Let me introduce this with an important preface. I do not think the Seahawks will trade Russell Wilson. I do not think they should trade Russell Wilson. Priority No. 1 for the team should be winning games. Priority No. 2 should be keeping its star quarterback around for as long as possible, because that gives the team the best chance of fulfilling Priority No. 1.
I don't think the relationship between Wilson and the Seahawks has soured to the same extent that Deshaun Watson's has with the Texans or Carson Wentz's did with the Eagles, but if it came down to picking between the two, I'd choose Wilson over Pete Carroll in about two seconds. It's typically much harder to find a quarterback like Wilson than it is to find a coach like Carroll, which is why teams pay veteran quarterbacks three to four times as much as they do head coaches. If you're upset at the idea of quarterbacks using their power to build organizations in their image, think about what happened when Chip Kelly and Bill O'Brien took over personnel control. (If you think this is a worrying new trend, look up what John Elway and Eli Manning did when they came out of college.)
My suspicion is that the smoke surrounding the Wilson situation is meaningful and yet simultaneously not likely to produce a fire. If he really wanted to move on from Seattle, he would follow in the footsteps of Watson and tell the Seahawks that he has no intention of wearing their uniform again. Until that happens, the chances of a Wilson trade are minute.
Wilson probably does want to get hit less frequently and does want the Seahawks to invest more in their offensive line, where they rank 30th in cap expenditure heading into 2021 after an average mark of 22nd over the prior six seasons. The last time Seattle ranked in the top 15 in cap expenditure up front was 2014, which was also the last time it made it to the Super Bowl. Wilson's critics would rightly note that the quarterback's style likely lends itself to more hits and the best way to avoid those hits would be to run the ball more, which seems to call for a return to the offensive style Carroll prefers. Relationships are complicated, and this one is no different.
Nobody likes preparing for the worst, and it would be a crushing blow for the Seahawks if they traded away Wilson. What I'm here to do today is try to build a coherent plan for what to do if things go wrong and they actually do end up shipping off their quarterback. The only reason to trade him would be if they think they can make their organization better in the process.
Let's figure out a way to make that happen and piece together what a few plausible Wilson trade offers could look like: