Russell Wilson

Grading and analyzing the Broncos trading for Russell Wilson

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Everybody’s talking about the Russell Wilson trade and for very good reason. On a day where Aaron Rodgers was supposed to be in the spotlight, the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks put together one of the biggest NFL trades of all time.

Most Denver Broncos offseason rumors claimed that Rodgers would join Nathaniel Hackett and force a trade to the Broncos. Some even thought—myself included— that they could work on a package deal to land Davante Adams as well.

Russell Wilson trade

Instead, Broncos and Seahawks worked in the shadows, quietly, yet steadily trying to get by all the hurdles to get this deal done. Now, the AFC West has become the ultimate bloodbath, and John Elway has finally landed the top-tier quarterback he’s been looking for since Peyton Manning‘s retirement.

The Broncos paid a steep price for Wilson’s services. Drew Lock, Noah Fant, Shelby Harris, a 2022 first-round pick, a 2023 first-round pick, a 2022 second-round pick, a 2022 fifth-round pick, and a 2023 second-round pick would be a massive haul for any player not named Russell Wilson or Aaron Rodgers. With that in mind, let’s take an in-depth look at the trade and the grades for both teams.

Grade for Broncos: B+

If Russell Wilson is anything like the player he’s been for most of his career, then this could easily go from B+ to A+. But that’s a huge IF. Let’s not ignore the fact that the Seahawks’ terrible offensive line allowed opposing teams to get to Wilson more often every year and he endured multiple beatings last season.


Wilson’s level took a massive downfall since coming back from that injury. He’s still a master at extending plays with his feet but his accuracy was way off more often than not. Then again, there’s only so much he could do with little-to-no time to operate.

Russell Wilson is one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time, and the Broncos were one competent gunslinger away from being a legit contender. Being able to keep Patrick Surtain II and their defense nearly intact, while also holding on to Jerry Jeudy was a huge win for the Broncos.

Clearly, there’s not so much they could improve or build from this year’s draft, although keeping a fourth-round pick was another small victory. Losing a talented pass-catcher in Noah Fant sure hurts but they now have the weapon they craved to balance their offense. Add Nathaniel Hackett to that mix and the Broncos might turn a lot of heads next season.

The only issue here is that Wilson isn’t getting any younger and his durability may be in question after the past couple of seasons. But we already saw what a change of scenery can do for a future Hall of Famer from Peyton Manning and Tom Brady‘s experiences.

Grade for Seahawks: A-

The Seahawks got a big haul for an aging player who was likely to force his way out of the team at some point anyway. Wilson didn’t have much input on the team’s decisions and that clearly upset him. Also, they weren’t good enough to keep up with the NFC West contenders.


While choosing a 70-year-old Head Coach over your franchise player could be a questionable decision for Seattle, it might well work perfectly for them right now. They have a huge draft arsenal to put their long-overdue rebuild in the works.

We all thought Drew Lock was going to break out at some point and that never happened. Then again, he’s still young and maybe all he needed is a change of environment to showcase his skills. If not, no one expects the Seahawks to compete right now anyway.

On paper, it looks like both teams won the deal in their own way. Now, it’ll be up to the Seahawks to make the most of those draft picks after letting go of one of the greatest dual-threat QBs in NFL history.

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