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Should the Chicago Bears Pursue Russell Wilson?

The Seattle Seahawks had their trade denied in 2018 involving Pro Bowl Quarterback Russell Wilson, what can the Chicago Bears do to get the deal done in 2020?

To everyone’s surprise, on Wednesday Bleacher Report broke the news that the Seattle Seahawks attempted to trade Quarterback Russell Wilson to the Cleveland Browns in exchange for the 2018 #1 overall draft pick. For reasons unknown, the Browns declined that trade and went ahead and selected Baker Mayfield.

It is no secret that the Chicago Bears have been in quarterback purgatory for quite some time, so in the event that the Seahawks would listen to offers, what would it take for the Bears to get the trade done?

Before any cap ramifications are discussed, let’s look at the facts. The Seahawks have yet to resign Jadeveon Clowney, which makes them at least curious about some sort of edge-rushing presence. The Seahawks only possess seven picks in the 2021 NFL Draft, and what GM isn’t looking to create more draft capital?

The Chicago Bears let quarterback Chase Daniels go to free agency, traded a 2020 4th round pick to the Jacksonville Jaguars to acquire former Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles, and declined to pick up former #2 overall pick Mitch Trubisky’s fifth-year option.

Heading into the 2020 season the Chicago Bears potential is unknown in terms of how well the season could go, with that all riding on who plays quarterback, and how well that particular quarterback plays. To end all doubts about the position, why not go all in to acquire Russell Wilson?

Trubisky has a guaranteed salary of $4.4 million entering 2020 with a cap hit of 9.2 million. Newly acquired Nick Foles, due to the contract restructure, as a part of the trade has a guaranteed salary of $4 million and a cap hit of $6.6 million. The Foles contract is a 3 year $24 million, with $17 million fully guaranteed. Foles can earn up to $6 million in incentives, and also has a “performance-based” opt-out option in his contract.

The Bears currently have a little over $8.6 million in cap room. In order to pull off a blockbuster trade to acquire Wilson the Bears would have to try and make adjustments to the roster in order to make room. The Wilson trade proposal would include:

Seahawks Get: Khalil Mack – 2021 1st & 2022 2nd

Bears Receive: Russell Wilson

Trading Khalil Mack drops the Bears from $8.6 Million in cap room to $3.6 million because of the dead cap. In order to make room for Wilson:

Extend: WR Allen Robinson

Restructure: DL Akiem Hicks, LT Charles Leno Jr., &  RT Bobbie Massie

Cuts:  WR Cordarrelle Patterson, TE Adam Shaheen, & TE Ben Braunecker

These moves bring the Bears to nearly $25 million in cap space. Russell Wilson cap hit to the Seahawks is $31 million, meaning Wilson would have to agree to some sort of restructuring in the deal.

Some of you may wonder why Wilson would agree to restructure a deal he got barely over a year ago, the reason? The no-trade clause in his contract. Wilson can agree to waive the no-trade clause if he likes the designated landing spot. The reason he would more than likely agree to a restructure, is the feeling of disrespect that the Seahawks are actively shopping him, being able to come to a team with an established defense, and a team that is built to win right now.

Russell Wilsons’s fit with the Chicago Bears is one that fits like a glove. It’s no secret that Head Coach Matt Nagy and General Manager Ryan Pace are sitting on a warm seat. Bringing in an established veteran quarterback like Wilson will allow Nagy to open up his playbook and be the play-caller he wished he could have been with Trubisky.

Wilson has kept Seattle afloat after the departure of the “Legion of Boom”. The Seahawks defense ranked 22nd in points allowed per game with 24.9. The Bears defense ranked 4th with 17.5 per game.

Nagy always talks about finding the offenses “identity”, Wilson will give them that from the jump. Wilson would come to a Bears team who has made it a priority this offseason to get 12 personnel on the field more and be a run-first offense, this makes Wilsons’ game even more dangerous.

Even with the acquisition of Nick Foles, the Bears should go after Wilson with all they’ve got. Had the Bears known Wilson was potentially an option before the Foles deal, things might have gone a little differently. A Russell Wilson, Nick Foles, and Mitch Trubisky quarterback room is quite crowded, but there are a lot worse issues to have in the NFL than “Too many quarterbacks”.

 

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