Russel Wilson trade sparks mixed initial reactions
By Gage Smith, Sports Editor
Legendary Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russel Wilson was traded to the Denver Broncos on March 8. In return, the Broncos sent a package including quarterback Drew Lock, tight end Noah Fant, defensive lineman Shelby Harris, picks in the first, second and fifth rounds of the 2022 draft and in the first and second rounds of the 2023 draft.
Wilson played for the Seahawks from 2012-2021 and Seattle is the only franchise he’s ever suited up for professionally.
The 33-year-old quarterback has two years left on his contract. Though the Broncos are giving up a haul, they should be in store for several quality years from the all-time great. Though some commentators such as The Sporting News’ Vinnie Iyer argue that the Broncos gave up too much for him, Denver fans are excited that they’ve gotten their hands on a star quarterback who they hope can lead them to their first Super Bowl since Peyton Manning.
Manning had the most wins by a quarterback in his first 10 seasons, racking up 105. He has a considerable leg up on the GOAT, Tom Brady, who had 97, good for third all-time. So who ranks second? Wilson, at 104.
The day after the trade, Wilson tweeted his farewell to Seahawks fans. Though he brought the city a championship, many believe he checked out years ago which caused the team’s recent struggles. In fact, according to The Athletic, some of Wilson’s own teammates thought so, too.
Seahawks wide receiver DK Metcalf wasn’t one of them. After the trade (and the departure of linebacker Bobby Wagner from the squad), Metcalf penned a farewell letter on Instagram.
“Man, this one hurt. These two men have taught me so much not only about football, but about life. From Russ calling me after I got drafted to throwing me my first touchdown to teaching me how to swim and just taking me under your wing, bro I thank you,” Metcalf wrote.
While the Broncos look forward to building around their shiny new centrepiece, the Seahawks’ immediate future doesn’t look as bright. While they still have longtime head coach and Super Bowl champion Pete Carroll under contract until 2025, the loss of a talent like Wilson will likely put a dent in the team’s hopes for a playoff run.
What Seattle lost in talent, it gained in assets. The Seahawks have eight picks in the 2022 draft, 10 picks in 2023 and the third-most cap space in the NFL. They may not be a Super Bowl threat next season but don’t be surprised to see this team bounce back quickly. They have the means to pick up players through every avenue: via trade, the draft and free agency.
With Wilson’s change of scenery, the NFL’s landscape has shifted. Only time will tell if the Broncos were smart to go all-in or if they gave up too much for the disgruntled star.