There were so many what-ifs to the Chicago Bears‘ 2021 offseason that it’s easy to lose track. Multiple times it looked like they had an idea of where the quarterback situation was going, only for outside influences to bar their way. As we all know, everything culminated in the drafting of Justin Fields with the 11th pick. Yet for the briefest time a month prior, there was a genuine belief that Russell Wilson might be a serious possibility.
Everybody should know the story by now. Seattle was fresh off a disappointing playoff exit despite going 12-4 last season. Wilson was once again running for his life during most of their loss to the Los Angeles Rams. A microcosm of his entire career. The ongoing frustrations with the subpar blocking and other issues led to him demanding more say in the direction of the offense. Something the Seahawks brushed off.
So he made a power play.
Wilson took his frustrations public and then doubled down when his agent revealed four teams the quarterback would accept a trade to. One of them, to the shock of many, was the Bears. As the situation cleared, it became obvious that Chicago was the most likely destination of the four. Things came to a head in Fargo, North Dakota where GMs Ryan Pace and John Schneider talked a potential deal. While Schneider was intrigued by the Bears’ offer, Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll ultimately shot it down.
Seattle quickly made moves to improve their offense in the subsequent weeks, placating their disgruntled QB. Chicago signed Andy Dalton as insurance and then eventually drafted Fields. When Wilson finally stood before the media to answer questions, he made it clear he never actually “requested” the Seahawks trade him. Semantics aside, he did concede one thing though. That list of teams that went public? It was 100% accurate.
Wilson reiterating he did not request a trade. But he indicates the list that was revealed of teams he would go to is accurate.
— Bob Condotta (@bcondotta) June 10, 2021
Russell Wilson would’ve been a Bear if Seahawks had blinked
All the reports were true. He liked Chicago from the big media market to the QB-friendly offense. It is insane to think that if Carroll had signed off, he would be wearing navy blue and orange right now. That is how close it came. No exaggerations. No misunderstandings. The fate of a Hall of Fame quarterback becoming a Bear rested on the decision of one man. Yet another close call to join the many others over the years.
It seems rather fitting that Russell Wilson isn’t quite done with Chicago just yet. The Bears will be paying him a visit in December this year for a regular season matchup. It is quite possible Fields might be starting at that point over Andy Dalton. That should make for a fascinating situation. The quarterback the Bears almost ended up with vs. the one they ultimately got.
That should be fun.
Even more so if the game ends up mattering a lot for both teams in a potential playoff race. All things considered? It is probably best that Wilson stayed in Seattle. That is where he built his legacy. Too few quarterbacks get to start and end their Hall of Fame careers with one franchise. While his coming to Chicago would’ve been huge for Bears fans, it would’ve tarnished his legacy to a degree.