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Trading Russell Wilson for three players is a ‘push’ from a salary cap perspective

NFL: DEC 12 Seahawks at Texans Photo by John Rivera/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

I am not going to pretend that I am happy about the rather calamitous trade that is burning down the internet (or at least this site), but ...

From a salary-cap perspective ...

It’s sort of a “push.”

Even if it IS the second-most dead money a team has ever “eaten” in NFL history.

OUTGOING: QB Russell Wilson

INCOMING: QB Drew Lock, DL Shelby Harris, and TE Noah Fant

Salary cap implications

  • Russell Wilson: $26M in dead money; $11M “saved” in 2022; $27M saved in 2023; god only knows how much saved by not having sign him to an extension

  • Drew Lock: $1,351,022 base salary + $100,000 workout bonus; total cap hit (for Seattle) in 2022 = $1,451,022 | free agent after the season

  • Shelby Harris: $7.5M base salary + $500,000 in per-game roster bonuses; max cap hit in 2022 = $8M; current cap hit = $7,970,588* | under contract through 2023 ($9M max cap hit next year

  • Noah Fant: $2,211,918 base salary, fully guaranteed; total cap hit (for Seattle) = $2,211,918 | potentially a free agent after the season but Seattle has the ability to exercise his 5th-year option by May 3rd

Math time

On one side of the scale, we’ve got the $11M “saved” by trading Russell Wilson.

On the other side of the scale, we’ve got 2022 cap hits of $1,451,022 (Lock) + $7,970,588 (Harris) + $2,211,918 (Fant). Add those up and the total incoming cost (for 2022) = $11,642,528.

Bottom line

Strictly from a salary-cap perspective, this is basically a push (right now) with Seattle’s available cap space only decreasing by $642,528.

And yet that doesn’t really make me feel any better about the absurdity of the trade.

Go Hawks?