The Brains and Gains of the Russell Wilson Tradeby Yehuda Schwartz March 9, 2022 0 comments
Early Tuesday afternoon the Green Bay Packers agreed to a new deal with quarterback Aaron Rodgers. The deal was for four years and $200 million dollars, the largest deal in NFL history. The reason this news is significant is that Rodgers was rumored to be linked to the Denver Broncos before ultimately choosing to return to Green Bay. Then just hours later the Broncos swung a deal for a quarterback. The Seattle Seahawks sent star quarterback Russell Wilson to Denver. Tom Pelissero of NFL Network was the first to release the Wilson news.
A Need For Change
The Broncos have been looking for a new franchise quarterback for 16 months. Denver was never certain on their evaluation of Drew Lock their current quarterback. The 25-year-old was a second-round pick of the Broncos in 2019 and had a decent showing in his three partial seasons. Lock was never consistent but has shown good talent. The Missouri product threw for just under 3,00 yards in 2020. The Broncos have spent many years building an offensive corps.
Their defense was always very formidable. Noah Fant, Jerry Jeudy, and Courtland Sutton are some of the weapons left on the offense and the Broncos were not satisfied with the performance of their quarterback with the personnel given to him. This manifested by the NFL trade deadline with the trade of team leader, Von Miller on defense. This seemed like an attempt at a rebuild for Denver.
Seattle Needed Change Also
Over the course of the season, the Seahawks had rumors rumbling about Wilson and head coach Pete Carrol’s relationship. An idea of the star quarterback being traded has been floated around at the trade deadline. This deal never came to fruition with any roster. Then as the offseason set on, and following the Seahawks’ less than impressive 7-10 record at the bottom of the NFC West, reality set in. The Seahawks’ long successful run needed a big change. The rumor mill on Wilson re-booted and eventually a trade became inevitable.
Wilson, Not Rodgers
This is where the Denver Broncos come into play. As well-publicized, Rodgers was weighing Denver as a possibility if he didn’t return to Green Bay. The Colorado franchise couldn’t just put all their cards in one place. They had a fallback plan if they couldn’t get on one of the all-time greats. That plan was Wilson. Adam Schefter of ESPN reported a couple of weeks ago that Denver and Seattle had engaged in talks. Those talks became very real after the Rodgers announcement, eventually leading to the trade.
Wilson was a third-round pick in the 2012 NFL draft. The irony is that the Broncos and John Elway passed on the quarterback in the draft. Wilson is only 33-years-old versus Rodgers 38-years-old. The deal may end up being smarter despite the Broncos having no option for the Packers star. George Paton, the new Denver general manager knew that a big change was needed. John Schneider the Seattle general manager also knew that they needed a big change on their end too. Schneider has been the GM since 2010 and had Wilson on the team for ten of those twelve years.
The Package and Effects
Now, the Broncos will forfeit some of their offense in Fant, their former quarterback, and future draft picks in return for an established star quarterback, Wilson. Seattle now recoups some new picks that were lost in the controversial Jamal Adams trade. They also have a new bridge quarterback and tight end in Fant and Lock. This deal is a need-need for both ends. I wouldn’t call it a win-win because change is always needed, but not always a win.
Follow Yehuda Schwartz on Twitter @yaschwa30
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