It’s the end of an era in Seattle. After 10 seasons as a Seahawk, Russell Wilson is headed to the Denver Broncos in a blockbuster trade. The Broncos failed to lure Aaron Rodgers to Denver, so Wilson seemed to be plan b. The Seahawks got back lots of draft capital, as well as 3 players. Let’s breakdown what this means for both sides and the rest of the NFC West.
Broncos Receive: Russell Wilson, 4th round pick
Major props to George Paton and the Broncos for getting their guy. Many believed that the Broncos were contenders if they acquired Aaron Rodgers, so getting Wilson elevates their offense. The Broncos believe that getting Russ gives them the best chance at a Super Bowl, similar to the Stafford trade last year. The NFL is a copycat league, and you can only imagine Stafford on the Rams was talked about before trading for Wilson.
As for Wilson, he waived his no trade clause to go to Denver, despite it not upgrading his offensive weapons. Russ wanted a fresh start, but I don’t think Denver was the right place. He’s now in one of the toughest divisions in football headlined by Patrick Mahomes and Justin Herbert. It’ll be a gauntlet to get to the top of the AFC West and the Broncos immensely helped their chances. However, they did give up some of their future in order to do so. They traded essentially 3 first round picks (Fant in 2019) and flipped the switch to win now mode. That’s going to be a hard thing to do in a loaded AFC, and the path to even the top of the division is tough. Only time will tell if Wilson can help the Broncos compete with the rest of the west.
Seahawks Receive: Drew Lock, Shelby Harris, Noah Fant, 2 1st round picks, 2022 2nd round pick, 2023 2nd round pick, 5th round pick.
It’s hard to judge whether the Seahawks won this trade just yet, but it doesn’t look great for them as of now. The most valuable pick they received is #9 this year, but in a shallow QB class, their next franchise QB might not be available. I’d also imagine if they pick a QB that they’d sit behind or compete with Lock for the starting job. Seattle isn’t known for hitting on their first rounders the past couple of seasons, so their rebuild might be delayed a bit. Even if they do hit on a QB this year, the rest of the team is at least 5 more seasons out from contending again. Out of the Wilson/Carroll duo, Seattle definitely chose the wrong one to keep out of the two.
Wilson was reported as being unhappy about his situation in Seattle, similar to Rodgers in Green Bay. Instead of satisfying their star QB, they decided both sides needed a fresh start. As for the players included with the trade, they’re all solid. Shelby Harris is a great veteran defender, Noah Fant is a rising star at tight end, and Drew Lock should be a decent bridge QB until they figure out who’s next up. Seattle now enters a full rebuild in the post Russell Wilson/Bobby Wagner era.
What this means for both west Divisions
In the NFC West, this move obviously puts the Rams in a great position. Although they haven’t had much trouble with the Seahawks in recent years, it leaves one less contending team in the west for them, the Cardinals and the 49ers. With Seattle looking to draft a rookie QB, and the Trey Lance era beginning, the West could easily end up being Rams vs Cardinals.
As for the AFC West, the Wilson trade bolsters an already strong division. The Broncos haven’t won the division since 2015 with Peyton Manning, and I don’t think they will next season. Their best case scenario is to compete for a wild card spot, as the Chargers and Chiefs are both better teams. As they continue to build around Wilson, I could see them winning the division in the next 2-3 years. Wilson adds yet another threat to a loaded AFC as the NFC gets weaker.