Even with the Bears signing Andy Dalton, there is still ample chatter about the quarterback Chicago didn’t acquire. You may choose to do with these rumors whatever makes you feel most emotionally stable.
Russell Wilson remains a Seahawk. At the same time, Russell Wilson remains available.
There’s still a lot out there. Let me explain.
Last week, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported the Bears weren’t giving up on a trade for Wilson just yet. Schefter said the Bears were still monitoring the situation. Even hinting to keep an eye on something happening at the NFL Draft as a time it could happen (which was something that always made some sense). This could leave one believing this isn’t quite over, even if you were otherwise mentally prepared to move on. Bears or not, this story might not be written yet.
Just when you think you’re out, they pull you back in and other movie quotes.
Sure enough, that is a sentiment Field Yates passes along during a segment on ESPN’s Get Up program:
“I’m not convinced that he is 100 percent back in Seattle next year as of right now. Part of the reason why is that the draft was always the most logical time for a deal to potentially be made for Russell Wilson. Because, the reality for Seattle is, it’s going to have to be an incredible offer for them to trade away Russell Wilson given his ability, what he’s meant to the franchise, and also the financial side of it. But it’s most likely only going to happen if it’s a deal rich with draft picks. I don’t think Seattle would’ve been motivated [by] a deal that was made upon high-priced veteran players. I’m not guaranteeing a trade, but I’m not ruling it out because three of the four suitors have, at least presumably, solved their quarterback situation by investing or re-investing in a player this offseason.”
Independent of Chicago’s interest, that insiders of Schefter’s repute and teammates like Field Yates haven’t slammed the door on Wilson playing elsewhere in 2021 is enough to keep the rumors afloat.
Now, I understand there is an underlying feeling that this could be an angle leaked and pushed by the Bears front office to make them look better. However, Brad Biggs (Tribune) refutes the notion of this chatter being some sort of misdirection ploy.
Some tidbits from Biggs on that:
⇒ “I don’t believe the Bears are sending out any propaganda or trying to obscure their motives for the coming weeks. There could be a slim chance the Seahawks make Wilson available in the coming weeks or months. Let me be clear: This remains a long shot, and I’m not throwing this out there to create false hope.”
⇒ Biggs cites a conversation with an NFL GM who said (via Biggs): “[H]e would not rule the Bears out of a potential trade for Wilson moving forward. It was his opinion that the Seahawks could be driven to move Wilson at some point, that the timing for a deal wasn’t right and that adding Dalton would not preclude the Bears from moving to acquire Wilson.”
⇒ “Signing Dalton wasn’t a move to obscure the Bears’ true intentions. … Handling contracts for Russell Wilson, Dalton and Foles would be challenging, but the Bears could make it work if they had to. Again, I can’t stress enough that while the Wilson situation is not dead, I also would not continue to pump false hope into that scenario.”
This is all carefully and meticulously phrased from a long-time Bears beat reporter who isn’t some yes-man. So keep that in mind.
And it’s not just Schefter or Biggs relaying these thoughts. Check out ESPN’s Jeff Darlington on Ryen Russillo’s podcast at The Ringer:
— The Ringer (@ringer) March 24, 2021
Darlington says: “I still just believe that where there’s smoke, there’s fire. When you start naming teams that you’re willing to play for, you’re one foot out the door. Very rarely in the NFL, as recently as Tom Brady, when someone puts one foot out the door, they don’t usually come back in.”
If any of this rhetoric sounds familiar, it might be because Darlington was at the forefront of reporting Tom Brady’s looming departure from New England. Remember this:
“I’m now at the point where I would be stunned if Tom Brady went back to New England.”
— ESPN (@espn) February 27, 2020
Even then, I realized a lot had to go into that for it to happen. Yet eventually, it did. There was no Brady-Belichick meeting of the minds to push for one last chance. Instead, Brady did what would’ve been surprising at the time. He put aside a two decade run of dominance with the Patriots in order to test the free agent waters. He then signed his name on someone else’s dotted line and put on another uniform. And finally, won a dang Super Bowl in his first year with his new team.
Now, I’m not saying that Russell Wilson is coming to the Bears. Far from it. Instead, what I am willing to suggest is that things aren’t fitting right with this situation. And that it mirrors something we saw play out a year ago at this time — with similar verbiage, no less — has me interested.