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While it can be a punchline at times, allow me to go on that limb and look at the Russell Wilson trade through the eyes of a Canucks fan.
I mean, it’s obviously not a perfect comparison. It’s not apples to apples, but there are ties that bind here.
First and foremost is the “active shopping” part of it. Theoretically Wilson always could have been traded, sure. But were the Seahawks bending over backward to get it done? If they were, they hid it well. The company line was that they were “getting” calls but not making them. And according to the vast majority of people covering the team closely in Seattle, nobody thought a trade likely.
Until it happened. And this makes me think a J.T. Miller trade as still very much possible too. I believe all the recent reporting on this. It’s what I’ve been hearing as well. The Canucks have no desire to further that file. But sometimes, that doesn’t matter, and deals still happen.
Other similarities? Well age is a factor in the evaluation of both players. Wilson obviously older, but in terms of places on the timeline of one’s career, it’s probably close, with elite quarterbacks usually lasting longer near the top than top NHL scorers.
Then there’s the winning timeline for each team. The Canucks are ahead of where the Hawks are it seems. But it’s a higher bar to make the playoffs in the NFL, just 14 teams as opposed to 16. And there’s also the rebuild resistance from both sides. New management can’t afford a full rebuild in Vancouver, and there’s enough here to start with. Seattle doesn’t want to have many more seasons like this last one, and risk losing one of the best fanbases in the NFL. The 12’s have already begun shrinking.
And then there’s the timing of the players.
Trading the player at the latest moment possible to both use him to win in the now, but also extract the most value to shorten the rebuild — pardon me, the “reload.”
— Thomas Drance (@ThomasDrance) March 8, 2022
And then finally there’s the relationship with the team. “Miller had the long sit down with coach at practice, Boudreau loves this guy!” Are you kidding me? Russell Wilson wears Pete Carrol pyjamas to bed. He probably calls them Pete-J’s. Those two share a brain. But this is a business decision, and neither side let emotion get in the way.
It’s quite a haul for the Seahawks, and won’t be enough for some, given the legend of Wilson. But it’s at least fair. And if the Canucks saw anything close to that, they’d pounce. So now we wait a fortnight, and see if anyone does pull a Denver, and says “screw it, we need this player to put us over the top.” It’s not a guarantee by any means, but this NFL trade is an example of the fact that sometimes, it does happen.