The Seattle Seahawks made Russell Wilson the highest-paid quarterback in NFL history when they extended him on a four-year, $140 million deal prior to the 2019 season. Before that, however, they at least entertained the possibility of trading the superstar. Or at least that's according to NBC Sports' Chris Simms, who recently told ProFootballTalk the Cleveland Browns had discussions with Seattle in 2018 regarding a potential deal for Wilson, even going as far as offering the No. 1 pick in that year's draft.
The Browns contend the trade was discussed "conceptually," per PFT, but acknowledge privately the "discussion did indeed happen." The inclusion of a no-trade clause in Wilson's eventual big-money extension with Seattle, in fact, stemmed in part from "chatter regarding the potential trade to Cleveland," according to PFT's Mike Florio.
In 2018, of course, the Browns were still eyeing a franchise QB, with the team ultimately using the No. 1 pick on current starter Baker Mayfield. The Seahawks, meanwhile, were coming off their first season without a playoff appearance in six years -- and the first and only time Seattle has missed the postseason with Wilson at QB.
It's not hard to suggest this was a case of Cleveland taking a swing at Wilson rather than Seattle looking to unload its QB, even with a lucrative contract looming at the time, but Florio said Thursday that some "close to the situation" still believe the Super Bowl-winning signal-caller will eventually be traded. With Wilson publicly hinting he and Seattle on the hook for close to $40 million per year toward the end of his contract, "some think it's just a matter of time" before the Seahawks move on.
Doing so, of course, would rob the team of the biggest -- and, arguably, sometimes only -- reason Seattle has been a consistent playoff contender. The 31-year-old Wilson, a seven-time Pro Bowler, has been both remarkably durable and productive for his entire nine-year NFL career, never once missing a start and throwing at least 30 touchdown passes in four of his last five seasons.