The Philadelphia Eagles almost traded for Russell Wilson in 2022. This has been common knowledge for about two months, but it was stealing headlines again on June 2 after someone went on a Seattle radio show and revisited the situation.
Wilson nixed a would-be deal that was in place to put him in midnight green. He preferred Denver since they were willing to adhere to certain requests and give him the preferential treatment he desired.
But, what if he had signed off on the trade to Philadelphia? The Eagles likely would have swapped Jalen Hurts for Wilson and a slew of draft picks. NFL Network’s Rich Eisen jumped in the DeLorean and went Back to the Future.
Eisen pondered: “Could you imagine? Could you imagine if Russell’s like, ‘Sure, I’ll go to Philadelphia.’ I imagine the separate offices and all that that Denver set up for Russell, which has since been changed with Sean Payton coming in, would not have happened. Could you imagine if Jalen Hurts wound up getting flipped to Seattle? Then Geno [Smith] wouldn’t have had his Comeback Player of the Year moment. Geno still would have backed up, one would think, and Jalen could be the one sitting in Seattle with his new contract with the Seahawks having him. I mean, we could go on and on about the sliding doors of this situation.”
It’s fun to talk about what-ifs. Eisen went on to take a few shots at the NFC East and how Wilson manipulated the situation in Denver to his advantage. Interesting commentary.
“But Russ said no. He didn’t want to go to Philly,” Eisen said. “He wanted to go to Denver. He could have been in a conference that is less loaded, in a division that is less loaded, but in a situation that he wouldn’t have been able to massage to what he wanted, to manipulate what he wanted.”
(Editor’s note: the NFC East boasted three playoff teams in 2022: Eagles, Giants, and Cowboys).
‘Pretty Convinced’ Wilson to Philly Was Done Deal
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport was the first to report the Wilson to Philly stuff back in April. He was hearing that the Eagles and Washington Commanders were making strong pushes to land the nine-time Pro Bowl quarterback at the 2022 NFL Scouting Combine. He was “pretty convinced” a deal was going down.
Rapoport said: “That was one where you kind of stop everything and go, ‘Hang on.’ Now, it turned out that was not something [Wilson] was into, and he was only interested in going to the Broncos.”
Sports Illustrated’s Greg Bishop put his own spin on the rumors, adding that the two teams had a deal in place before Wilson vetoed it.
“The Eagles really wanted him,” Bishop said, via CBS Sports. “I think they liked his style of play.”
New Teammate Calls Jalen Hurts ‘Super Smart’
The reality is that the Eagles and Seahawks both won the non-trade for Wilson. Jalen Hurts was able to develop into an MVP-caliber quarterback while taking the team on an improbable Super Bowl run. Geno Smith won the starting job in Seattle and earned NFL Comeback Player of the Year honors. Both players received handsome contracts in the offseason.
Meanwhile, everyone that walks into the Philly locker room can’t stop raving about Hurts. He embodies what it means to be a franchise quarterback, from his leadership style to his play on the field. Just ask new safety Terrell Edmunds about that.
“Man, he’s super smart, you can tell just the way he diagnoses a play,” Edmunds said. “What he’s looking at. What kind of keys he’s trying to check for. And he’s trying to eye control the safeties so they can get you off leverage and everything. He’s just a smart guy. He’s as advertised, and he goes out there every day with that hard hat on.”