Would trading for Russell Wilson make sense for the Eagles?

NFL: SEP 13 Seahawks at Falcons
ATLANTA, GA – SEPTEMBER 13: Russell Wilson (3) of the Seattle Seahawks barks out the signals during the NFL Week 1 game between the Atlanta Falcons and the Seattle Seahawks on September 13, 2020 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire)

The Eagles have endured a rollercoaster season up to this point and there are probably more questions surrounding the future of Jalen Hurts now than there was at the beginning of the year. This has ultimately led to some speculation regarding potential QB replacements, with none more prominent than Russell Wilson.

It’s not secret that Howie Roseman was head over heels for the Seahawks quarterback during the 2012 NFL Draft. The original plan was for the Eagles to draft Wilson in the third round, but Seattle pipped Roseman to the post. It ended up working out well for both franchises. The Eagles drafted Nick Foles who eventually led them to a Super Bowl (in the most unconventional way), and Russell Wilson would go on to win a ring of his own, before falling an inch short of a second.

But a lot of time has passed since then. Wilson is now 32-years-old and is in the twilight of his NFL career. His contract would net the Eagles a staggering $37M cap hit, and the price to pay for one of the NFL’s modern greats is going to be astronomical. Is it worth it?

Is Russell Wilson losing his spark?

The Seahawks (3-8) are a shambles right now. The Eagles are somehow in a better place and it’s likely that Seattle will miss the playoff for only the second time since Wilson has been the starting quarterback. Is this reflective of his performance? No. But it’s not like Russ has been red-hot this year.

He missed three games with a fractured middle finger, but this was supposed to be an injury with a recovery time of 8 weeks. To say that Russ rushed his recovery is definitely plausible and the side-effects have been obvious.

Wilson has completed just 55% of his passes over the last 3 weeks, with a 2-2 TD-INT ratio. His passer rating sits at 73.2. Prior to the injury, he was still firing on all cylinders, completing 72% of his passes and possessing a 10-1 TD-INT ratio. He led all NFL QB’s in passer rating and YPA (9.6), while ranking third in fourth-quarter passing. Stunningly, he still ranks sixth overall in YPA, while having the fourth-lowest INT percentage in the league.

Regression? Never heard of him.

It would be hard for any quarterback to thrive without a run game (CC: Jalen Hurts) and Wilson is no exception. To say that Wilson can’t bounce back to play like his old self would be a ridiculous statement. Sure, his 13 interceptions in 2020 were alarming in comparison to his own standards, but he also completed a career-high percentage of passes.

There will be no discount in acquiring Russell Wilson.

Moving on

Russell Wilson is Howie Roseman’s first love and we’re reminded of that whenever trade talks arise. Adam Shcefter recently cited that he believed Russ would waive his no-trade clause to join the Eagles, but he also reported that his agent listed four teams that his client would waive the clause for during the midst of the 2021 offseason. None of them were the Eagles.

If Russ is looking for a change of scenery then perhaps Philadelphia makes sense in terms of having a dominant offensive line, the potential for a consistent backfield threat, and a scarily talented WR/TE duo in Smith and Goedert. And that is where the crux of this issue lies.

Howie’s values

When constructing the roster we see today, patience was the foundation. A quarterback going through the motions during what is essentially a rookie season, being coached by a very young and inexperienced staff, all with the idea that the weight of expectation is removed until this team can develop. If progress is being made, that’s all that matters.

What we’ve seen is that Nick Sirianni can adapt as a coach. That fundamentally, this is a pretty strong team in and around the trenches, and that the defense isn’t as awful as we once thought. If Howie Roseman believes that this team could be frontrunners in the NFC with the addition of a player like Russell Wilson, then it’s easy to see him abandoning the patient mindset and going all-in on winning now…again.

Is this the right thing to do? Probably not. He had to work tirelessly to open up cap space this past offseason and has a flurry of first-round picks to find franchise cornerstones. Throwing all of that away just for a few years at the top only to have to undergo the same thing all over again makes little sense.

This isn’t to say it’s time to go all-in on Jalen Hurts, but at least doing so would ensure assets can be spent resourcefully to build the overall strength of the team, instead of just yoloing the QB position and hoping Russ can do the rest.

There has been to much of a culture shift to resort to his old ways, but old habits die hard…and Howie Roseman knows that better than anyone.

Photo by David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire