Monday was the first day of NFL free agency, and all was quiet on the Russell Wilson front.
Late in the day, a report emerge from the New York Daily News that the Seahawks might want to trade for Jets quarterback Sam Darnold as a replacement for Wilson.
“Keep an eye on Seattle for Darnold,” the Daily News quoted an NFL source as saying.
The Daily News did not report that it would be a Darnold-for-Wilson trade, only that the Seahawks would view Darnold — who played at USC, though long after the Seahawks’ Pete Carroll coached there from 2001 to 2009 — as a suitable replacement if they were able to work out a trade for Wilson.
Interestingly, the Jets already have Seattle’s next two first-round picks as part of the Jamal Adams trade last summer.
The Jets are not on the list of four teams that Wilson’s agent, Mark Rodgers, told ESPN he and Wilson would approve for a trade. Wilson has a no-trade clause, effectively giving him veto power.
The Daily News stated the pursuit of Wilson “is heating up.”
The NFL Network, though, had several reports throughout the day stating that although teams are calling the Seahawks about Wilson, they are doing nothing more than listening and are not engaging in negotiations.
And of the four teams on Wilson’s list — Dallas, Chicago, Las Vegas and New Orleans — only the Bears might soon be in need of a quarterback. Dallas last week re-signed Dak Prescott, and the Saints reportedly are re-signing Jameis Winston to compete with Taysom Hill as the successor to the retired Drew Brees. And the Raiders appear content with Derek Carr. There were reports Monday that said the Bears are interested in signing veteran Andy Dalton.
As for Darnold, he has yet to live up to his billing as the top overall choice in the 2018 NFL draft, leading the Jets to a 13-25 record in his 38 starts.
But he is just 23 years old and has been saddled with a team that has undergone significant change the past few years, including the firing of coach Adam Gase after the 2020 season.
Carroll got a firsthand look in December when the Seahawks beat the Jets 40-3 at Lumen Field.
The game was one of Darnold’s 12 starts in 2020, and he went 14 for 26 for 132 yards without a touchdown or an interception.
In an interview the week before the game, though, Carroll heaped praise on the 6-foot-3, 225-pound Darnold.
“I think he’s really talented, without question,” Carroll said. “He’s got great throws in him. He’s a real quarterback. He sees things. He makes big plays and big throws in difficult situations because of his talent. It’s just a matter of time. Sam’s going to be a really big-time QB. He’s thrown a lot of balls in three years. He’s had a lot of experience. It will pay off in the long run.”