The Chicago Bears inked Andy Dalton to a one-year contract worth up to $10 million yesterday, appearing to signal an end to their rumored pursuit of Seattle Seahawks superstar QB Russell Wilson. Wilson is not officially on the trade block by any stretch of the imagination, but Seattle is willing to listen to offers after Wilson openly called for the team to give him more protection on the offensive line. Given the issues the Seahawks have had in doing just that throughout Wilson's tenure with the team, it's not an unfair ask, but doing so to media rather than his bosses seems to have aggravated the front office.
The Bears were the team most linked with Wilson after deciding to move on from Mitch Trubisky and boasting an elite defense. On the Dan Patrick Show today, Patrick revealed what Chicago was willing to give up for the franchise quarterback they've searched so long for, and it's a massive offer: three first-round picks, a third-round pick, and two starters at undetermined positions.
Man. That's probably the best deal the Seahawks will get for Wilson if they did want to trade him. Teams with top-10 draft picks this year are unlikely to offer them up for Wilson, given such teams are often not just a quarterback away from competing for a title. Wilson has many good years ahead of him but he isn't 25-years-old like Deshaun Watson, for example, and has a gigantic contract to take into account on top of all that. The Bears are just in the right spot to make such an offer; their best pieces on both sides of the ball are in their primes, and an elite quarterback is the difference between a first-round exit and a legitimate shot at a Super Bowl.
Seattle likely turned the offer for that exact reason. Three first-round picks from Chicago doesn't mean that much when those picks are going to be in the 20s or worse. Even their pick this year is only No. 20, not nearly high enough to draft a high-level QB prospect in this year's draft. If the Seahawks trade Wilson, they'll want to rebound immediately. Pete Carroll and John Schneider are not in the business of rebuilding after eight years of playoff contention. They only trade Wilson if they know they can replace him with someone good enough to win games and get enough back in return to rebuild the defense. The Bears' offer, while enticing in quantity, wouldn't be enough to do that, even if Schneider somehow turned it around and used the picks to trade up or for a guy like Sam Darnold.
Adam Schefter said on ESPN this morning that he's not sure Wilson will be in Seattle by September even with the Bears now out of the running, so maybe a team like the Dolphins or the Jets could still send over an offer that gives Seattle a straightforward path towards another potential franchise quarterback. But until they get such an offer, Wilson will stay put.