"I did not request a trade,” Wilson told reporters in June. "Obviously, I love Seattle. ... I've always wanted to play here for my whole career."

Wilson still has two years remaining on his contract, with cap hits of $37 million in 2022 and $40 million in 2023, per Spotrac.

Based on current cap projections for next season, the Steelers will have $43.9 million in space available. 

Just using the list of Wilson's four preferred teams, the Cowboys would seem to be the only one that is set at quarterback with Dak Prescott.

Justin Fields has shown promise over the course of his rookie season for the Bears, but he still has a lot of growth and development to do. Derek Carr remains solid for the Raiders, though there have been peaks and valleys to his game throughout his career. 

The Saints are the one team in the group of four that needs to be all-in on finding a quarterback for 2022. Jameis Winston and Taysom Hill have had their moments, but neither has proven to be a franchise quarterback. 

Wilson is having a down year by his lofty standards. The 33-year-old is on pace to have the worst QBR of his career (47.7), but he's still been much better than Ben Roethlisberger. 

He has played better in recent weeks after returning in Week 10 from finger surgery in October. He's thrown for 828 yards, six touchdowns and completed 65 percent of his passes in the past four weeks. 

Pittsburgh has managed to remain in playoff contention all season despite the 39-year-old Roethlisberger's shortcomings at this late stage of his career. The offense ranks 21st in passing DVOA and 22nd in points per game (20.1), per Football Outsiders

Roethlisberger's 38.6 QBR ranks 24th out of 31 qualified quarterbacks. 

If the Steelers could find a way to acquire Wilson, it's not hard to envision a scenario in which he plays so well that they win the AFC North in 2022.