Russell Wilson to Mile High: Everything you need to know
Just hours after QB Aaron Rodgers re-signed with the Green Bay Packers in exchange for his annual debacle of a choke job in the NFC Championship game, the Denver Broncos pulled the trigger on a blockbuster deal with QB Russell Wilson. Seemingly obvious considering the deal had reportedly been in the works for several weeks, the Seattle Seahawks accepted Denver’s offer with no hesitation, but interestingly enough the deal was not official without the approval of the Super Bowl XLVIII champion himself.
You see, the lack of player involvement in an NFL transaction is the most fascinating part about the majority of NFL trades. If Team A wanted to trade two players in exchange for two draft picks from Team B, the trade can go through whether those two players want to be traded or not. Now, when a factor called the “no-trade clause” is implemented, this process becomes extremely tricky.
When a player re-structures his contract and the organization he plays for includes a no-trade clause in said contract, that player now has a say in any trade involving himself. For example, in a hypothetical scenario, say the Kansas City Chiefs hypothetically wanted to trade Patrick Mahomes, who does in fact have a no-trade clause, to the Las Vegas Raiders for three first-round picks. If the Raiders accept that deal, the trade is not yet officially approved until Mahomes himself states that he is content with every aspect of the trade. If he refuses to be traded to the Raiders, that deal cannot be approved.
In the case of Russell Wilson, who signed his no-trade clause to confirm his trade to Denver, the context of the trade is mind boggling.
Taking the world by storm ahead of the 2021 NFL Season, NFL analyst Adam Schefter reported that Mark Rodgers, Wilson’s agent, suggested that his client [Wilson] wanted to remain in Seattle at the time, but if the Seahawks intended to trade him, he had a concise list of four teams he would sign his no trade clause for. The four teams included the Dallas Cowboys, New Orleans Saints, Las Vegas Raiders, and Chicago Bears. Does this suggest that Wilson would not have signed his no trade clause had the Seahawks agreed to terms with the Broncos just one year ago?
Looking ahead, the Broncos have already jumped to the 6th best odds to win Super Bowl LVII, per DraftKings. Although Wilson turns Denver into a playoff team with a chance to contend for the Super Bowl, they are being considerably overrated on the offensive side of the ball.
Wilson left arguably the best WR duo in the entire NFL with both DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett being Pro-Bowl caliber wideouts respectively. Iron Man himself, DK Metcalf, appears to just be entering his prime, while his physical opposite in Tyler Lockett remains one of the most underappreciated players in the league. When put up against this unstoppable duo, the Broncos’ receiving core looks average.
Despite occasional sparks of excellence and their high potential, Jerry Jeudy and Courtland Sutton have predominantly been mediocre at best. Hopefully for Bronco nation, Wilson can do what Drew Lock and Teddy Bridgewater could not: maximize the talents of the Denver skill players to support the most important aspect of the team, a top tier defense led by CB Patrick Surtain and FS Justin Simmons.
Ultimately, Russell Wilson is a proven franchise-changing player who is capable of bringing another ring to Denver, but if fans get too far ahead of themselves, they may be disappointed with the realistic outcomes that come with a young, developing team.
Seattle in Shambles
In his final press conference of the season, Wilson was optimistic about his return to the team saying, “We've always thought I would be here… That's been always my goal, to win multiple Super Bowls, and my plan is to be here and do that. You take every day and you just enjoy the moment.”
Unfortunately for Seahawks fans, the team managed to put salt on the wound after releasing All-Pro MLB Bobby Wagner, arguably the last piece to the infamous Legion of Boom (LOB) after the departures of Cornerbacks Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner and Safeties Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas II.
Wagner’s Hall of Fame career will likely continue in another location, as retirement at this stage of his career seems to be a long way away. Conveniently, Wagner arrived in Seattle on the same day in 2012 that Russell Wilson did. Today, March 8, 2022, it is only fitting that the two depart within hours of one another.
An End of an Era in Seattle, but one that will never be forgotten.