Chris Simms has spent this current sports downtime going out on some ledges with his takes and, now, reports. The former NFL quarterback reports that the Seattle Seahawks previously looked to move on from superstar quarterback Russell Wilson.
Seattle made Wilson one of the highest-paid players in league history just over a year ago. In April 2019, he signed a four-year, $140 million deal taking him through the 2023 season. There’s a potential out ahead of that year, but as of right now, he won’t hit free agency until 2024.
Seattle won a Super Bowl with Wilson on his very cheap rookie deal. Paying a quarterback top dollar makes it more difficult to surround him with talent, though the Seahawks have taken some strides in that department. Before that new deal, Simms said that the Seahawks were shopping Wilson ahead of the 2018 NFL Draft. A few days ago, he claimed that the Seahawks offered up the seven-time Pro Bowler to the Cleveland Browns for the No. 1 overall pick, which could have been used for a player like Baker Mayfield or Sam Darnold.
Now, Simms has some more on that idea. Instead of those two talented young passers, he says that Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen was the target at the top of the NFL Draft. He spoke to Dan Patrick about the situation.
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“This is something I know. This is not some rumor. This is something that I found out about not long after the 2018 NFL Draft from some people close to the situation, and then had it confirmed on the other side, from the other team involved in it,” Simms told Dan Patrick.
When the discussion of “untradeable players,” a tag that most would assign to Wilson, came up on a ProFootballTalk appearance with Mike Florio, Simms brought up this news, which he says he originally shared last year, to little fanfare.
“What I know, is yes, there were talks between Cleveland and Seattle… I don’t know who struck up the conversation, I would imagine it was Seattle. They were debating on did they want to make Russell Wilson the highest paid player in football? And added to that, they have an incentive to build the team the way they originally did with Russell Wilson.”
Simms says he doesn’t know the level of seriousness that Seattle had in trading Wilson, but that talks were legitimate. If they had made the move, Simms is “led to believe” the target is Josh Allen, though he doesn’t know for sure.
There is at least some evidence supporting the theory. In April 2018, the Seahawks scouted Josh Allen, a move that Wilson’s camp publicly took note of at the time according to The Seattle Times. A year later, he was given his gargantuan contract.
One would assume that the Seahawks remain very committed to Wilson, given how things played out, but the fact that they were at least doing some serious due diligence on a trade as recently as 2018 is very interesting, if Simms is right.