Russell Wilson trade grades: Broncos land high marks in blockbuster deal, Seahawks gain lots but lose overall

Russell Wilson can be in a Denver Broncos uniform in 2022 and past. The five-time Professional Bowl quarterback turned part of a blockbuster commerce package deal that can see the Seattle Seahawks ship him and a 2022 fourth-round choose to the Broncos in trade for Drew Lock, Noah Fant, Shelby Harris, a 2022 first-round choose, a 2023 first-round choose, a 2022 second-round choose, a 2022 fifth-round choose and a 2023 second-round choose. It is fairly the king’s ransom, sure, but it surely’s for one of many league’s kings on the place — a place the Broncos have not been ready to determine since dropping Corridor of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning to retirement six years in the past.

In trying on the commerce extra intently, whereas it is simple to assert the Broncos gave up an excessive amount of to amass Wilson (having misplaced out on Aaron Rodgers not an hour previous to breaking information of this commerce), it is actually extra sophisticated than the haul would point out. In order we dive into the grade for what is going to go down as one of many greatest transactions in NFL historical past, it turns into increasingly more evident that the Seahawks, regardless of grabbing a pile of goodies, wound up dropping this commerce. 


Seahawks grade: C

It is unfathomable that all of it got here to this in Seattle. To have a possible future Corridor of Fame quarterback, nonetheless in his prime at age 33, who just isn’t set to hold an enormous cap hit over the following two seasons ($24 million in 2022 and $27 million in 2023), and wreck the connection since you would not let him have a say in what items had been put round him to assist the workforce win is mainly organizational malpractice. By the point Wilson (and his agent) went public along with his frustration in 2021, it had already been boiling behind the scenes for awhile prior, and that was loads of time to keep away from seeing it escalate right into a mushroom cloud that, on Tuesday, despatched the Seahawks again to the Darkish Ages. 

So sure, whereas they obtained a ransom in return for the nine-time Professional Bowler, a further transfer to launch one other workforce legend in linebacker Bobby Wagner means they will want each a kind of picks acquired from Denver (with zero promise they will repay, contemplating the Seahawks largely have a really poor monitor report at drafting/scouting prospects) as a result of they’ve now successfully smashed the rebuild button within the Pacific Northwest. 

And this is not the top, as a result of you possibly can count on the shockwaves to shake the way forward for each DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett (the latter having signed a brand new deal largely because of the perception Wilson would stick round, as did working again Chris Carson).

Neither of these two can be ecstatic about seeing Wilson swapped for Drew Lock, and that is assuming both stays on the roster for the 2022 season, and although you must just like the added acquisition of a promising younger tight finish in Noah Fant and a stable move rusher in Shelby Harris — two added causes Seattle did not land a failing grade — the choice to surrender the home to amass Jamal Adams through commerce (after which to pay him blockbuster cash) was finally the turning level that preceded the demolition everybody witnessed on March 8. 

Possibly they flip the acquired picks right into a commerce package deal for Deshaun Watson, however that comes with its personal set of query marks and controversy. Regardless of the way you slice it, the Seahawks have made fairly the mess of issues however, hey, at the very least you bought your security.

Broncos grade: A

Kudos to the Broncos for having a contingency plan in place to land their subsequent franchise quarterback, and executing it with navy precision. It is a protected assumption they’d a/the identical gargantuan supply on the desk to the Inexperienced Bay Packers for Aaron Rodgers, however as soon as Rodgers re-committed to The Cheese on what’s reportedly a record-setting deal (he disputes the latter), the Broncos instantly pivoted to calling the Seahawks and getting a deal performed for Wilson. The planning and forethought alone was grasp class by normal supervisor George Paton, and whereas it may be argued that the Broncos may’ve given up an excessive amount of — think about their scenario.

They had been in dire straits on the quarterback place after one other failed go at Drew Lock that got here after an unsuccessful go along with Teddy Bridgewater (whom they traded a 2021 sixth-round choose for). It was clear Lock was not the person for the job and Denver presumably is not too impressed with the present crop of quarterbacks on this 12 months’s draft, at the very least to not the purpose the place they consider any can be higher than Rodgers or Wilson. With a protection having proven it may be a power and possibly hoping to woo Von Miller again after buying and selling him away final season, all eyes had been on Denver this offseason to see what they might or wouldn’t do at QB.

They answered by pushing all of their chips to the desk on Wilson, harking back to touchdown Peyton Manning in 2012 (albeit as a free agent), a transfer that helped propel them to a championship parade following Tremendous Bowl 50. Time will inform if the Wilson period in Denver goes as ceremoniously as Manning’s, however the former now turns into the primary actual QB menace in Denver for the reason that latter known as it a profession in March of 2016, and that is a very long time for any NFL workforce to be caught in QB purgatory.

It will be simpler to interchange Harris and Fant than it could be to discover a future Corridor of Fame quarterback on this 12 months’s free company or the draft, and we have seen how Denver drafts/scouts quarterback prospects (yuck), so it does not matter what number of picks they gave up, as a result of if they could’ve used them the mistaken means anyway, they could as nicely roll the cube on a still-primed All-Professional at an important place in soccer.

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