Russell Wilson trade: Why Seahawks, Bears, Jets deal could be key


How Jets could help the Bears land Russell Wilson originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

As the Russell Wilson saga continues through the weeks, it seems the one real hurdle standing between the Bears and making a deal for Seattle’s quarterback (besides the possibility that Wilson and Seattle could make amends), is that the Bears can’t provide the Seahawks a clear path to their own next quarterback. The only QB the Bears have under contract is Nick Foles, and it would be hard to sell him as a starter in Seattle. They have offensive line problems, just like the Bears had when Foles was under center, which could prevent him playing to the best of his abilities. Beyond that, the Bears’ top pick in this year’s draft is No. 20 overall, and it would be tough to sell that pick to the Seahawks as a chance to find a new quarterback through the draft.

So to make this work, the Bears might need to enlist the help of a third team. Luckily for Ryan Pace, ESPN football analyst Dan Orlovsky has already figured it out!

The key to making it work: The Seahawks get a young quarterback in Sam Darnold, while the Jets get to keep the No. 2 overall pick. This allows New York to get a Wilson of their own in Zack Wilson, or possibly Justin Fields or Mac Jones. The key for the city of Chicago: the Bears get Russ.

It would obviously be tough to cut ties with Khalil Mack and Kyle Fuller or Allen Robinson, but if that’s the cost of doing business, then the Bears will have to make it work. In the end, Robinson could be the happiest man in this scenario if he and the Jets can come to an agreement on the long-term deal he’s publicly requested for months. Losing Mack and Fuller would hurt, as they’re both top-five players on the defense. The Bears struggled to get pressure on opposing quarterbacks at times last season, and subtracting Mack would make it even harder for the Bears to generate sacks. Fuller, on the other hand, is an All-Pro corner, who now carries the highest salary cap hit on the team at $20 million for the upcoming season. Pace will probably need to extend, cut or trade Fuller to manage that, and this trade would take care of that. But that leaves the Bears with second-year Jaylon Johnson as the top corner on the team. Johnson played great as a rookie last season, but the Bears would, at the very least, need to add another corner in free agency or the draft.

If it seems like a desperate move to find a quarterback, that’s because it is. The Bears find themselves in some dire straits to lock in their starter for 2021. With free agency opening up on Wednesday, the team’s options to sign a veteran may start to dwindle quickly. Before free agency even opened up, Cam Newton already came off the board, with reports that a Jameis Winston deal in New Orleans could follow. As Pace and Matt Nagy survey the quarterback landscape, they might think a blockbuster trade like this could be the best way to stay competitive and push for a Super Bowl.

In that case, a crazy trade scenario like Orlovsky’s might not be so crazy after all.

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