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Russell Wilson was not dealt in the offseason of 2021. While the attention has been on whether Aaron Rodgers and/or Deshaun Watson would be available within reason for some team to upgrade to an exceptional experienced quarterback option soon, it appears that Wilson will be sold from the Seahawks in 2022.
Wilson's contract runs until 2023, but he may be dealt for $26 million in salary cap relief, with Seattle losing only $11 million in dead money next year. Wilson expressed dissatisfaction with the direction of the offence this offseason and received a coordinator change as a result. However, with a finger injury causing him to miss the first games of his career and facing what will be his first losing season, Wilson may need to switch teams for his best chance at a second Super Bowl ring.
The Seahawks' quarterback is hoping to extend his prime as he turns 33 on the same day his team plays at Washington on "Monday Night Football" to cap Week 12. Wilson did have a trade destination wishlist when he was first reported, but recent developments in the league's quarterback position should have changed that. Several well-rounded talented teams who believe they are only a top QB away — witness the 2020 Buccaneers before Tom Brady — will be aggressive in trying to persuade the Seahawks to trade Wilson, especially if Rodgers can stay in Green Bay and Watson can't overcome his major off-field issue.
Wilson's favourite four teams, according to a March article, were the Cowboys, Saints, Raiders, and Bears. Three of those teams are no longer viable options for Wilson. Dak Prescott is the quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys. Derek Carr is through a difficult coaching shift in Las Vegas. With Justin Fields in charge, Chicago must move forward. Given the one-of-a-kind investment on Taysom Hill, New Orleans might possibly be ruled out.
So, in a 2022 trade, where should Wilson focus his efforts to improve his chances of winning a championship?
Russell Wilson's best 2022 landing spots
Washington Football Team
With offensive coordinator Scott Turner, Washington has a terrific offensive system and a dynamic passing game. Norv's son has some of the Seahawks' power-run instincts, but he also likes to push the ball downfield. Because of his arm and athleticism, Taylor Heinicke has made an impression in the strategy.
There's plenty of offensive skill support in Antonio Gibson, Terry McLaurin, Logan Thomas, and former Seahawks scatback J.D. McKissic. WFT now has a more appealing leadership team with Ron Rivera, Martin Mayhew, and Jason Wright. The Football Team has the potential to have a top defence once all of its great players emerge from the fog.
Wilson should consider whether he can rock a second act in the nation's capital when he celebrates his birthday by performing in "other" Washington. It also helps that Washington's hometown of Richmond, Virginia, is not far away. With Prescott in Dallas and Jalen Hurts on the rise in Philadelphia, Wilson has a lot more time than a drafted rookie to transform WFT's QB standing in the NFC East.
The Steelers are during Ben Roethlisberger's swan song, which will most likely end with him retiring before his 40th season rather than them having to make a difficult decision in 2022. They are expected to have a mid-to-late first-round draught pick as they fight for a postseason position in the AFC.
With T.J. Watt on the defensive line and Najee Harris in the backfield, they have a team that is ready to win now. With Diontae Johnson, Chase Claypool, and Pat Freiermuth, they have immediate youthful receiving appeal. Wilson may also re-establish a good head coaching relationship with Mike Tomlin, who is also from Virginia.
With Teddy Bridgewater replacing Drew Lock, the Broncos have seen minimal results. They'll look at every option available to John Elway and general manager George Paton to find a long-term franchise-type quarterback. Denver will have a good chance of landing a top prospect in the draught, but it has been linked to either Rodgers or Watson.
Given their severe fade in the AFC West behind the Chiefs, Chargers, and Raiders, the real question is whether Wilson would regard the Broncos as potential contenders. They could possibly be on the verge of a significant change after parting ways with coach Vic Fangio. Remember both Brady and Matthew Stafford, who went from the Lions to the Rams, were able to leverage their experienced presence by landing in secure organisational positions.
Cam Newton was signed by the Panthers, and while he's done a good job cleaning up their quarterback situation in the middle of the season, he shouldn't be considered a long-term option for 2022 and beyond. Newton, like Wilson, is in his final season as a 32-year-old quarterback.
So, where will brash general manager Scott Fitterer and coach Matt Rhule look for a long-term solution to the most important position in the league? Watson, who is only 26 years old, is a likely target if he wants to avoid disciplinary punishment. When it comes to the more experienced quarterbacks, Wilson would be a better fit with Joe Brady's offensive style than Rodgers.
The Panthers need to upgrade at left tackle, but Christian McCaffrey, D.J. Moore, and Terrace Marshall Jr. provide solid skill support. When everyone is healthy, they also have a promising young defence? Will they be able to pitch Wilson, a former NC State quarterback, and convince him to return to his home state? That is the portion that is the most debatable.
If Miami remains interested in Watson as a youthful replacement for Tua Tagovailoa, it's likely that GM Chris Grier and coach Brian Flores are looking at all QB alternatives for 2021, from Aaron Rodgers to a rookie. Wilson is somewhere in the middle of the spectrum.
On top of a high-profile market, there are enticing coaching and personnel factors, as with the other teams mentioned above. It all boils down to whether the Dolphins want to risk a draught pick on an ageing quarterback.
New York Giants
For Wilson's services, this is the wild-card team. In New York, there could be more sweeping significant changes, with GM Dave Gettleman and/or coach Joe Judge perhaps being involved in the clean-up. It's also possible that the quest for a franchise quarterback will be restarted from Daniel Jones.
Running back Saquon Barkley, wide receivers Kenny Golladay, Kadarius Toney, Sterling Shepard, and tight end Evan Engram are all outstanding offensive players for the Giants. Andrew Thomas has also established himself as a capable left tackle. With a greater offence, their defence can also be a more effective complement.
Wilson may have a chance to gain the veteran QB personnel and strategizing power that Brady had with the Buccaneers with the Giants. But it would come down to persuading him to replace Jones with a wonderful package while remaining committed to a chosen play-caller and/or coach.