Russell Wilson addresses rumors that the Seahawks might trade him to the Giants

With Russell Wilson heading into the final year of his contract in Seattle, you'd think the Seahawks would be busy trying to hammer out a long-term extension, but that doesn't seem to be happening just yet. 

Since the beginning of the offseason, things have been eerily quiet on the negotiation front -- as noted by CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora -- and when things get quiet, that's when rumors start. One of those rumors came from Fox Sports One's Colin Cowherd, who mentioned in February that he had been hearing that Wilson might want out of Seattle. Cowherd also noted that Wilson's wife, Ciara, would like to live in New York because it would provide her with professional opportunities that she can't get in Seattle. 

So what does Wilson think about all of these rumors?

The Seahawks quarterback was actually asked about the gossip on Friday during an appearance on "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon," and although Wilson didn't completely shoot down the possibility of one day replacing Eli Manning in New York, he did say the he loves Seattle. 

"I'm not sure the Seahawks are going to let me get away," Wilson said. "I love Seattle. Seattle is a special place, been able to win a Super Bowl there, go to two Super Bowls, multiple playoff games and everything else." 

That's a solid answer, but it's not exactly, "That rumor is dumb, I'd never leave Seattle." Of course, Wilson's interview came three days after the Odell Beckham trade, which might be why he didn't want to blow the idea off completely. Basically, if Beckham can be traded then almost anyone can be traded. 

Wilson also noted that he's had some success in MetLife Stadium, where the Giants play. 

"I did win a Super Bowl here. New York-New Jersey's been good," Wilson said. 

The 30-year-old quarterback won a Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium after the Seahawks trounced the Broncos 43-8. 

Seahawks general manager John Schneider was also recently asked about the trade rumor and he simply attributed it to the fact that it's the offseason and people need something to talk about, but also, he didn't necessarily deny anything. 

"It is just kind of stuff out there. It's the offseason and there is not a lot to talk about," Schneider said at the NFL Combine, via the News Tribune in Seattle. "So people just let it rip. 'Why not? Put it out. See if it sticks.'"

Despite the trade rumors, it's highly unlikely that the Seahawks would let their franchise quarterback walk away. The Seahawks have been known to slow play their negotiations, which is what exactly what they did when Wilson signed his first extension with the team. During the 2015 offseason, Wilson was going into the final year of his rookie deal and the two sides didn't get an extension done until July, which means we have about four and a half more months before Seahawks fans should start panicking. 

The one big difference between 2015 and now is that Wilson actually has some leverage. During the interview with Fallon, Wilson was asked if he would end up being the highest-paid quarterback in the NFL once his new contract got done. 

"There's a great potential of that, we'll see what happens," Wilson said. 

The reason there's "great potential" of that is because Wilson's asking price could reach $35 million per year in his new deal. If the Seahawks don't agree to that, the only way they could keep him is by hitting him with the franchise tag, which would pay him $30.3 million in 2020 and $36.4 million in 2021 (An average of $33.3 million per year). If they were to get Wilson under contract for $35 million per year for the next four seasons, that would be a bargain for the final two years of the deal. 

Currently, the highest paid quarterback in the NFL is Aaron Rodgers, who is pulling in an average of $33.5 million per season after signing a four-year extension back in August

If the Seahawks aren't willing to pay that kind of money, that could open the trade doors. There are also two things here that are potentially interesting about Wilson's situation: For one, the two sides haven't really started negotiating yet, and two, an NFL Network reporter saw all of this potentially coming LAST YEAR. Back in April 2018, NFL Media's Jim Trotter reported that there was definitely a scenario that could end with Wilson being traded after the 2018 or 2019 season. 

As for Wilson, although he might not be playing for the Giants anytime soon, he did spend his weekend participating in spring training with a New York team. 

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CBS Sports Writer

John Breech has been at CBS Sports since July 2011 and currently spends most of his time writing about the NFL. He's believed to be one of only three people in the world who thinks that Andy Dalton will... Full Bio

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