Bell: Without Wilson, The Seahawks Would Be The Bills

How valuable is Russell Wilson to Seattle? Gregg Bell put it in perspective

April 17, 2019 - 1:11 pm
Russell Wilson Seattle Seahawks Carolina Panthers

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If you think Seattle made a mistake making Russell Wilson the highest-paid player in the NFL, well, Tacoma News Tribune Seahawks writer Gregg Bell doesn’t.

“I’ve watched this team every season, every game, every practice for six years, seven years – Russell Wilson is good enough for three or four wins by himself with this team,” Bell said on Ferrall on the Bench. “Why do I say that? Because of how bad this offensive line has been at times for him. He has won games single-handedly. He’s gained 90+ percent of their yards. He just had his most efficient passing season of his career, still among the NFL leaders in touchdown throws – and he throws it less than anybody.”

The Seahawks ran the ball 534 times last season – second only to Baltimore (547). Yet, Wilson finished third in the league with 35 passing touchdowns.

“(Seattle) led the NFL in rushing – and they’re going to do it again because their offensive line can’t pass-protect,” Bell said. “Russell Wilson runs around for his life and plays on a sprained knee that doctors said he should have missed four games (with). He’s never missed a practice, let alone a game, in his career. 

“Without Russell Wilson, they’d be the Buffalo Bills,” Bell continued. “That’s the difference between signing him and letting him go, and that’s why they were never going to trade him.”

Bell called the Wilson-to-Giants rumor a “smokescreen.”

“That was leaks from, I believe, Russell Wilson’s side, his camp – perhaps the agent – just for posturing and leveraging and making it seem like this would be a tough alternative if the Seahawks couldn’t get what Russell Wilson wanted money-wise,” Bell said. “But as long as John Schneider and Pete Carroll are in charge of the Seahawks, they weren’t going to trade Russell Wilson. There was no Plan B and hasn’t been for years. Since he took them to the Super bowl in 2013 and won it, he’s their guy.”

And make no mistake: the Seahawks knew this day was coming.

“They knew when they resigned him in 2015 that his four-year deal would end before Aaron Rodgers resigned for top of the market, before Matt Ryan resigned for top of the market,” Bell said. “They knew what it would cost. They didn’t know the exact figure, but they knew it would be the richest deal in NFL history. It was just the timing of it ending when it did this offseason, so the Seahawks were prepared completely for this. That’s the key for the Seahawks. Wilson got his money. It may be eclipsed in two or three years by Patrick Mahomes and the like, but the Seahawks kept the flexibility down the road to still sign Bobby Wagner and Frank Clark. That’s the big win.”

Click below to listen to Bell’s interview in its entirety.