The Chicago Bears were aggressive in pursuit of Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson before relenting and reportedly agreeing to terms on a contract with free agent Andy Dalton on Tuesday. According to Dan Patrick on "The Dan Patrick Show", Chicago offered Seattle a trade package that included three first-round picks, one third-round pick and two starters. Patrick added that the offer interested Seattle but it was ultimately head coach Pete Carroll's decision and Carroll declined. The names of the two starters were not specifically mentioned, but speculation immediately went to edge rusher Khalil Mack because of the Seahawks' need for pass rushers. CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora has since confirmed the report, adding that Seattle was presented with several players from which to choose one or possibly more. Defensive tackle Akiem Hicks and Mack were included in that group.
NFL Media's Stacey Dales added that the Bears "did everything in their power" and were "unloading the chamber" in an effort to pry Wilson from his Pacific Northwest roots. ESPN's Adam Schefter stated from the beginning that Wilson wished to continue playing for the franchise before reportedly presenting Seattle with four teams in which he was willing to waive his no-trade clause: the Cowboys, Saints, Raiders and Bears.
On Wednesday, Schefter reported that he is not willing to call a potential Wilson trade dead until after the 2021 NFL Draft despite Seattle's unwillingness to negotiate at this time.
The friction between the Seahawks and Wilson reportedly began when the quarterback sought more input into personnel decisions and the team gave the proposal little to no consideration. The veteran has had a respectable cast of skill talent during his career, including Tyler Lockett, Doug Baldwin, Marshawn Lynch, D.K. Metcalf and others, but at the expense of the offensive line. Minimal investment into the unit tasked with protecting Wilson has led to frustration and the raw sack statistic -- ranked in the bottom half of the league in sacks allowed every year since 2012 -- supports that claim. Wilson is also partially to blame, however. His mobile nature extends plays and ultimately leads to more sack opportunities for the opposition.
Since presenting the aforementioned list of teams as potential landing spots, Dallas has re-signed Dak Prescott to a lucrative deal and Drew Brees announced his retirement from the Saints. One sticking point in any potential trade conversation is Seattle's plan at the quarterback position in a post-Wilson world. Neither Las Vegas (No. 17 overall) nor Chicago (No. 20 overall) own rights to a draft pick within the top half of the order, which essentially makes it impossible to get one of the top options in the 2021 NFL Draft short of surrendering the other assets acquired via trade. The Raiders' potential inclusion of Derek Carr would at least give Seattle something to consider. Neither Nick Foles nor Andy Dalton would be of interest to the Seahawks considering Chicago has essentially said neither is of interest to the Bears through their own actions.
Salary cap gymnastics would have to occur as well for a Wilson deal to work for both parties. He carries a $58 million dead cap hit for the 2021 season. The Eagles, Rams and Lions have shown an ability to take on large dead-cap hits this offseason if the motivation is enough.
The 2021 NFL Draft is scheduled to begin April 29 in Cleveland. Schefter has essentially presented that day as a deadline for a deal to be completed.