The more I think about the idea of the Las Vegas Raiders pursuing Russell Wilson in a trade, the more I don’t like it ... and that’s saying something as I never really thought it was a great idea from the get-go.
And the early returns from our poll show most of you all agree. This community doesn’t want the Raiders to trade for Wilson — who has named Las Vegas as one of four teams he’d approve a trade from the Seattle Seahawks to.
Ultimately, I think the Raiders are fine with Derek Carr at quarterback and they need to worry about spending their salary cap money and draft picks on the defense — not on a new quarterback on a team that averaged 27 points last season.
However, if Raiders czar Jon Gruden gets enamored by the idea of getting an elite QB when he can (and he might), I think the Raiders should turn their attention to another star who wants a change of scenery: Houston Texans’ quarterback Deshaun Watson.
Wilson has won a Super Bowl and he is heading to the Hall of Fame. Watson has yet to win big and he may never go to Canton. However, I wouldn’t bet against him. He is an elite quarterback, he’s only getting better, and he’s hungry for a ring.
Watson is also cheaper than Wilson for now and the trade compensation would be in the same neighborhood, though Watson may be tougher to get. But the point is, if a team trades for either Wilson or Watson, the price tag is going to be outrageous.
Why Watson over Wilson? It’s simple math.
Watson turns 26 in September. Wilson turns 33 in November. A team can keep Watson for the next 14 years or so, about twice as long as Wilson’s career window.
If the Raiders did pay big for Watson, they would have time to make up for all the lost draft picks and still build around him in the long term. What if the Raiders trade for Wilson and next year he suffers a season-ending injury? Then, they will be hoping for him to rebound after a lost season at the age of 35. That would be devastating considering everything they would give up for him.
With Watson, they would have time.
So, for me, if the Raiders truly want to go big at quarterback (again, I don’t think they need to), they should see what it takes to get Watson and not Wilson.
Sure, they should be flattered that Wilson is intrigued by them, but they shouldn’t further consider it.