Seattle mayor tells New Orleans mayor to back off Russell Wilson

As rumors fly around the status of Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks, Seattle's mayor is doing her best to fend off all invitations from her counterparts in other NFL cities.

Reports emerged earlier this week that a divide has emerged between Wilson and Seahawks brass, including Pete Carroll. That was all it took to set off a frenzy of speculation that the quarterback could force a trade, which has been a running theme of the 2021 offseason.

New Orleans mayor LaToya Cantrell got involved on Saturday, pitching the New Orleans Saints to Wilson and his family while twirling a football-themed parasol and playing Ciara's "Level Up."

Cantrell's pitch:

I've heard the rumors now, and I want to make sure that you understand that the city of New Orleans is a place for you and your beautiful family. I'm LaToya Cantrell, mayor of the city of New Orleans and I know, Mr. Wilson, that you will be a great addition to the New Orleans Saints. And more importantly, I can see us in that number, winning that Super Bowl championship once again. What else I can see: the Mrs. Ciara Wilson herself on that main stage during the historical Essence Festival.

Just wanted to stop in to let you know that we not only admire you, we want you. Love you man, love Ciara, love your beautiful family, the culture of the city of New Orleans awaits you.

Hours later, Cantrell's pitch was met with a contentious response from Seattle mayor Jenny Durkan, who told Cantrell to back off, and even threw in a shot about relocation rumors around the New Orleans Pelicans.

The reason why New Orleans in particular is seen as a destination reportedly comes from Wilson himself. ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Thursday that Wilson told the Seahawks he wants to stay in Seattle, but would only accept trades to the Saints, Dallas Cowboys, Chicago Bears and Las Vegas Raiders. Wilson holds the leverage in that scenario thanks to a full no-trade clause in his contract.

You don’t see many healthy relationships where one part is delineating an exit strategy, but that seems to be where things are right now.

The Saints may have the most Super Bowl-ready roster of those four teams and a use for a good quarterback if Drew Brees retires (sorry Taysom Hill and Jameis Winston), but the team is facing an infamously bad salary cap crunch right now, which could complicate a pursuit for Wilson.

Cantrell isn't the only city pushing for Wilson, as even some Bears players are publicly stumping for him (sorry, Mitch Trubisky). How it all plays out is up to Wilson.

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