FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — No, Russell Wilson isn’t asking for a trade. He’s publicly angry. He’s repeatedly called out the Seattle Seahawks management. His agent listed four teams — Dallas, New Orleans, Las Vegas and Chicago — he’d waive a no-trade clause to play for.
But, no, he’s not yet asking for a trade.
If I’m the Dolphins, I get on that list anyway.
I make back-channel calls. I sell what’s happening here. And I do enough due diligence to know the cost if Wilson becomes available in trade. The Dolphins, after all, have more draft assets to offer than any other team mentioned.
If this sounds like my repeated refrain for Houston’s DeShaun Watson — why wouldn’t it be? There are two elite quarterbacks in differing stages of their prime maybe, possibly, on the market this offseason. Two! When has one ever been available?
Any other year since the turn of the century and Dolphins fans would be wetting their pants over the chance for either Watson or Wilson. But now many are wedded to second-year quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. You can appreciate that. These fans say with better surrounding talent, Tua can become great. You can appreciate that, too. Maybe that happens.
These fans will say trading for a proven quarterback isn’t part of the rebuilding plan. This is where I get off the bus.
Don’t you see? Getting an elite quarterback is the plan. It was the entire reason for this long and complicated rebuild. Maybe Tua becomes what Wilson and Watson are now. But why not get the genuine article right now?
It doesn’t prohibit the means of adding talent. The Dolphins have stockpiled draft picks to the point they could have a normal draft — one first-round pick, one second-round pick this year — even if they make the trade for Wilson or Watson.
Both veteran quarterbacks keep pushing toward forcing a trade, too. Watson met with new Houston coach David Culley on Thursday and said he wouldn’t play for the Texans again, according to reports. This is just Watson’s side talking. But he’s been firm on that idea.
Wilson “stormed out” of a meeting with Seattle officials on Thursday over ideas on how to fix their offense. Again, this is Wilson’s side letting out this news. But why would they let this out if they weren’t choreographing an exit plan?
There are differences between Wilson and Watson. Wilson is 32 to Watson’s 25. Wilson is signed for three more years starting at $32 million this year rather than Watson’s discounted $16 million this season that jumps next season.
But here’s the thing: The trade price will reflect that age and salary cost difference if everyone reaches that point. If the starting point for Watson is four first-round picks, is it three first-round picks for Wilson? Wouldn’t you do that for at least six years of proven greatness at the position the Dolphins have lacked since the turn of the century?
Both Seattle and Houston are mum on all this. You’d expect that no matter what’s happening behind closed doors. You’d expect them to say the quarterbacks aren’t available even if they were available for the right price.
The easy way out of this for Houston and Seattle is to swap quarterbacks — if both quarterbacks with no-trade clauses approve. Another way is for Seattle to trade to Dallas and get Dak Prescott in return. But Prescott is coming off injury, wants a big-money deal and hasn’t played to Wilson’s level.
The Dolphins can offer Tua and the No. 3 pick. No team can offer that. And, if I’m the Dolphins, the phone is ringing right now in Seattle with that idea.(c)2021 the Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.