One week after Super Bowl LVI, the NFL Hot Stove League is underway. So where will Russell Wilson be playing for during the 2022 season?
New Jersey online sports bettors and Philadelphia Eagles fans know the drill. Speculate about off-season moves. Decide who the team should keep and who they should dump in the wake of a 9-8 season that brought them a playoff entry and first-round exit.
Circle the dates of April 28, the next NFL Draft, and Sept. 8, the start of the 2022 season.
Fans and bettors can’t get enough of the NFL.
This year there’s a little more off-season chatter.
DraftKings Sportsbook is offering futures on potential destinations for veteran NFL QBs. Yes, you can wager on where Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson will end up.
So what are the Eagles’ odds of landing the veteran QB?
It’s supposed to be a mere talking point, but as of Wednesday morning, Philadelphia was listed toward the top as a potential location. The odds are listed under NFL player futures on the DraftKings Sportsbook app.
Seattle aits at -250 to retain Wilson. That’s a strong suggestion he’ll stay put, but speculation exists about other suitors. Seattle is in a downward arc and Wilson might like one more dance in the sun.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Pittsburgh Steelers are the next logical picks to replace Seattle, each at +1200. Logical because they have quarterback openings with the respective retirements of Tom Brady and Ben Roethlisberger.
But here come the Eagles at +1400.
Here is a look at the Russell Wilson next teams odds as of Wednesday:
- Seahawks -250
- Buccaneers +1200
- Steelers +1200
- Eagles +1400
- Dolphins +1500
- Giants +5000
- Jets +6000
The Eagles? This is the same team that took a historic $33.8 million dead-cap hit to deal Carson Wentz to the Indianapolis Colts to make room for Jalen Hurts last winter.
Based on Philadelphia’s current odds to land Wilson, speculation perpetuates the uncertainty Eagles fans have about their quarterback. Do they have someone who can take them to the next level or must they bring the next level here with a proven champion?
Just as puzzling as the Eagles +1400 is the Dolphins +1500. They have a young quarterback in Tua Tagovailoa. They don’t need a 33-year-old, 10-year veteran.
One would think Big Blue would be placed at a shorter price, but they rank as a deep ball. The New York Giants might be impatient with Daniel Jones, who can’t get over the prospect hump, but they are a remote +5000 to lure Wilson.
How NJ sports bettors might view a Russell Wilson futures bet
The bet gives gamblers something more than talk radio to pass the off-season months. Hear a rumor, make an informed hunch and take a little pop.
“If he doesn’t stay put, the Bucs and Steelers are potential choices for Wilson,” Johnny Avello, the director of race and sportsbook operations for DraftKings, told PlayNJ. “The Bucs have a good offensive line and solid receivers. With a little protection, Tampa Bay might be good for him. Maybe the Bucs need one more guy to complete their team.
“The Steelers have a stable situation there with the coach, but I don’t know, that cold weather and everything. Would he really want to go?
“And when you think about the Eagles, the question is ‘are they looking for a quarterback?’”
That’s been a sizzling debate.
There have been times when Hurts looks ready to turn the corner.
And there are others, like the 31-15 playoff game setback to Tampa Bay, in which he appears not ready.
Is the logical next step a veteran quarterback? Especially one with a Super Bowl ring?
The pros and cons of Russell Wilson as a starting NFL QB
Let’s examine a pro-and-con perspective on Wilson, waged as a back-and-forth debate one might conduct before placing a bet.
Look at the glittering touchdown-interception ratio. Well, more than three TDs for every pick. Few other quarterbacks sport this type of effectiveness.
Not once in his 10-year career has Wilson thrown as many interceptions as touchdowns. He more than doubled touchdowns to interceptions in every year but one.
Wilson is one of the best deep-ball passers in this era. We’ve seen him throw touchdowns on 4th-and-4 from the opposing 43. He’s a gunslinger, a winner. He feels the game.
He’s 33 and getting brittle.
His injuries hamper his mobility. Wilson got hurt last year and missed several games. The decline is coming. If he can’t make as many first downs with his feet, opponents will not be afraid to smoke him out of the pocket.
He’s got a Super Bowl ring. He was a version of Pat Mahomes before there was a Pat Mahomes. Ten years of excellence and maybe one of his best years was 2020. He threw a career-high 40 touchdowns.
Wouldn’t you rather see what Hurts can develop into?
Some of his deep balls have as much touch as Wilson’s. He’s a superior runner to Wilson. Hurts rushed for three touchdowns in one game this season. His legs turned many plays positive. Wilson’s drive-saving runs have become rare.
Hurts can’t read defenses like Wilson, who plays them like a fiddle. He sure played the Eagles like one. He’s 6-0 against them.
Wilson beat them in the regular season. He beat them in the playoffs. He beat them the year they were on their way to their only Super Bowl title.
Wilson is magic.
Let’s look at Hurts’ numbers.
He had 3, 144 passing yards, not great.
But there is something else. The QB runs like the wind.
Hurts had 784 rushing yards last year That’s more than any other NFL quarterback. He had 10 touchdowns. Combined, Hurts had 3,928 yards. Would it not be better to take the quarterback with the NFL’s top rushing total and try to teach him the feel of the passing game.?
Hurts’ rushing exploits is something a team, a coach, or a city, can’t give up on. He’s 23. So much upside if he sees the game better.
He’s also 6-foot-1, 223 pounds. Wilson is 5-foot-11 and 206.
And finally, the receivers.
Wilson had a selection of star receivers, complemented by Marshawn Lynch in the backfield.
Wilson called D.K. Metcalf, the “best in the world at what he does” in 2020. He also had Tyler Lockett. There’s a dropoff should he come here. Hurts did have a star rookie in DeVonta Smith, but he also had Jalen “Hot Potato” Reagor, who treated many catchable balls that way before dropping them.
Closing thoughts on Russell Wilson as an Eagle
Wilson as the Eagles starting QB seems like a bad idea.
In an ideal world, he would be brought in to mentor Hurts. That would be a phenomenal source of information for Hurts.
Wilson isn’t ready for that yet.
And Philadelphia shouldn’t be ready for him.
Yes, Hurts killed the Eagles near the goal line in some big situations this year. And yes, the Eagles were extremely slow to get out of the blocks in the first half. They need to come to training camp with a burning desire to improve.
Ahh, the beauty of off-season.
AP Photo/Elaine Thompson