Russell Wilson reportedly has a shortlist of teams he would welcome a trade to if he ultimately is shopped by the Seattle Seahawks.
But if Wilson broadens that list, one team might be ready to pounce.
The Panthers frequently have been included in rumors this offseason, but that chatter has centered around a different star quarterback. Carolina reportedly is willing to do “whatever it takes” to land Deshaun Watson, though it remains to be seen if the Houston Texans ever will be willing to deal the 25-year-old.
And should Wilson prove to be a more feasible trade option than Watson, ESPN NFL insider Dan Graziano expects the Panthers to make a run at the eight-time Pro Bowl selection.
“The team I’m keeping an eye on is the Carolina Panthers,” Graziano said Friday on “SportsCenter.” “We know they have set a goal of being aggressive to pursue a franchise quarterback. They’ve had their eyes locked on Deshaun Watson for while now but there have been several reasons at this point why he won’t become available. So if Russell Wilson does, if Seattle finds another solution at quarterback and gets to a point — again, a big if — where they want to move him, I would expect Carolina to definitely explore that and to do it aggressively. They absolutely want to get to a point where they have a reliable franchise going forward and Russell Wilson would fit that description. If the field gets expanded beyond those four teams, that is one to watch.”
One important factor to keep in mind is that Wilson has a no-trade clause in his contract, so he effectively would have final say in any trade negotiations the Seahawks might have. But if Wilson’s reported frustration grows and it reaches a point where he’s hell-bent on departing the Pacific Northwest, perhaps he will be a bit more flexible with his wish list.
And if that comes to pass, Carolina — and plenty of other teams — should put forth an all-out effort to bring in Wilson.