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December 03, 2021

Mailbag: How much could Russell Wilson cost in an Eagles-Seahawks trade?

Eagles NFL
120321RussellWilson Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports

Russell Wilson, probably not washed.

In our Eagles chat on Tuesday, there were a lot of questions that we could not get to in time or other questions we did answer but could use more color. And so, let's do a mailbag post to answer some of the overflow, as well as some commonly asked questions on Twitter and via email.

Question from @TheReason540: In your opinion is Russell Wilson even worth any of the Eagles' first-round picks? Say the Eagles did go that route, they could probably use the high 2nd and then send Andre Dillard and maybe Miles Sanders with later picks?

As a blanket statement, I'll just say at the top here that whatever it is you think is fair compensation for Wilson, it'll probably be a lot higher. The following is a sampling of quarterback trades over the last 15 years that required compensation equivalent to at least a second-round pick, via spotrac:

Date Player (Age during first year w/ new team)Teams involved Compensation 
4/5/21 Sam Darnold (24) Jets - Panthers 2022 2nd, 2022 4th, 2021 6th 
2/18/21 Carson Wentz (28) Eagles - Colts 2022 1st (likely), 2021 3rd 
1/30/21 Matthew Stafford (33)Lions - Rams 2022 1st, 2023 1st, 2021 3rd, Jared Goff 
4/26/19 Josh Rosen (22)Cardinals - Dolphins 2019 2nd, 2020 5th 
1/30/18 Alex Smith (34)Chiefs - Football Team 2018 3rd, CB Kendall Fuller 
10/30/17 Jimmy Garoppolo (26)Patriots - 49ers 2018 2nd 
9/3/16 Sam Bradford (28)Eagles - Vikings 2017 1st, 2018 4th 
3/10/15 Sam Bradford (27), 2015 5th Rams - Eagles 2016 2nd, 2015 4th, QB Nick Foles 
3/12/13 Alex Smith (29)49ers - Chiefs 2013 2nd, 2014 2nd 
10/18/11 Carson Palmer (31)Bengals - Raiders 2012 1st, 2013 2nd 
4/2/09 Jay Cutler (26)Broncos - Bears 2009 1st, 2009 3rd, QB Kyle Orton 
2/28/09 Matt Cassel (27), LB Mike Vrabel Patriots - Chiefs 2009 2nd 
3/21/07 Matt Schaub (25), 2007 1st Falcons - Texans 2007 1st, 2007 2nd, 2008 2nd 


The 2021 season has been the worst of Wilson's career, as the Seahawks have a 3-8 record and are highly likely to miss the playoffs for only the second time in Wilson's career. With one more loss, they'll clinch the only losing record of Wilson's career. 

Wilson also missed time this season for the first time in his career, after he fractured his middle finger Week 5 against the Rams. He was initially given a 6-8 week timeframe for a return, but ended up only missing three games (plus Seattle's bye week). Since his return, Wilson has not looked like his usual self.

I can't say at this point that I've really dove in on Wilson's game tape, but before he got hurt, his stats looked a whole lot like they normally have over his career. At the time he broke his finger, he was completing 72 percent of his passes on 9.6 yards per attempt, with a 10-1 TD-INT ratio, and a QB rating of 125.3. If there's any hope that the Seahawks are going to take a discounted rate because he didn't play up to his typical top 5 NFL quarterback standards after rushing back from a serious injury, forget it.

Of the quarterbacks listed in the chart above, the one who will probably serve as the baseline for trade talks is Stafford, who was traded by the Lions to the Rams for a pair of first-round picks, a third-round pick, and Jared Goff. Let's go ahead and compare Stafford and Wilson, in chart form:

Wilson vs. Stafford Russell Wilson Matthew Stafford 
Age during first year with new team (or 2022 in Wilson's case) 3333 
NFL entry  20122009 
Regular season starts  152176 
Career record (regular season)  100-51-181-94-1 
Career record (playoffs)  9-7, 🏆0-3 
Completion percentage 65.0% 62.9% 
TDs vs. INTs279-84 309-153 
YPA 7.8 7.3 
Passing yards per game 235.2 275.1 
Passer rating 101.7 90.9 
Sacks 416 401 
Rushing yards per game 30.4 7.0 


Not that you needed the above chart to point this out, but Wilson has had a much better career. Yes, Wilson has been on better teams than Stafford, but both quarterbacks have had their share of quality offensive weapons to throw to. Wilson in particular has always had bad offensive lines, but typically a better defense to take some pressure off of his shoulders.

Stafford's trade is a little tricky, because Goff added negative value to the compensation package, so it can't just be looked looked at as two firsts, a third, and a quarterback.

The Eagles are an interesting trade partner with Seattle, by the way. Under Pete Carroll, the Seahawks have always been a run first team, so a quarterback like Jalen Hurts might make more sense to them than other teams. 

With the caveat that we still have to see where the Eagles' (likely) three first-round picks land in the draft order, If I had to set an over-under on Wilson compensation in a trade with the Eagles, I would guess it would land somewhere in the ballpark of two first-round picks, Hurts, and maybe some player sprinkles (like Andre Dillard), or a later pick or two. 


MORE: Eagles-Jets injury report, with analysis | Eagles vs. Jets: Predictions, betting odds and more for Week 13 | Week 13 non-Eagles rooting guide


Question from DB: I know Nick Sirianni said they're not benching Reagor, but they're gonna bench him, right?

No, not completely. Sirianni made the point that they use all five of their wide receivers, so they'll need him to play. I do think it's possible that his snap counts will decrease. Even if the other options are Greg Ward or J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, at least those guys aren't actively killing your offense like Reagor has when he has gotten opportunities.

Question from Chris Gocong: Young James, convince me that Miles Sanders is right for this team. He makes big plays from time to time, but is often injured and doesn't seem to be very powerful/decisive at the line of scrimmage. I feel like they would have won with Jordan Howard back there this past weekend.

Sanders is clearly more talented than Howard, but Howard is better for this offense, right now. As we've said here quite a bit, Howard runs hard, and he gets every yard that should be gained. He also runs through contact and will typically get you an extra yard or two on his way down. 

Sanders has more explosiveness to pop a big play, but he's not as powerful or decisive, as you put it, to keep this team "on schedule," as his dancing/indecisiveness can lead to negative plays or short gains. If you had a quarterback who could convert third-and-longs with a higher degree of success than Hurts, then Sanders might give you more as a back than Howard. But the Eagles don't have that. Hurts is far more effective when he's not asked to do as much with his arm (i.e. 3rd and 2, vs. saaaay, 3rd and 8).

Question from thegreater: Not excusing Hurts' terrible decision to throw that pick just before the half, but I can't even recall seeing a replay that shows how Boston Scott wound up on the ground out of bounds and the Giants player alone to make the pick. What happened there?

Tae Crowder maybe got a discreet little shove into Scott's lower back, which Scott tried to sell as pass interference, but this pass is so far off target that they weren't calling this:

120321Bosco2

I think that might have actually been intended for DeVonta Smith.

Question from Kephas: What would be the most satisfying event/outcome for Eagles fans?

  1. Mike McCarthy loses to Green Bay in the divisional round when Rasul Douglas returns a pick 6.
  2. Zach Ertz catches a game-winning TD over Dallas in the playoffs.
  3. Wentz hero-balls a pick 6 in a loss that keeps Colts out of the playoffs.
  4. Nelson Agholor catches game-winning TD against Miami in season finale, sending Miami pick into the top 5.

No. 4 would be the best outcome for the Eagles, because... top 5 pick! Hello, premium pass rush prospect. Then No. 3, because again, draft pick implications. And then the other two are probably a tie, with maybe an Ertz game winner getting the edge.


MORE: Shander: DeVonta Smith isn't enough, the Eagles need to give Hurts real weapons | Eagles at Jets: Five matchups to watch


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