The Chicago Bears travelled an incredibly long and winding road this offseason in their search for a quarterback. Nobody is upset with how things ended up. Securing Andy Dalton for 2021 and then grabbing Justin Fields for the future? That is a pretty plan the organization has put together. One that could yield results in both the short and long term. What people may not realize is how close it actually came to be so different. How close the Bears were to employing Russell Wilson.



Most know the common details by heart at this point. Wilson had grown frustrated with the state of the organization. Tired of taking too many hits behind inadequate offensive lines. Tired of archaic offensive schemes that didn’t let him play at his best. So he demanded more say in the team’s future. When Seattle balked at giving it to him, his agent relayed a series of teams to the media he’d be open to a trade to.

The Bears were one of them.

As things came into focus, it seemed Chicago was emerging as the heavy favorite to make something happen. Things reached a fever pitch during a drip to Fargo, North Dakota for the North Dakota State pro day. There GM Ryan Pace met Seahawks GM John Schneider where they discussed the possibility of a deal. In the end, it didn’t materialize as was eventually reported. What people don’t know, according to Tyler Dunne of Go Long, is that Schneider was ready to make that deal.

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“And according to one source familiar with discussions between the two teams, Seahawks GM John Schneider was willing to trade the disgruntled Wilson because he had grown tired of Wilson in the building. It’s no secret the quarterback desires more say in personnel decisions — one of Schneider’s mentors, Ron Wolf, wasn’t shy in his chat with Go Long, either. Head coach Pete Carroll, however, could not pull the trigger. This September, Carroll will turn 70 years old. He didn’t want to shift into a rebuild mode — with no Plan B in place — if Seattle traded Wilson. And Carroll absolutely did not want Trading Russell Wilson to be part of his legacy.”

In the end, it was Carroll who turned the Bears away. His age and lacking desire to start over prevented what would’ve been one of the hallmark moments in Chicago quarterback history. Russell Wilson, a future Hall of Famer, riding in on that proverbial white horse to carry this team to playoff contention. In spite of everything, they were that close. Could they have pulled it off if Carroll were 5-10 years younger? Maybe.

Was missing on Russell Wilson a blessing in disguise?

Make no mistake. Adding the star would’ve been incredibly fortuitous for the Bears. At the same time, there were concerns about it. The quarterback turns 34 this year and the price Chicago would’ve paid to get him was astronomical. Three 1st round picks, two 3rd round picks, and a pair of prominent players according to the rumors. It would’ve been hard to field a competitive team long term under those conditions.

By missing out on Russell Wilson, it enabled the Bears to eventually secure Fields. At a much-reduced cost. Just two 1st round picks and a pair of Day 3 selections. Not only that but he’s over a decade younger and working a far more affordable rookie contract. The obvious gamble is that Fields isn’t Wilson as a player. It’s hoped he can live up to his significant physical potential and become a star in his own right. If he does?

Then Chicago may have lucked out by Seattle saying no.

Still, it’s amazing to think how wild this offseason has been. Just one nod of approval from a head coach would’ve sent a Canton-bound quarterback to Chicago. One with some great years left in him. It would’ve been incredible to watch. The number of Wilson jersey purchases would’ve been off the charts. As things stand, the Bears will instead face off again him and his original team in December later this season. It’ll be quite entertaining if Fields is starting by then.

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