Sometime near the end of the 2020 season it became apparent that Russell Wilson wouldn’t spend his entire career in Seattle. The Shadow League has monitored the situation consistently and could not come to any other conclusion than Russ would be cooking elsewhere in the 2022 NFL season.
On Tuesday, it came to fruition, as the future Pro Football Hall of Famer was traded to the Denver Broncos in a blockbuster trade. According to ESPN NFL reporter Adam Schefter, the deal comes after “weeks of negotiations” between the two franchises.
Blockbuster: The #Seahawks and #Broncos have agreed in principle on a trade sending nine-time Pro Bowl QB Russell Wilson to Denver for a massive haul, including multiple first-round draft picks, plus additional picks and players, per sources
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) March 8, 2022
The deal is pending a physical and Wilson’s approval, being that he has a no-trade clause in his contract. Just last week the Seahawks refused a blockbuster deal for Wilson with the Washington Commanders that also included several first-round picks.
It’s no secret that the Washington Commanders need a quarterback, and as previously reported, Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson would be amenable to a trade to the nation’s capital. https://t.co/gRHoycit6X
— The Shadow League (@ShadowLeague) February 28, 2022
The Broncos get Wilson and a fourth-round draft pick, while the Seahawks actually come off with a very suitable haul.
Pete Carroll’s team will be entering the post Russell Wilson Era by adding inconsistent quarterback Drew Locke, rising tight end Noah Fant, and defensive lineman Shelby Harris. Plus two first-round picks, two second-round picks and a fifth-round pick.
— Russell Wilson (@DangeRussWilson) March 6, 2022
The deal comes on the heels of back-to-back offseasons of contentious moments concerning Wilson’s future in the Pacific Northwest. Last offseason, Wilson gave the Hawks a list of four teams he’d be willing to waive his no-trade clause for. None of those situations panned out, but Wilson expressed his frustration with the offensive line and the beatings he was taking weekly.
He and the only team he’s ever known since going from an unheralded third-round pick in the Andrew Luck and RGIII 2012 NFL draft bonanza to a Super Bowl-winning signal caller, came to a deal that was mutually beneficial.
This offseason he told the team he’d like to “explore his options.” Then came the removal of all things Seahawks on his social media bios.
The writing was on the wall, but through it all head coach Pete Carroll continuously said they had “no intentions of trading him.”
“Let me say this,” Carroll told reporters last week at the NFL Combine. “Russell and I have had a partnership all these years. We’ve worked at this the whole time. He will tell ya — and I’ll tell you the same thing because it’s the truth. It’s how we’ve worked through stuff. We communicate at a really high level. I thought it was important that we communicated really well. That we’d be in touch and know what is going on and we could take some time aside from the action and keep things in proper perspective. And that’s what we have done.”
It was wishful thinking probably influenced by Wilson, who kept disingenuously reiterating that he wanted to be in Seattle. He shrewdly wanted to keep his relationship with the fans cool until it was official that he was bouncing to the mountains.
Talks Heated Up At Last Week’s NFL Combine
At the NFL Combine it’s business as usual for teams to talk about and discuss potential trades.
“It’s commonplace for us to have conversations with teams about all the players, particularly marquee players,” Carroll added during his NFL Combine remarks. “That’s not changed. It’s been the same thing every year. It’s the same. We have no intention of making any move there regarding Wilson. But the conversations, John has to field those, he always has. But nothing specific.”
That seems to be where the Wilson trade really came to fruition. Wilson’s relationship with Pete Carroll has deteriorated since the death of owner Paul Allen back in 2018. Carroll was given more say in personnel decisions. And let’s just also say most of those decisions haven’t panned out, especially as it pertains to the offense as a well-oiled machine with weapons that complement Wilson’s advanced skill set.
He’ll get that in Denver, with a top-10 defense to match.
— NFL (@NFL) March 8, 2022
Broncos Are In Win-Now Mode: Super Bowl Or Bust
The Denver Broncos have a very good roster, and the one thing that was holding the team back was efficient QB play. Denver’s QBs rank 29th in Total QBR since the start of 2016. The Broncos haven’t made the playoffs since 2015 when Peyton Manning retired. In that time they’ve had nine quarterbacks start with a record of 39-58.
Wilson is a tremendous upgrade. He’s gone 104-53-1 in his 10-year career. Last season the Seahawks went 7-10, their first losing season with Wilson at the helm. Wilson also missed the first three games of his career due to injury.
But he’s back on track now and showed off his elite accuracy at the Pro Bowl festivities.
Elite Black QBs in AFC
The AFC is loaded with elite black QBs; Patrick Mahomes, Lamar Jackson and Deshaun Watson. Plus some other elite slingers like Josh Allen, Justin Herbert and Joe Burrow. We will see the quarterback play at the highest level week in and week out, and the matchups will be ratings gold.
The oddsmakers now have the Broncos with the fourth-best odds, behind the Chiefs, Packers and Bills, to win the Super Bowl. Out of all the aforementioned quarterbacks, Mahomes and Wilson are the only ones to win a Lombardi Trophy.
The Broncos struck championship gold by bringing in an “over-the-hill” Peyton Manning to first break TD passing records and then manage the offense to a title.
John Elway will change roles with the Broncos for the new season. The former president of football operations will now serve as an outside consultant to the general manager. He hopes that his second Hail Mary ends up in a major score just like in 2013.
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