Going against normal policy, it is being reported that the United States has offered a deal to Russia aimed at bringing home Houston native and WNBA star Brittney Griner and Paul Whelan, another jailed American.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken acknowledged Wednesday that he expects to speak with his Kremlin counterpart to discuss the deal and other matters, but did not offer details on the proposed deal. A person familiar with the matter, however, said the U.S. is willing to hand over convicted Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout in exchange for Whelan and Griner.

This possible swap is showing promise as many are scrutinizing the Biden Administration’s handling of the case, especially in light of a trade deal in April which secured the release of Marine veteran Trevor Reed.

[SCROLL BREAK!!! Bayou Beat News can also be found in PRINT at a store near you. Click the link below to check out our E-Edition!]

Griner has been detained in Russia for the last five months after vape cartridges containing cannabis oil were found in her luggage.

Griner testified at her trial Wednesday that she had no criminal intent in bringing the substance into the country and it was accidentally packed as she was quickly trying to return to Russia to participate in its basketball league during the WNBA offseason.

She also explained that she had a doctor’s recommendation for using cannabis oil to ease the chronic pain she’s sustained due to various sports injuries.


Brittney Griner pleads guilty to drug charge in Russian court

Biden, Harris finally call wife of WNBA star Brittney Griner

Griner is facing up to 10 years in prison for the drug transporting offense so a trade deal would be the only thing that can get her back on American soil soon.

However, the Kremlin is not happy with the labeling of “wrongfully detained” that Americans are calling the case. They warned Thursday that a possible prisoner swap or deal with the United States needs to be negotiated quietly without fanfare.


‘I’m terrified’: WNBA superstar Brittney Griner pleads for freedom in letter to President Biden

Griner’s detention extended in Russia. WNBA puts pressure on State Department, Biden for release