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NFL insider on Russell Wilson to the Eagles: “No question in my mind that [he] would top their list”

Danger Russ coming to Philly?

Seattle Seahawks v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

The 2021 trade deadline has come and gone but that didn’t stop NFL insiders Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen from discussing what trades might materialize in the offseason on a recent episode of The Adam Schefter Podcast.

The guys had some pretty interesting stuff to say when it came to the Philadelphia Eagles. Transcript below:

SCHEFTER: We expect to have an offseason of quarterback movement. I’m curious to hear your assessment of this potential quarterback class that’s going to be available. With Deshaun Watson, who we just assessed right there, potentially Russell Wilson, potentially Aaron Rodgers. What do we think of the fact that two, three of these quarterbacks could be available now that we’ve gotten past [talking about] the Watson situation? How about the other two, Mort?

MORTENSEN: Yeah, I’m going to speak to Russell Wilson first. Because, obviously, last year you reported on the teams he would approve a trade to, which was interesting, if you know all the machinations of what’s going on there. And now we hear Pete Carroll putting a lot of love on Russell Wilson because he’s coming back from this injury and surgery on the finger. But I think it’s going to be revisited at the end of the year. And I think the Philadelphia Eagles, as you know, sitting there, if they get that pick from the Colts with Carson Wentz, that second-round pick becomes a one if he plays 75% of the plays […] the Eagles have a cachet of first-round draft picks and there’s no question in my mind that Russell Wilson would top their list. And as you know you and you might’ve reported this first, the Eagles, when Russell Wilson came out in that [2012] draft, Andy Reid was the coach, Howie Roseman was certainly in the front office, Russell Wilson was someone they thought about taking in the second round. Am I right?

SCHEFTER: Mhm. Yeah. They wanted him. There were a lot of teams. Washington wanted him, Indianapolis wanted him. There were a lot of teams that were gonna take Russell Wilson. Of course, even Seattle ultimately did at No. 75, right after the Jacksonville Jaguars took Bryan Anger, the punter, at 74. I’ll always remember that. So, Russell Wilson, we think, again, that that drama, that that storyline has been tabled to this offseason. And as you alluded to, the Eagles could have three top 20 picks. Right now I think they’re scheduled to have three in the top 10. I don’t think the Colts will be there at the end of the year but they could have three top 20 picks. Nobody would have more ammunition to go get a quarterback than the Philadelphia Eagles. Jalen Hurts, to date, I don’t think has convinced them that he is the guy. Right? So, Russell Wilson in Philly. Could you see that, Mort?

MORTENSEN: Well, yes, I can. I know Jalen and I hope he is the guy but so far they’re not convinced. He has the rest of the year to persuade them, convince them that he’s the guy. And, let’s face it, you still get to the point where, hey, listen, Rusell Wilson we believe is a future Hall of Famer and still in his prime. So, if you have a chance to get that type of player, you get that type of player.

SCHEFTER. No matter what, right?/

MORTENSEN: Right. No matter what. That’s the truth. And then it’s a matter of, would Russell be willing to play in Philadelphia? Well, it’s not too far from New York, and it’s a big market. And certainly Seattle would have [interest in] the draft capital, they need to rebuild their roster. Or restock it, I’ll say.

SCHEFTER: Well, they could use that. So, we think Russell Wilson is in play this upcoming offseason.

Wilson being connected to the Eagles isn’t anything brand new. As Mortensen noted, it’s long been known that Philly coveted him in the 2012 NFL Draft. Howie Roseman made the mistake of picking three players (Fletcher Cox, Mychal Kendricks, Vinny Curry) ahead of him before Seattle scooped him off the board in the third round. “Settling” for Nick Foles ultimately could’ve worked out a lot worse for the Eagles, though getting Wilson instead clearly would’ve been the preferable outcome.

Beyond the Eagles’ longstanding connection to WIlson, there have been some more relatively recent developments. Following the trade to acquire the Miami Dolphins’ 2022 first-round pick, one NFL executive had the following to say to The Athletic:

“All they’re doing is stockpiling picks for next year, so they can get weapons for Jalen Hurts or acquire one of the top two overall picks to draft a quarterback. And I would put Philly in the driver’s seat for Russell Wilson next year if Seattle moves him. That would have Howie Roseman written all over it.”

Now, why exactly would the Seahawks trade one of the best quarterbacks in the league? Well, they might not. Wilson is under contract through 2023.

But there was talk that Wilson wanted out of Seattle last offseason. And, unlike this year, the Seahawks might be willing to oblige if they’re headed towards a rebuild. There’s reason to believe that Seattle might take a step back as an organization considering a slow start to this season with a 3-5 record through eight games. There are also calls for Pete Carroll, the NFL’s oldest coach at 70 years aged, to be fired.

And so the Seahawks might be tempted to kick off a new era with high picks that the Eagles can offer them.

But does Wilson want to come to Philly? That’s relevant because he has a no-trade clause. He didn’t have the Eagles on his list of four teams he’d approve a trade to in the offseason. Those were the Las Vegas Raiders, the Chicago Bears, the Dallas Cowboys, and the New Orleans Saints. Assuming the Raiders hold on to Carr, three of those teams are set under center. The Saints stick out as the obvious team without a long-term signal caller. Given Sean Payton’s presence, they appear to be a more attractive destination than Philly. But they also don’t have nearly as many draft assets to offer to Seattle.

Should the Eagles even want Wilson? Does it really make sense to trade picks for a 32-year-old quarterback? The answer to both of those questions should be: “Yes.” Wilson has an incredibly clean bill of health and there’s reason to believe he can be pretty good for years to come. There are plenty of veteran quarterbacks playing into their late 30s. Tom Brady is obviously an exception in many regard but he’s 44.

The Eagles have undoubtedly have issues beyond the quarterback position. It’s not like he’s the sole missing piece to the Eagles suddenly being Super Bowl favorites. But finding the QB answer is most crucial. As Schefter and Mortensen noted, Hurts hasn’t come close to cementing himself as the franchise quarterback. If Wilson is available, you do what you can to get one of the league’s very best players, a perennial MVP candidate, at the most important position.

Wilson to Philly will be something to monitor this offseason.

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