Could Russell Wilson’s tenure with the Seattle Seahawks actually be nearing an end after nine consecutive years of above-.500 football?
There has been trade buzz around the star quarterback ever since his frustrations regarding pass protection and his overall relationship with the organization were made public earlier this month.
A Thursday story from The Athletic reported tensions between Wilson and the coaching staff, particularly head coach Pete Carroll, were high at times during the 2020 season. The article indicated Wilson even “stormed out of the room” during a mid-season meeting with coaches, during which Wilson was reportedly pushing for more input on personnel decisions and offensive game planning, however, his ideas were dismissed.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported “more than 10 teams have called” Seattle to inquire about Wilson but Rapoport said to his knowledge there hasn’t been much engagement from Seahawks GM John Schneider.
Adam Schefter tweeted that Wilson’s agent, Mark Rodgers, told ESPN his client “has not demanded a trade” and “he wants to play in Seattle” but Wilson would be willing to go to the Chicago Bears, Dallas Cowboys, Las Vegas Raiders or New Orleans Saints.
Other reports have suggested the Miami Dolphins and New York Jets could also make a push for Wilson’s services.
The 32-year-old is about to enter the third year of his five-year contract. Wilson’s 2021 salary cap number is $32 million and he does have a no-trade clause in his favour so he ultimately needs to approve any potential trade.
Texans reportedly 'refusing' to move Watson
While there’s a belief Wilson and the Seahawks could still make amends before next season, the situation between Deshaun Watson and the Houston Texans remains ugly.
A meeting with head coach David Culley didn’t change Watson’s mind as to wanting to be traded although, according to ESPN’s Dianna Russini, the Texans front office is avoiding any trade discussions and simply “are refusing to trade their franchise QB.”
Watson inked a four-year contract extension worth $156 million last summer, which essentially means he’s stuck with the Texans through 2025 unless the team decides to trade him or he retires. Trading Watson would cost Houston more than $20 million in dead money in 2021, which makes dealing the star pivot far less palatable for the team.
The 25-year-old had a career year in 2020 and was named to his third consecutive Pro Bowl despite the Texans finishing 4-12.
Patriots can expect key bodies back in 2021
The 2021 season must’ve been a bizarre one for New England Patriots fans. No Tom Brady, no division title, no playoffs and a handful of the teams most important starters opted out.
Linebacker Dont'a Hightower, safety Patrick Chung and offensive tackle Marcus Cannon are all planning on returning to play in 2021, according to Ian Rapoport, which is good news for a Patriots franchise that hasn’t missed the playoffs in back-to-back seasons since 1999, 2000.
Watt fielding offers from multiple teams
J.J. Watt has received contract offers from multiple teams with ESPN’s Dianna Russini reporting the biggest offer was in the $15-16 million range.
Watt was set to earn $17.5 million in 2021 prior to the Texans releasing him from the final year of his contract earlier this month.
The Buffalo Bills, Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers and Tennessee Titans are among the teams known to have expressed interest in adding the future Hall of Famer, however it remains unclear at this point which teams have formally offered him a contract.
Watt has made it clear he won't be rushing his decision.
Steelers to make decision on Big Ben before March 17
It looks as though Ben Roethlisberger will be returning to the Pittsburgh Steelers next season after all.
Roethlisberger’s 2021 cap hit is slated to be $41.25 million plus he’s owed a $15-million bonus in three weeks. Paying a declining QB who turns 39 in a few days that much money is untenable at the moment for a Steelers team facing a cap crunch. The new league year begins March 17, so that would be the deadline to restructure Roethlisberger’s contract.
“We have been in communication with Ben throughout the off-season, and we have been clear that we would like him back but we needed to do something with the contract,” Steelers owner and president Art Rooney II told his team's official website. “We're getting to that point now where the time is right. We have a better idea of where the salary cap is going to be, which is an important component of the decision. … We had a good, productive discussion, and I assured him we would like to have him back, and he assured me that he wants to come back and play."
Rooney did reiterate that discussions with Roethlisberger have been more about money than the veteran’s ability to still win at the highest level.
“His arm, I would say, is as strong or almost as strong as ever, so I think he's certainly capable of getting the job done,” Rooney added. “Part of the concern is putting a (competitive) team around him, and we had a good discussion about that.”