Unpacking The Chicago Bears Russell Wilson Trade Madness

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Kiyoshi Mio/Icon Sportswire

Crazy things will happen from time to time during the NFL offseason. This year, fans nearly saw the craziness reach a height no one expected. For a short time, it looked like the Chicago Bears might pull off a trade for Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson.

Yes, it looked like Russell Wilson might go to the Chicago Bears.

From the Bears’ perspective, it would have been a genius move. It would have cost them a fortune in NFL draft capital, but to get a QB of Wilson’s caliber on the roster would have been worth it. He has made the Seahawks look better than they are for years. There is no reason to think he could not do the same in the Windy City.

But there was something about the whole sordid affair that did not make sense. Why on Earth would the Seattle Seahawks get rid of one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL? Is he available?

Russell Wilson Is Frustrated

During his time in Seattle, Russell Wilson has been the consummate professional. He has been a pillar in the community and a team player—on and off the field.

But in the days following the Super Bowl, the strangest thing came out of the Pacific Northwest. Russell Wilson spoke critically of the Seahawks and voiced some frustrations. While he did not say anything harsh or untrue, one thing was clear.

He was unhappy.

When asked if he was frustrated with the team, he had this to say (via ESPN):

“I’m frustrated [about] getting hit too much. I’m frustrated with that part of it. At the end of the day, you want to win.”

It is not hard to understand where he is coming from. The offensive line in Seattle has been terrible for most of Wilson’s career. But last year it was not bad. PFF gave it an overall rank of 14th and 16th regarding pass protection—the highest grade the line had received since Wilson became quarterback.

So—why say something now?

Maybe because he is 32, and while he talks about playing into his 40s like Tom Brady, more than likely he has five to eight solid years left. His MVP/Super Bowl window is starting to close. In that case, why waste them getting pounded into the dirt for a team that will be perpetually good but never great?

Demanding a trade or getting the team to give him some say in personnel matters seemed like the smart thing to do. With the team voicing its displeasure with Wilson for publicly sharing his concerns, it began to look like he might be available via trade, after all.

Russell Wilson To The Chicago Bears? Really?

This is where the Chicago Bears enter the story.

A few years ago, the team gave away a boatload of draft capital to move up one spot in the draft to get Mitchell Trubisky. He was supposed to be the future franchise quarterback. But after a bad year in 2019 was followed by another bad year in 2020, the Bears had enough. It was time to begin the search anew.

Then, as the Russell Wilson drama continued to unfold in Seattle, a light appeared at the end of the tunnel for the Bears. According to the rumor mill, if the Seahawks were to trade Wilson, he would be open to going to either the Cowboys, Raiders, Saints, or Bears.

Dallas is married to Dak Prescott. Jon Gruden seems content with Derek Carr in Vegas, and the Saints were ready to go from Drew Brees to either Jameis Winston or Taysom Hill.

That left the Chicago Bears—who would be pretty happy to take Wilson off the Seahawks’ hands.

For a few weeks towards the end of February into early March, story after story popped up in the media talking about the massive trade package the Bears were putting together. But then the next thing fans heard? The Bears were signing Andy Dalton.

In the days following the Dalton announcement, fans found out the Bears did make an offer— and it was a good one. For a 32-year-old quarterback, the Bears were willing to give up three first-round draft picks, a third-round pick, and two veteran starters.

Khalil Mack and Akiem Hicks may have been the two veteran starters. But the Seahawks were not interested in trading their franchise quarterback. Just like that, Chicago’s dream of acquiring a legitimate superstar quarterback died…or did it…

How Did All This Craziness Impact The Odds On The Bears?

Losing Mitchell Trubisky did not mean much to the Bears’ odds of winning the Super Bowl, NFC, or the NFC North. But you would think acquiring a guy like Russell Wilson would. Just the possibility of getting Wilson led to the Bears odds taking a dip in all three categories:

Odds On The Chicago Bears In 2021 (aggregate)OpeningMarch 3March 7March 16    
To Win The Super Bowl+6600+6400+5850+5000
March 3March 14March 15/16March 17/18
To Win The NFC Championship+2200+3300+3300+2400+2650
March 3March 11March 14March 20
To Win The Division (NFC North)+500+550+550+490+500

It was right around March 13, 14, and 15 that the rumors turned from Russell Wilson to Andy Dalton. As could be expected, the odds quit getting lower and began to rise. But, surprisingly, they didn’t go up too much:

Odds On The Chicago Bears In 2021PointsBetBetMGM DraftKings
To Win The Super Bowl+6000+5000+5000
To Win The NFC Championship+3000+2200+2500
To Win The Division (NFC North)+550+500+550

Why might that be? Could it be because the Bears are not ready to give up on acquiring Russell Wilson?

Even though the Seahawks rejected the Bears trade offer, rumor has it that Wilson is not a lock to stay in Seattle. As for the Bears—they have yet to throw in the towel on acquiring Wilson. But if they give up anything more than they already offered, who will be left to play with Wilson?

Anyone? Anyone? Bueller…

So—should you bet on the Bears now before they acquire Russell Wilson and their odds drop? Absolutely not. The Bears have more issues than just quarterback play. While a trade for Wilson will solve their QB woes, it will create so many more.

About the Author

Travis Pulver

Travis Pulver is a lifelong football fan, something he says comes naturally having been born in the football-crazy state of Texas. Through the years, his love of sports has extended into baseball, basketball, golf, and rugby. Life currently finds him in Indiana with his wife and two kids.

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