It always felt like it was going to be contend-or-bust for the Russell Wilson era in Seattle this season.
Wilson's Seahawks are 3-8 and in the stacked NFC West's cellar. His highly anticipated return from injured reserve due to a finger injury has produced an 0-3 skid against playoff-contending NFC squads Green Bay, Arizona and Washington.
Over the course of those three games, Wilson has averaged 205 passing yards with just two touchdowns and a pair of interceptions. Which isn't to suggest Seattle's free fall is all on the quarterback—roster-building issues around the future Hall of Famer have been persistent for years and seem to finally be catching up with the organization while he returns from the first missed games of his career.
The overarching context for the Seahawks is unfortunate. This past offseason, Wilson told the Seahawks he wanted to stay in Seattle, but his agent did list four teams that he'd accept trades to. According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, they were the Dallas Cowboys, New Orleans Saints, Las Vegas Raiders and Chicago Bears.
Fast forward to now, the Seahawks even flirting with .500 and putting something on film they could build around might fend off trade speculation. But the relationship feels like it has run its course. Seattle can use (though very unlikely) an out built into Wilson's contract this offseason, but they'll undoubtedly look to trade him in order to get something immediate and valuable in return for his departure, provided he'll waive his no-trade clause.
Wilson's preferred list of destinations, however, needs updating. Dallas isn't moving away from Dak Prescott and Chicago has first-rounder Justin Fields to develop. Wilson's play this year at the age of 33, isn't helping his cause with some would-be destinations and could lessen the potential return the Seahawks would get via trade compared to say, what the Detroit Lions got when shipping Matthew Stafford to the Los Angeles Rams.
Luckily for Wilson, there are some offseason destinations that make sense. They boast strong pieces around the quarterback and are in a position to make a run if Wilson arrives and plays at a high level.
Here's a look at a handful of those potential landing spots and what it might take to get a deal done.
Washington Football Team
A year removed from backing into the playoffs with a losing record in a weak NFC East, the Washington Football Team continues to hang around the playoff picture with a 5-6 record courtesy of three straight wins.
That streak also has Washington playing itself out of position for a top pick and a potential top-flight passer in the 2022 draft. After 39-year-old Ryan Fitzpatrick made it into just one game this year, former undrafted free agent Taylor Heinicke has made 11 appearances, throwing 16 touchdowns and 10 interceptions, throwing multiple scores in a game just four times.
It's fun to imagine a healthy Wilson in Washington teaming up with legit No. 1 wideout Terry McLaurin, versatile weapon Curtis Samuel and reliable chain-mover Adam Humphries in an offense directed by Scott Turner, who lulls defenses with power runs before deep shots.
Wilson would be a dramatic upgrade, and much faster than any rookie in an NFC East where even Dallas only has seven wins after losing two in a row. Washington sending a pair of first-round picks (2022 and 2023), a mid-round pick (likely a third-rounder) and Heinicke as a piece to compete in Seattle, would likely get it done.