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A Dak Prescott For Russell Wilson Trade Makes Sense But Isn't Feasible This Year

Liam McKeone
Feb 25, 2021, 2:28 PM EST
Dak Prescott, Russell Wilson, and Ezekiel Elliott
Dak Prescott, Russell Wilson, and Ezekiel Elliott | Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
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Russell Wilson's name was unexpectedly thrown into the trade rumor machine after he complained to the media about the issues he has with his team, the team got mad, and suddenly other franchises starting asking if Wilson was available.

Things came to a head today when The Athletic reported Wilson's camp had given the Seahawks a list of places Wilson would agree to go (he has a no-trade clause), and then Adam Schefter tweeted out the below information.

The Saints and Raiders were included in the initial report earlier today, but Dallas is a new addition. An intriguing one. A very intriguing one indeed.

Nothing has actually happened yet, of course. Wilson wants to play in Seattle and Seattle probably doesn't have any desire to trade their best player unless they absolutely have to. But we've gotten pretty far down the road here. A trade does not seem likely, but it is certainly not out of the realm of possibility.

If the Seahawks do go down that path, the Cowboys are the only natural trade partner on this list because of one man: Dak Prescott. Prescott will likely be franchise-tagged for the second year in a row. Dallas does not seem particularly interested in handing him a massive, long-term deal. If they were, the dotted line would have been signed by this point. Given Jerry Jones has more money than God, the price tag itself is probably not the issue. Were we to take a gander at guessing why, it likely has more to do with the fact that Prescott wants to be paid like a top quarterback. But it isn't a given that he is a top-flight quarterback and deserves the same money as Deshaun Watson or Aaron Rodgers or even Wilson. An argument can be made, sure, especially based on how Dallas looked sans Prescott last year, but that's all it is: an argument. It isn't indisputable.

Based on the reasoning above, Dallas would happily fork over the dough for a quarterback that is undeniably one of the best in the league. Like, say, Wilson, who is currently in the midst of a four-year, $140 million contract. Swapping the two signal-callers is a deal that actually works great for both sides.

Seattle would get Prescott after the Cowboys franchise-tag him. Dallas would give them a few draft picks in return to help restock their cupboard, which is rather bare after the Jamal Adams trade. Let's call it Prescott, the No. 10 pick in this year's draft, a 2021 second-round pick, and a 2022 first-rounder for Wilson. The Seahawks can rebuild their defense using those picks without having to completely start over on offense, and the current iteration of Prescott looks a lot like Wilson's early years-- a quarterback capable of attacking through the air and on the ground and makes the most out of his opportunities for a team that loves to run the ball. The Cowboys get their quarterback and can fully lean into the win-now mentality that the organization appears to be dead-set on.

There is one rather large speed bump that should derail any hype that such a transaction would get. Wilson's dead-cap hit this year is $58 million. Which means that if the Seahawks do decide to trade Wilson over the next few months, he will still count for $58 million against their cap sheet, nearly a third of what their total cap room is projected to be. That is not really something Seattle could work with if they traded Wilson for draft picks, much less if they traded for Prescott and had to sign him to a massive deal (which would presumably be an unspoken agreement in a trade for him, just as it was for Adams).

They could kick the can down the road and play Prescott on a franchise tag this year before signing him to a new deal next offseason, but Prescott probably wouldn't be happy with that arrangement after seeing how quickly one's season can end in 2020. Even going that route would leave the team no money to sign anybody and barely enough to sign their rookies, despite whatever cap manipulation is at hand.

Given how expensive such a trade would be for Seattle, it is very unlikely this will happen. The Eagles did just swallow Carson Wentz' massive $33 million dead cap hit to send him to Indy, but that situation was obviously much different and Wilson's dead cap hit would be $25 million more than Wentz' record-breaking number. It's a pipe dream. For now. Next offseason, Wilson's dead cap hit would be "only" $26 million. If his relationship continues to deteriorate with the team and the Cowboys can't come to an extension agreement with Prescott, this scenario could definitely be revisited.

For now, though, we won't see any movement on the QB carousel as it pertains to these teams. But how fun would it be?

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