Russell Wilson issued the politest trade demand ever, in that it wasn’t a demand or even much of a request. What he did do, though, is even more jaw-loosening.
He (well, his agent, Mark Rodgers) gave the Seattle Seahawks a list of teams he would consent to be traded to, and it included … we will wait for you to sit down and take a sip of a cool beverage before continuing … the Chicago Bears.
But first, this. Giving your employer a list of potential future employers is a very passive-aggressive thing to do, unless it is preambled with a series of pointed F-bombs at the owner, the general manager, the coach, the coach’s cat, and the coach’s cat’s vet. In other words, this is Russell Wilson at his most petulant, which is to say the way your neighbor would be if he or she saw puppy waste on his or her lawn, knew you had a dog, and asked if by any chance your dog had gone digestively rogue.
That done, we can move to the second part of this bizarre tale. The other teams on Wilson’s approved list were New Orleans (nice town for eating), Dallas (Jerry could creep out zombies so let’s pass that one by), and Las Vegas (we cannot fathom Wilson in Vegas, let alone finding common ground with Mark Davis, let alone Jon Gruden). So let’s concentrate on the one team hasn’t found a quarterback it can find comfort with since World War II.
The Bears say they try, but we know otherwise. You cannot go 71 years with this lineup of quarterbacks and say you like quarterbacks. They’ve had two All-Pros in all those years (Luckman and Johnny Lujack) and six Pro Bowlers in that time, including Ruey Young Bussey, who was named to the 1941 Pro Bowl as a rookie despite not starting any games, enlisted in the Navy in 1942 and was killed in the war in 1945. Their quarterbacking history is prosciutto-thin, and its been years since anyone has willingly served in that capacity for them.
Yet here we are, with Russ thinking the Bears are not only a choice, but a good one. This isn’t a call to come home, because neither he nor his wife Ciara are from Illinois; the closest Wilson ever came was when he attended Wisconsin. This isn’t an endorsement for those 4:00 a.m. closing times because he is a devout Christian who almost certainly doesn’t drink. This probably isn’t even him endorsing those elegant orange alternate jerseys.
He is making a statement about the Chicago Bears and their as-yet super secret plans to embrace the quarterback as something more than a forward-facing long snapper. Either that, or he is so disenchanted with the Seahawks that he is telling them, “I’d rather go THERE than stay here, and they don’t even have a job for the things I do.” Or maybe Rodgers just threw that in there to let the Seahawks twist a bit, the way agents do when they want to use several teams like an executive’s clacking-balls desk toy. That’s the thing about the NFL—nothing is as it seems unless they bring in someone to type the team-approved hagiography of the deal. You know, the “I’ve dreamed of being the next Rex Grossman since I was in fifth grade,” or whatever.
Anyway, this is a big day for the Bears, who frankly have needed some since … well, let’s be charitable and say Jim McMahon. A quarterback with a Super Bowl ring and other recognizable accomplishments has listed them as a potential future employer. You have expect an edited GIF of Sally Field’s Oscar speech which proclaims, “You don’t hate me! You aren’t sickened by my visage or touch! I am not filth!”
I mean, Wilson probably won’t go there for the hundreds of perfectly valid reasons any quarterback with a choice wouldn’t go there, but he did give them a shoutout which did not include the words “Unclean! Keep your distance! Wear six masks and a beekeeper helmet!” Ryan Pace and Matt Nagy, victory, such as it is in these matters, is yours.