The Russell Wilson era is over in Seattle. In his place will be Drew Lock and likely another contender for the starting role. Whoever ends up in the leading role on the team, one thing is clear. The Rams-Seahawks rivalry of the last decade may never be the same.
What are some of the other implications of the loss of Wilson for the Rams? What are the positives and what are the negatives, if any? Here’s a look at both sides of the coin after the monumental trade took place on March 8th.
How Russell Wilson Leaving The NFC West Affects The Rams
When news broke that Wilson was leaving the NFC West, it was hard for Rams fans to find any reason not to be jubilant. Without Wilson, odds are insanely high that the Seahawks won’t be a force in the division for quite a number of years. Without Wilson, the Rams will likely be able to guarantee wins against an intradivisional opponent for the first time in a while. Without No. 3, the Rams will have one less team to compete vehemently with for the division. Before Wilson left, the Rams, Seahawks, Cardinals, and 49ers all had playoff chances. Now, with Wilson gone, the Rams only need to contend with the Cardinals and 49ers.
The 49ers, for all the fits they have given the Rams in recent years, stumbled in the biggest moment in the playoffs. That could have hurt the team’s confidence going forward. Also, with the belief that Jimmy Garoppolo will be traded, there is a lot of unknown about how good Trey Lance will actually be.
As for the Cardinals, the franchise is also one teetering on trouble. Kyler Murray and Russell Wilson both scrubbed their Instagram accounts of their team’s photos. One of the two is gone. Meaning, Murray could be gone sooner than one would think. As such, the entire NFC West could be the Rams’ to own. Of course, a few more dominoes need to fall, but it is certainly trending that way.
Had Wilson stuck around, the Rams would have always needed to deal with the team no matter what happened to the Cardinals and 49ers. Now, with the longest-tenured cornerstone of the division gone, the Rams could stay at the top for the remainder of Matthew Stafford‘s career.
It is hard to see any drawbacks from the Seahawks trading Russell Wilson. However, if one closes an eye and squints the other through a darkly tinted lens, they can find a few inklings of negatives about the trade. First, it opens the door for Deshaun Watson. The Seahawks now have ammunition to go get Watson, thanks to the haul from Denver. If they get Watson, they’ll get a younger version of Wilson as both quarterbacks are apt to throw for more than 30 touchdowns per year.
Plus, as Watson is younger than Wilson, the team could have gotten younger at the position. If this happens, the Rams will need to contend with the Seahawks for the next 15 years at near-Wilson levels. Additionally, with Pete Carroll still around, there is a chance the team could find another Russell Wilson where other teams could not. Put simply, the move just happened and there is little indication as to what the Seahawks’ ultimate plan is.
At first glance, it looks like a rebuild as the team also let go of Bobby Wagner. However, with Watson still without a team and the Seahawks making moves, one cannot write them off as a lost cause just yet.
Lastly, the loss of Wilson has a chance to make the Rams come into the Seahawks games next season with a lack of intensity. This could lead to a surprise loss that could knock the team out of the bye. As long as Pete Carroll is still around, the Rams should not stroll into the game in an unfocused manner. However, this move invites the team to do just that.
Between the team winning the Super Bowl and seeing Wilson evacuate the division, the Rams could feel like the entire NFC has laid down for them. On the contrary, the entire NFC and NFL, for that matter, will bring their top game in every matchup. The Rams need to make sure the news of Wilson’s exit doesn’t trigger or exacerbate a Super Bowl hangover. The NFL may have lost to them, but the league will hit back with intensity if the Rams let it.