Colts: What would a Russell Wilson trade package look like?
By Mike Luciano
The Indianapolis Colts will need to find a new quarterback after Philip Rivers lasted just one season in blue and white, and the expectation is that GM Chris Ballard will look at the trade market for an answer. Given his status as an elite quarterback, there is no way that the Seattle Seahawks would ever think about trading Russell Wilson, right?
Surely, there is no way that Seattle, who won the NFC West despite a lackluster pass rush and overall defense, would give up on Wilson, who threw for 4,212 yards and 40 touchdowns this season. After all, he is signed for the next three years, and Seattle will take on $39 million in dead money if they trade him.
Despite all of that, Wilson fanned the trade flames recently, as he is reportedly frustrated with the Seahawks’ inability to give him an offensive line. While ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler claims that Wilson will not be dealt, everyone has a breaking point, and Wilson could wear a different uniform if he doesn’t believe in Seattle’s plan to protect him. Well, at least that’s what we’d like to think.
If he wants to play somewhere that will help him compete for a title and keep him upright, Indianapolis has the pieces to make this trade a reality.
Projecting a Russell Wilson trade package for the Indianapolis Colts
The only way this trade happens is if Ballard, who has been very reserved about spending a ton of money or trading away picks, reverses course and gets aggressive. However, Indianapolis can take on his contract due to their cap space, giving them the most realistic chance of anyone in the league at landing the seven-time Pro Bowler.
In this trade, the Colts can truly become a Super Bowl contender by adding Wilson to a very deep roster with a tremendous offensive line, quality skill-position talent, and excellent coaching. Meanwhile, in the crowded NFC West, Seattle could amass a hoard of draft picks and begin the post-Wilson era with an elite center in Ryan Kelly and a promising corner in Rock Ya-Sin.
The temptation to build through the draft is certainly enticing, but Ballard has to realize how close this team is to truly contending. As good as Rivers was last season, he was almost 40 years old and was barely agile enough to move out of the pocket. If Reich could get those numbers out of Rivers, imagine what he could do with Wilson.
Wilson is at his best when he has a strong running game and a balanced offensive attack behind a quality offensive line. Quenton Nelson will help keep Wilson off the turf, and the likes of Jonathan Taylor in the backfield and Michael Pittman Jr. out wide could help Wilson put up great stats, even if won’t have the receivers he has in Seattle.
Remember, the Colts will still be looking for wide receivers, cornerbacks and offensive linemen in the offseason, whether it be in free agency, trades, or the draft. Losing Kelly would hurt, but Danny Pinter could slide right in (the Colts seem to be high on him). Then Ballard can work his magic building some more O-line depth through the draft. Add Wilsom, a left tackle, a star wideout and a couple of cornerbacks, and that’s an offseason. It’s possible! Just not likely.
The Colts would truly shake the NFL landscape to its core if they managed to finalize this unprecedented trade. As improbable as it may sound, who thought Deshaun Watson would be on the trading block at the beginning of last season? If there’s even a one percent chance of this happening, Ballard needs to call Seattle. This is the trade you go overboard for.