With top free agents, such as recent New York Jets signing Le'Veon Bell, finding new teams in recent weeks, as well as the likes of Antonio Brown and Odell Beckham Jr. respectively getting traded to the Oakland Raiders and Cleveland Browns, one of the top storylines in the 2019 NFL offseason revolves around Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson. After playing seven seasons in Seattle as one of the NFL's top quarterbacks, Wilson has reportedly set a deadline of Monday, April 15, for signing a new contract with the organization. And if the latest rumors are to be believed, the Seahawks appear to be under the impression that Wilson is indeed entertaining the idea of getting traded.
On Sunday, Mike Florio of NBC Sports' Pro Football Talk cited a league source, who claims that Wilson "would like to play elsewhere," even if he hasn't, and probably wouldn't express such a sentiment. Florio added that this could also mean Wilson will "drive a harder bargain" with the Seahawks than he would with other teams that may be interested in his services. This, he said, could be the case if the Seahawks do not offer Wilson a satisfactory deal by his self-imposed deadline.
So far, most of the Russell Wilson trade rumors that have swirled in recent weeks have linked him to the New York Giants, who, as pointed out by Bleacher Report, might need to find someone to replace aging quarterback Eli Manning. Aside from Fox Sports 1's Colin Cowherd, who speculated in February on The Herd that Wilson could thrive with the Giants for a number of reasons, Kansas City Chiefs defensive back Tyrann Mathieu also tweeted on Sunday that "Russ wants New York," adding more fuel to the fire ahead of Wilson's April 15 deadline.Regardless of whether Wilson is traded to the Giants or not, former Oakland Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio also aired his thoughts on the matter last week, saying that the way the quarterback "gave the deadline" could be a sign that he wouldn't mind playing for another team in the coming 2019 NFL season.
"He's been a tremendous player there for them, but to me, that gives just enough ammo for the fans out there to not really like that and enough for the Seahawks to maybe do what they've done, jettisoning some of their other players before they overpay," Del Rio said, as quoted by CBS Sports.
A five-time Pro Bowl selection since entering the NFL in 2012, Russell Wilson has never won fewer than nine regular season games during his time in Seattle. As shown on his Pro Football Reference player page, Wilson had another good year in 2018, throwing 35 touchdown passes and seven interceptions for 3,448 yards and finishing the season with a QB rating of 110.9.