The NFL is into a slower period that would happen even if there was not a pandemic going on. May is when players starting putting on pads in the offseason workout program, and while practice gets football fans jazzed, May through July is arguably the slowest part of the NFL calendar.
With the slowdown comes the silly season. We get rumors that might be true and rumors that probably aren’t true but rather are stretching what might have otherwise been an innocuous comment. The latest example of that is Pro Football Talk’s Chris Simms spinning tales about Russell Wilson and the Cleveland Browns.
Simms recently mentioned that the Browns and Seahawks had briefly talked about a potential trade that would have sent Wilson to Cleveland for the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 draft. The Browns eventually used the pick on Baker Mayfield .
It’s gotten some buzz lately, and Mike Florio offered some clarity on what he has supposedly heard. His source said the Browns “floated” the idea in concept and there was a brief conversation about it. A year later, Wilson signed a four-year extension worth $140 million, and it included a no-trade clause. Florio claims the clause is in the deal because of the chatter. It’s possible it is, but it’s also a convenient bit of “proof” for PFT to double down on Simms’ comment.
Florio is pushing that people think Wilson will eventually be traded. It’s an easy report to push at this point because even if he is never moved, Florio can say it just never came together.
Wilson is currently signed through the 2023 season. He turns 36 during the final season of the deal. I doubt we see a trade during the length of the deal, but you do have to wonder if he eventually follows Tom Brady and is left to sign elsewhere. Even the best players can be cast aside in a league with a salary cap and few fully guaranteed contracts. Odds are decent that Wilson will retire after playing at least one year elsewhere, but it would be a shocker if that happened anytime before the end of his current contract.