Former Browns Coach Denies Nearly Trading for Russell Wilson: 'Never Heard Anything So Crazy'

Zach Gelb
May 15, 2020 - 8:35 am

The Cleveland Browns took Baker Mayfield with the No. 1 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, but they – according to a new report – almost traded the pick to Seattle for Russell Wilson.

Former Browns coach Hue Jackson, however, denied this claim. In fact, he found it laughable.

“I’ve never heard anything so crazy in my life,” Jackson said on The Zach Gelb Show. “I’m sure John [Dorsey] and John Schneider are really tight. I’m sure if they’re having conversations on their own, just jiving around and doing those kind of things – I would think if something was serious about that, we, the executive team and the organization, would have known. I never heard that.”

Jackson, who coached the Browns from 2016 to 2018, doesn’t think the Browns would have made that deal, either. 

“I don’t think so,” he said. “At that particular time, we had identified that Baker was our guy. So I don’t hear that. I don’t believe that. That wouldn’t have been my thought because it never came up.”

But wouldn’t the Browns have rather had Wilson than Mayfield? Wouldn’t they have rather had a Super Bowl champion over a rookie quarterback?

“Well, I think, yeah, if you just looked at it that way, yeah, you want a proven player,” Jackson said. “But like I said, we can make this and spin this how we want. I don’t think that was ever a thought because I don’t think Seattle was going to give up Russell Wilson, and I don’t think we were trying to get Russell Wilson.”

Jackson, 54, does not plan to reach out to Dorsey to see if this report is accurate.

“No, what for?” he said. “It doesn’t matter. Honestly, what does it matter right now? It really doesn’t matter. Everybody’s trying to confirm that that was the case. I know without question that wasn’t the case unless, like I said, somebody overheard those guys maybe having a few drinks and laughing and talking and just throwing stuff out being boys – that’s what we do every now and then. But that never was in our building, that was never said, and I never heard that before in my life.”

Jackson wondered if this report was the product of a slow news cycle.

“Where does this stuff come from all of a sudden?” he asked. [It’s] 2020, it should be football offseason right now – I know a lot’s not going on – and we’re talking about [how] Russell Wilson . . . should have been on [the Browns in 2018] and there was discussions for a first-round pick. Are you kidding me? Come on now. And I know Pete Carroll pretty well. We’re both University of Pacific graduates, and we’ve talked before. I guarantee you I’ve never had that kind of conversation about his quarterback.”

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