The Cleveland Browns landed their franchise quarterback Baker Mayfield with the 2018 No. 1 pick, but they may have been offered a franchise quarterback for the pick.
The 2018 NFL Draft altered the trajectory of the Cleveland Browns organization after they selected Baker Mayfield with the No. 1 overall pick. The Browns had been searching for a franchise quarterback for several years, and it appears Mayfield is that guy.
During the lead up to the draft, the biggest question for Browns former general manager John Dorsey was which quarterback he preferred? The prevailing thought was Sam Darnold would be the pick, but Dorsey believed Mayfield had all of the traits needed to be the team's franchise quarterback and was the best signal-caller in the draft.
However, with multiple quarterbacks at the top of the board in the 2018 draft, there were teams considering making moves to land a quarterback. On Thursday, Chris Simms of NBC Sports discussed a rumor that prior to the 2018 NFL Draft, the Seattle Seahawks offered the Browns quarterback Russell Wilson in exchange for the 2018 No. 1 overall pick.
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Simms admits the he did not chase down the rumor and could not confirm if the offer was actually made. However, as Mike Florio noted, the Seahawks were in the middle of negotiations with Wilson for a contract extension and could have been exploring all of their options.
The Seahawks could have made the trade offer to leverage Wilson into signing a deal, something that Florio offers as a potential reason for the rumor. On the other hand, the Seahawks may have been checking their options in case they were unable to come to an agreement with Wilson.
The idea of the Seahawks trading Wilson is incredibly shocking because of his pedigree and talent. The Super Bowl winning quarterback has established himself as an incredible leader, as well as a dynamic passer and a playmaker when plays break down in the backfield. He has everything a team would desire from their quarterback.
Wilson and the Seahawks could not come to an agreement on an extension during the 2018 offseason, as the Browns did not trade the No. 1 pick and selected Mayfield. The Seahawks signed Wilson to a four-year, $140 million extension in April 2019.
If the Browns were offered Wilson for the 2018 No. 1 pick, it was an offer they had to seriously consider. Wilson is one of the best quarterbacks in the league and already had a proven track record in the league. He may have been entering the final year's of his contract, but Wilson has the talent that could have instantly transformed the Browns.
It remains unknown if the trade offer was actually made, but the Browns still did well for themselves by landing Mayfield and using the extra cap space to add more pieces to the roster. However, a potential trade of Wilson to the Browns would have had the magnitude to put the NFL world in a frenzy for a long time.