Russell Wilson was never a trade target of the Cleveland Browns, according to the team's former head coach Hue Jackson. Jackson was responding to comments made earlier in the week by Chris Simms who claimed there were trade talks between the Browns and the Seattle Seahawks for the quarterback in 2018, Zach Gelb of CBS Sports Radio reported on Friday.
Jackson said the reports that the Browns almost landed Wilson was "news to him." He appeared on Gelb's program and made it clear he thought the rumors were completely untrue.
"I've never heard anything so crazy in my life. I'm sure John [Dorsey] and John Schneider are really tight. I'm sure if they're having conversations on their own, just jiving around and doing those kinds of things – I would think if something was serious about that, we, the executive team and the organization would have known. I never heard that."Jackson added that he didn't think the Browns would have traded for Wilson even if talks happened. The former head coach said Baker Mayfield was their top target in 2018. When Gelb asked Jackson if he would have preferred to have a veteran signal-caller rather than a rookie, Jackson admitted he wouldn't have minded landing Wilson.
The former coach, who is currently out of the league, also said he doesn't believe the Seahawks would have wanted to trade their star quarterback. When he was asked whether or not he'd reach out to Dorsey to see if the reports were true, he said he had no reason to do that. "No, what for?" he said. "It doesn't matter. Honestly, what does it matter right now? It really doesn't matter.Jackson also wondered where the report of a trade for Wilson came from. He thought it might have been the product of a slow news cycle. He told Gelb he knew it is the NFL's offseason right now, but there's usually more going on. He added there's usually teams going into preseason camps reporters can talk about. He said he believed the lack of action was causing reporters to drum up fake reports to talk about.
Cody Benjamin of CBS Sports reported earlier in the week, the Browns offered a first-round pick for Wilson just before the 2018 NFL Draft. If there was a trade on the table between the two teams, it never fully materialized. Not long after the Seahawks were supposedly considering dealing their star quarterback, they signed Wilson to a new four-year contract worth $140 million.