- Mike Sando, NFL Insider
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We've seen Vegas oddsmakers list the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks among the Super Bowl favorites for the 2013 NFL season. We've seen ESPN.com rank Seattle first and San Francisco second in preseason power rankings. We have seen an ESPN panel project the 49ers first, the Seahawks third and the St. Louis Rams tied for eighth when projecting top teams for the future.
Now this: Grantland's Bill Barnwell ranking Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson second behind only Aaron Rodgers on a list featuring the NFL's 50 most valuable trade assets. 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick checks in at No. 8 on this list, by the way. Such an undertaking is pretty much impossible, and Barnwell isn't taking himself too seriously here. Bill Simmons mocks him throughout the rankings before agreeing on the top four: Rodgers, Wilson, Andrew Luck and J.J. Watt.
I agree with Barnwell's contention that Seattle probably wouldn't trade Wilson for any player other than Rodgers. However, I think it's also true the Indianapolis Colts wouldn't trade Luck for Wilson. The 49ers probably wouldn't trade Kaepernick for Wilson, either, and even if they would, it will never happen or even be considered.
The relevant takeaway here is that two NFC West quarterbacks belong in such a conversation. Their affordable contracts factored into the equation while making it tougher for some other players -- think Sam Bradford, who received $50 million in guarantees under the old labor deal -- from factoring in the absence of more compelling on-field results.
By the way, Arizona's Patrick Peterson checked in at No. 12 and was the highest-ranked NFC West player after Wilson and Kaepernick.
As Barnwell notes, "Peterson still has two years left on his team-friendly rookie deal and just turned 23 in July; he's younger than four of the top 10 picks in this year's draft."
9hEric D. Williams