Breaking Down the Russell Wilson to Denver Trade
Last week saw one of the biggest and most shocking trades in NFL history, as Super Bowl-winning quarterback Russell Wilson was traded from the Seattle Seahawks to the Denver Broncos in exchange for five draft picks and three players.
Last offseason saw the trade of Matthew Stafford from the Detroit Lions to the Los Angeles Rams, and Stafford promptly led his new team to a Super Bowl championship in February. The past year has also seen a lot of trade talk surrounding other superstar quarterbacks, including Wilson, Aaron Rodgers and Deshaun Watson.
Just hours after the news came that Rodgers would be remaining in Green Bay for at least another season, Wilson was dealt in a move that sent ripples through the NFL landscape.
The trade itself goes as follows: the Broncos get Wilson and a fourth-round pick, while the Seahawks get two first-round picks, two second-round picks, a fifth-round pick, quarterback Drew Lock, tight end Noah Fant and defensive lineman Shelby Harris.
The Seahawks weren’t going to budge with one of their all-time great players for cheap, but Denver General Manager George Paton and the Broncos’ front office weren’t going to be shy about making a quarterback move while having to play in the same division as Patrick Mahomes and Justin Herbert.
However, the question of where both franchises go from here remains.
For the Broncos, the Wilson trade puts them right into the thick of the Super Bowl conversation, as quarterback was the glaring hole on an otherwise young and talented offense. Wide receivers Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy, Tim Patrick and K. J. Hamler all figure to have roles in the offense, and their production should be massively helped by having Wilson in the fold.
Second-year running back Javonte Williams figures to join Wilson in the backfield on most plays this season after a very promising rookie campaign, with veteran Melvin Gordon likely to depart in free agency.
With Fant no longer in the fold, the next man up at tight end will likely be third-year player Albert Okwuegbunam, who had 330 receiving yards and two touchdowns as the team’s No. 2 option at tight end a year ago.
Denver’s defense projects to be just as strong, with playmakers at every level. However, the big weakness of the defense is the defensive line, and the loss of Harris will only magnify that. The signings of D. J. Jones and Randy Gregory should help, but that remains a position that Denver will likely need to address more before the season starts.
For Seattle, there seem to be more questions than answers, particularly surrounding the quarterback position.
As things currently sit, Lock projects to be the opening-day starter. The Seahawks may want to see what they have in the fourth-year quarterback before completely moving on, but it’s hard to envision Lock — who has 25 career touchdown passes to go with 20 interceptions — being the long-term solution.
The Seahawks could make a play for Watson or Jimmy Garopollo, or could be eyeing Malik Willis or Kenny Pickett in this year’s draft.
Plus, the Seahawks still have plenty of talented players on their roster. Fant figures to pair with recently re-signed Will Dissly at the tight end spot. And of course, Seattle still has the potent wide receiver duo of D. K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett, which would certainly be appealing to any of the above quarterback options.
However, Seattle also said goodbye to legendary linebacker Bobby Wagner on the same day that it traded Wilson. While Jordyn Brooks looks to be a capable replacement, it’s a sign that Seattle could be on the brink of an all-out rebuild.
With Pete Carroll turning 71 in September, it’s tough to imagine him embarking on a multi-year retooling process, so there will likely be more questions to be answered in Seattle before the 2022 campaign officially kicks off.
Kasey Kreider is a first-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.
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