Seattle Deals Russell Wilson to Broncos

Broncos QB Russell Wilson
Broncos QB Russell Wilson
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

NFL Offseason - I'm sorry, did you expect Aaron Rodgers' new contract to be the big news of the day? Were you counting on Denver Broncos fans being disappointed today? Well, change of plans, folks. All your favorite national NFL reporters are in agreement that the Seahawks and Broncos have agreed on a giant trade, terms yet to be disclosed, where Russell Wilson will be going from Seattle to Denver in exchange for a package that starts with multiple first-round picks. It's pending Wilson's approval (he has a no-trade clause) and a physical, but it is pretty much happening.

That's the end of the great DVOA Dynasty, finally. Wilson moving on means it is really rebuild time in Seattle. Surprising that Pete Carroll, the oldest head coach in the league, would want to stick around for a rebuild. But we've been talking and writing about how bad the quarterback market is this offseason. There's no sign that the Seahawks would be able to get a quarterback who even comes close to average, let along Russell Wilson when Wilson is playing well.

Wilson's pass DVOA last year seemed to show that he came back too early from his finger injury. Wilson had a pass DVOA of 32.5% for Weeks 1-5, then -15.7% in Weeks 10-15, but it bounced back to 24.1% in Weeks 16-18. He was back to being Russell Wilson by the end of the year. Now he's in the same division as Patrick Mahomes and Justin Herbert. Good luck, Derek Carr.

UPDATE: Here's your trade compensation: Drew Lock, defensive lineman Shelby Harris, and tight end Noah Fant plus two first-rounders, two second-rounders, and a fifth-rounder in return for Wilson and a fourth-rounder. I don't think that's enough for Seattle.

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160 comments, Last at 11 Mar 2022, 12:54am

1 The Seahawks owe next year's…

The Seahawks owe next year's first to the Jets no? They have no first this year either. Maybe sending the Jets a high first rounder is just bad optics since it's a sunk cost, but I'm not sure what this does for Seattle's future.

I'll be curious to see how much Denver gave up because no offense to Wilson but he's likely the third best quarterback in that division

19 I really wish people would…

I really wish people would stop with the “x best QB in the division,” stuff. It’s never relevant. The Broncos got a clear top 10 QB, which is far more important than where he comes in WRT the AFCW QB situation.

25 It’s relevant from a…

It’s relevant from a championship equity point of view. Going to a tough division, including one run by a perpetual division overlord is going to reduce your chances of getting to the playoffs and winning a sb.

I like this move a lot more for the Bucs than I do for the Broncos.

48 It's relevant that he goes…

It's relevant that he goes to a division with great teams, not that he goes to a division with great qbs. Herbert may be better than Wilson, but the Chargers continue to be a mess, anyway.

61 Here's the thing. For a team…

Here's the thing. For a team to be bad with a good qb, they need to be awful at multiple places across the roster including the coaching staff. The corollary is also true, for a team to be good without having a good qb, the team needs to be amazing at multiple places.

Simply put, getting the QB right goes a long way. If the sole goal was to win a title and I got to stack as many decks in my favor, first task is picking the most talented landing spot. The second is picking a location where my competition is weakest.

89 Interesting comparison of…

Interesting comparison of Chargers and Bears.  Since 1960, the Chargers franchise is 16th in W-L PCT (.499) and the Bears are 17th (.493).  Essentially they are the median.

Also, the Chargers are +644 in point differential in their history (10th) while since 1960 the Bears are -622 (19th).  Despite a PD 1266 points better than the Bears, the Chargers have won only 5 more games.

The Chargers went from Kemp to Hadl (he was the pfr-listed starter in '62, Rote in '63, then back to Hadl) to Fouts to 15 years of mediocrity to Brees, Rivers, and Herbert.  The best Bears QB since 1960 (Wade?  McMahon?  Cutler?) was MAYBE as good as Kemp, who was the worst of the Top 6 (making some assumptions about Herbert) Chargers QBs.

The only title the Chargers won in their history, Rote was the starter (Hadl also played in a 51-10 blowout of the Boston Patriots).  And Humphries took the team to its only Super Bowl.

102 Chargers Bears stats

That is 6 decades worth, proving as we know that no one does less with more than the Chargers.  Did not know that the Bears are literally a mirror image in reverse plus they have a SB championship.

88 We didn't really see this in…

We didn't really see this in 2021 but it isn't too uncommon. I guess it depends on your metrics for "good QB" and "bad team". For 2020 you have at least the Texans and Chargers, but also probably Raiders and Vikings.

101 2015 Chargers went 4-12 with…

2015 Chargers went 4-12 with Rivers. The Saints went 7-9 five times with Brees (not truly bad, but still). The Dolphins once went 6-10 with Marino. Denver once went 5-11 with Elway. There's the old Archie Manning teams (though nobody knows just how good he really was). I'm sure there are more.

2 Whooooooooaaaaaa

No excuse for Hackett now. 

Lol stupid Seattle chose Carrol over Russ. Also this notion that he's washed is silly. His EPA+CPOE is still higher than the already crowned Herbert. And he doesn't turn 34 til the end of Nov. and I see no reason why he can't last as long as someone like Brees.

10 They may have decided that…

In reply to by ImNewAroundThe…

They may have decided that they couldn't rebuild the team around Wilson within Wilson's window.

Which may be the sane assessment. I think for form's sake they should trade for Jordan Love and then draft a QB.

31 I think maybe the thinking…

I think maybe the thinking is Russ would get tired of losing before that 3-4 year window and retire/force leaving.

I mean, I think? If you're Seattle, yeah, you didn't get enough.

35 He has NTC (more players need to push for it)

So he had to sign off on this. They couldn't do much anyway. But then again Seattle seems quite silly the past few years. Essentially Jamal Adams, Fant, Harris, Lock and a couple 2nds for Russ which...isn't great Bob!

My Pack had a couple rough years at one point. Thankfully they didn't ship the MVP out and made changes elsewhere. 

76 Honestly

Not at all. Never got the obsession Packer fans had with him. It was quite clearly a Lafleur (and Rodgers) thing. He wasn't great in Buffalo or Jacksonville (27th in EPA/play over each 3 year span). I was team Todd Monken at the time but...of course screw me. Actually happy that's the change to the offense coming (as opposed to trading Rodgers and/or Adams for some late 1sts).

I'm pretty confident in Russ being fine but the whole thing with Hackett was for Rodgers otherwise you hired another white guy because...oh sorry because he's "energetic"

123 Denver is the weirdest media…

Denver is the weirdest media bubble I've ever lived in.  It's a major metropolitan area a good 12 hours of hard driving from anywhere.  The sports scene there is insular and intense.  They must be going apeshit in that city over this news. 

14 AFC vs NFC

Yes, and this is without Trevor Lawrence or Zack Wilson doing anything on their inept teams.  If they come around it leaves only Pittsburgh and Houston with bad QB’s.

So in the NFC I’ve got Rodgers, Prescott, in top tier, Stafford and Murray in next tier, and my 5th QB is already in the mediocre range.  The Cardinals can’t figure out to sign Murray?  Geez, in the NFC it seems so easy to make the playoffs and a  possible SB run with a good QB, while in the AFC a few good ones will surely not make the playoffs.

17 Geez, in the NFC it seems so…

In reply to by jheidelberg

Geez, in the NFC it seems so easy to make the playoffs and a  possible SB run with a good QB

This happened in the 80s and 90s, too. The AFC had the glamour QBs, but the NFC teams were better everywhere else and crushed them in the SB. This is still true -- teams that have clearly won the trenches have won the SB, even if their QB was a liability.

It's still hard to make the playoffs in the NFC, it's just that the team you need to get there is different.

44 Why it's hard for most NFC teams to make the playoffs

It's because they have mediocre or worse quarterbacks. There are three or four NFC squads with very good quarterbacks, and they're probably all locks to make the playoffs next year. The offensive and defensive lines matter, but no QB = no chance. The game is much, much different than it was in the '80s and '90s.

85 I don't think Stafford belongs on that list

But the Eli Giants and Foles's Eagles were never considered Super Bowl contenders when a season opened; the Brees Saints were considered to be in the mix every year. Foles got lucky; Manning got lucky twice. They're not the same. You can luck your way into a SB appearance, or even a win, with an average QB, but it's a fluke these days. The real contenders are the ones with the quarterbacks.

86 It's more accurate to say,…

It's more accurate to say, you can win with Stafford level QBs too, you just need more front office/coaching competency.

The Ravens with Flacco were contenders. The 49ers with a healthy Jimmy G were contenders. The Titans with Tanny have had a nice mini run where they could have won it.

I think the current Bills staff with a tier 3 version of Allen would be contenders( tier 3 Josh Allen is arguably what they got during the regular season)


107 In the 22 year era that Tom…

In the 22 year era that Tom Brady was going to the Super Bowl just about every other season, Super Bowl winning qbs have included Trent Dilfer (mediocre at best, 1 ProBowl)Brad Johnson (decent qb with 2 Pro Bowls), Joe Flacco (0 Pro Bowls) , the corpse of Peyton Manning, and Nick Foles. I'll forgo an examination as to whether Eli Manning in 2007 was above average.

If something happens more than 20% of the time, is it really a fluke?

128 If there are 10 mediocre QB…

Using the 20 percent figure, if there are 10 mediocre QB’s the odds of any one particular QB winning are 2 percent, which is less than the 1/32 chance you have by picking the name of the Super Bowl winner out of a hat.  

130 The point is that…

The point is that collections of good football players win Super Bowls, not qbs. Yes, it really helps to have a top 5 quarterback; even top 10. Sure, trade picks to get one, if possible. It's not always possible. Get good football players by the most efficient means available, and that means don't make a habit of reaching for qbs who you can't have high confidence in becoming well above average, to the detriment of of talent at other positions.

132 I have been using your…

I have been using your argument for years, not exactly as you stated, but with a similar theme.  As a Ravens fan, I have seen two championships, but I feel that we are in a new era and that you really are  approximately 50-1 to win a championship, regardless of talent with a mediocre QB.

Cousins, Bridgewater, Wentz, Daniel Jones, Mac Jones, Mayfield, Ryan, Winston, Hurts, Tannehill.

I’ll use that as my middle 10.  Pick one.  I’ll take Allen, pick 2, I add Rodgers, then Mahomes, then Prescott.

At what point am I the favorite to be correct?  If not at just Allen, then certainly at Allen plus Rodgers.

When I expand my list further to 10, I become 4-1 favorites.

I love quality team football, good defense, offensive line, and special teams.  It just seems that the QB means so so much these days.

Lets create 10 imaginary teams of DVOA leaders, BUF defense, BAL special teams, CLE offensive line and put in my 10 mediocre QB’s.  Would these 10 teams be more likely to win a championship than the 10 teams with the top QB’s?  I truly don't know but would love to hear opinions.

I would take the QB’s as some of them have quality at many other positions.

147 I don't think it's as new an…

I don't think it's as new an era as you might think. The 49ers got to the title game getting a big 0 from their passing game. The Blake Bortles led Jags got to the AFC championship game. It is conceivable that both could have been crowded champ. Hell, Staffords own reputation has done a 180 since winning, but he was getting the same flavor of dismissiveness.

148 If that is your stance, then…

If that is your stance, then why did you want the Colts to tank?  You commented during another article that you thought that the Colts should use 3rd stringers and lose as much as possible.  It seems as if the Colts are a very good team with a mediocre QB.  They could have stuck with Wentz and tried to be the Jags and 49ers teams of which you speak for next year.  

149 So my point is a bit more…

So my point is a bit more subtle.

I think the odds of a team winning the super bowl with a mediocre quarterback are higher in any given season than what most people think. To that end, if by some sets of circumstances you do make the playoffs, then this isn't the NBA and you have a real shot.

However planning your seasons to be that team is the mistake in my opinion. Smarter play for sustained winning is to go the QB route

152 Now I understand your…

Now I understand your position.  Good QB’s do not grow on trees, but the Russell Wilson tree passed by the Colts.  I believe that he would have been a good acquisition especially since I believe that the Colts are a better team than the Broncos.

Now the Colts are packing it in.

69 Missing a few mediocre AFC QBs...

In reply to by jheidelberg

I think Kirk Cousins is a median QB (above mediocre, but clearly not good). I'd clearly take him over Carson Wentz, Tua, Mayfield, and possibly Tannehill. (I'm also a Pats fan but willing to believe Cousins is better than Mac Jones at this moment).

I'd also put Jalen Hurts, Matt Ryan, and (gasp) Jimmy Garoppolo above at least a few of those guys.

I definitely agree that the AFC is more loaded with QBs, but the score might be more like 9 to 5 instead of 14 to 4.

146 Lol no it wasn't

All that post did was show Kirk had multiple lows lower than Russ and didn't reach his peak either. 

You mentioned nothing about median and ran with a piss poor example of them somehow being in any way shape, form or tier, the same from a terrible wonky blind "comparison"

139 To defend myself a little

To be fair, I said I'd put Hurts above a few of those guys, not specifically Cousins. I'd definitely put him above Tua and Wentz. Wentz had a higher DYAR last year, but I refuse to forget his worst ever season in 2020.

I could be underrating Cousins, but also QB DYAR measures not only what a QB does on a given play, but also what his WRs and linemen do on a passing play. For example, Stafford went from 684 DYAR (#14) in 2020 to 1,100 (#6) in 2021, at least some of that is attributable to improved teammates. Cousins benefits from having Jefferson, Thielen, and Dalvin Cook. By another metric on this site, the Vikings had the #12 pass offense with Cousins starting all the games (behind Denver?!?). He was also #15 in QBR.

I think we'd all take the QBs with higher DYARs over Cousins, plus Josh Allen and Russell Wilson. I personally would also take Joe Burrow, Kyler, and Lamar Jackson over him. Derek Carr and Matt Ryan are about equivalent. That would put him more in the 12-14 range which is still above the median but lower than #7. That feels about right to me.

143 Firstly, my original reply…

Firstly, my original reply was dismissive, and for that I apologize. Your points about QB DYAR also capturing team strength are well taken. 

If we extend Cousins' DYAR rankings back throughout his entire career as a starter we get #13,#16,#3,#7,#22. That obviously incorporates time split between 2 franchises and a variety of teammates, good and bad. After his first year as a starter (the #22), his worst seasons grades out at around the median, but mostly he is top 10. There are certainly younger QBs I would prefer to build my franchise around going forward (as well as the obvious ones), but it's hard to argue objectively he hasn't been one of the top 10 QBs for most of the past decade; definitely top half.

6 Idiotic

It's not like Schneider/Carroll's record of 1st round picks is stellar. Earl Thomas and Russell Okung and uhhhhhh. It's later in the draft where they got some gems and not a lot of those recently. And now they won't have a top tier QB to throw to Lockett and Metcalf.

8 I'm similarly confused about…

In reply to by LyleNM

I'm similarly confused about this decision given where this roster is. 

The Seahawks are effectively in win now mode and their talent is geared towards the passing game.

Again, it will depend on how much compensation they are getting, but a better move would have been to fire Carrol and hire some offensive minded HC to build a scheme around Wilson's skillet.

Hitting the eject button at this point with the coach close to the end is not the move I would have made.

37 They may have decided that…

They may have decided that since they were in win now mode and weren't winning, it was time to change things up before Russ lost value. Yes, they had a good passing game, but they had a bad defense and a bad OL.

53 agreed

This is a tough story to tell your fans.  Our team is not going to beat the Rams and the 49ers in the next 3 - 4 years.  So rather than pay Wilson when we admit we cannot win, and then have a 37 - 38 year old Wilson when (at best) we can compete again; instead we are going to get what we can for him, and start again.  Tough to admit you are out for 3 - 4 years. 

66 Well, I think the narrative…

In reply to by jds

Well, I think the narrative Seattle will tell is more along the lines of "Look at all the teams that are winning with young QBs who are paid below market value - we haven't been able to build a defense while paying Russ $40M/year, so we're going to try to roll with a young guy and build out the rest of the team." They may be rebuilding, but at least that's a plausible argument to sell fans.

77 This line of thinking might…

In reply to by jds

This line of thinking might be common, but it's false imo. 3 years is an eternity in the NFL. And Russ is good enough such that you don't need optimal roster construction. 

They have the most important unit of the game as an advantage. Really, o line just needs base competency and you have Carrol for the defense in theory. 

If Schneider didn't whiff on every big trade deal, the Seahawks wouldn't be in this mess. If he could just swear on the souls of his children not to do it again, there was enough time to replenish the war chest. 

I didn't like the timing nor the haul they got for Russ.

112 "3 years is an eternity in…

"3 years is an eternity in the NFL"

Bingo.  And honestly, "[Team] is in rebuilding mode" is said with far too much confidence by analysts and fans.  In 2018, Mike Tanier himself wrote that Seattle was "plunging the rest of the roster into extreme rebuilding mode," but the Seahawks finished 10-6 and with a +5.9% DVOA.  In 2019, they were 11-5 with a +12.7% DVOA.  In 2020, 12-4 and +20.1%.  (I can't remember if there was chatter about trading Wilson for the best package they could get back in 2018, but it wouldn't surprise me.)

125 Yes, I think Pete Carroll…

Yes, I think Pete Carroll was always uncomfortable running a team with so much of it's cap sunk into a superstar QB.  That's not the kind of team he feels good with.  What he wants is a defensive team with a good-enough 3rd-round QB--like Wilson was when he drafted him--and a run-first offense.  The other kind of roster, the superstar-QB roster, isn't one he's that good at actuating.  It's like watching someone coach left handed. 

16 Better hope

In reply to by LyleNM

at least one of the 2nds is this year (#40) because when the Broncos lose the next couple SBs to the Packers, 63 won't be appealing.

Also lol at having to give up a 4th.

119 I'd be willing to bet ...

In reply to by ImNewAroundThe…

... that within the next three years, the Broncos and Packers combine for no more than one Super Bowl appearance. The idea that the Broncos are going to "lose the next couple SBs to the Packers" has a high Kool-Aid-to-coffee ratio.

7 I get that SEA needed some…

I get that SEA needed some draft capital for a reset, but getting a QB as good as/better than Wilson will likely be for the next 3-4 years to build around your s pretty small.

39 This is somewhat offset by…

This is somewhat offset by the fact they were unable and/or unwilling to use Wilson properly. I wouldn't be surprised if Carroll thinks he doesn't need a top end QB to win. I don't know what the Seahawks are doing, but I'm happy for Wilson.

92 E-XACT-ly

Whenever Seattle tried to turn Russell into Rodgers/Brees/Peyton, he soon started hemorrhaging sacks+turnovers. The Seahawks used Russell exactly right.

95 What a weird sentiment

In reply to by BigRichie

This is true of everyone. Literally just law of numbers. How are people really advocating for a Russ led team to be run, run, pass? His best year was in the top half of his attempts per game. Yeesh lol 

110 If it were true of everyone,…

If it were true of everyone, there never would have been a Marino or a Manning or a Brees or a Brady or a Rodgers.

Some guys can do it; but it appears Wilson may not be one of them.

15 Feels like the real story here

is that Seahawks ownership believes they have the long-term coaching they need to oversee a complete rebuild. That's frankly shocking, especially if it's Carroll. I actually think the Hawks got a decent haul for a QB who has obviously struggled in recent years, but the long-term plan here is super murky. From Seattle's perspective, this feels like a trade whose ceiling is unknown but whose floor is very, very clear. 

29 I know exactly nothing about…

I know exactly nothing about the Seahawks' coaching/internal politics, but I see that Shane Waldron is young-ish and has ties to both Belichick and McVay, so he's got all the qualifications to be the next hot coaching hire (sarcasm, but... not). Maybe one more year of Carroll as head coach/mentor with the heir apparent set to takeover in 2023, like Coach K and Scheyer at Duke this year?

As for the compensation, I've made peace with the fact that I have no idea what's "fair value" anymore. All I can say is it's less than I thought it'd take to get him, but more than I would've given, personally.

But it really makes me wonder if Seattle's internal assessments of Wilson's short- and long-term health are not good. He's not really old by QB standards anymore, but 1) he is old by the, er, old standards, which probably shouldn't be discounted entirely, 2) he's taken a ton of hits (in no small part by their own design, but still), and relatedly, 3) he had a serious injury for a passer last year that he rushed back from. The fact that he's trended down the last few seasons, and especially after the injury last year, despite a pretty strong set of skill position players around him, really worries me.

65 "Maybe one more year of…

"Maybe one more year of Carroll as head coach/mentor with the heir apparent set to takeover in 2023, like Coach K and Scheyer at Duke this year?"

If so, I can't imagine Carroll announcing a year early so that everyone could kiss his ring for a year. No one has that big an ego. 

78 Ha, I should hope not. I…

Ha, I should hope not. I also thought of when Derek Jeter announced it was his last season and then every team they visited had to give him a present. I'm still irritated by that.

82 Yeah, that sort of thing is…

Yeah, that sort of thing is insufferable unless you already love the guy. I've no insight into people's attitudes toward Jeter, but I live in Durham (home of Duke) and you wouldn't believe the amount of enmity most non-Duke-b-ball-fans have for Krzyzewski--including plenty of Duke faculty and staff. 

103 From what I've heard about…

From what I've heard about Seahawks is Carroll is the top guy and reports directly to Jody Allen, sister of Bill Gates' high school nerd buddy. So not your typical NFL ownership. With Pete still spritely at retirement age, hopefully you are correct and he has selected a protege/replacement and can move upstairs into a figurehead role. Stock the cupboards on the way out. 

18 The russell wilson of the…

The russell wilson of the last year and a half was not the russell wilson of his first 8 and a half years.  The current wilson isn't remotely close to being worth four top 50 picks and a budding star in Fant.  

93 I'm a Jets fan but I don't…

In reply to by ImNewAroundThe…

I'm a Jets fan but I don't own the fanbase; half of it would be happy drafting a guard at 4(and sorry, Ekwonu isn't as good as Quentin Nelson).  We'll see if this trade is worth it; anything less than another Super Bowl for Denver and Wilson will be a disappointment.  As someone posted below, perhaps Seattle knows something about Wilson's injury that we don't. 

But the QB position that you have to keep taking swings at it until you get it filled with somebody good enough to win it all.  The Seahawks signed Matt Flynn for 20 million to compete with Tavaris Jackson, and drafted Russell Wilson in the third round.  I can understand the argument that this trade is weak from Seattle's side because it seems like they gave up as much to get Jamal Adams, but it might actually be fair.  It would have been better on Seattle's side to spread it out longer, which is what the Jets did, giving the Seahawks a chance to recoup a higher pick than they probably will.

98 You think Ikem is a guard...

Ignoring think a routine injury he already came back from, the only one of his this a scared of DSJ injury thing too? Ah man, yall really underestimate modern medicine 

This is just betting on him to suck, which is bad process. 

104 I've watched Ikem play…

I've watched Ikem play Clemson.... he is a guard.  His feet aren't quick enough to play outside.  It's not a dig on Ikem, it's just what I see.  Vera Tucker played tackle at USC, but watch the 2020 Pac-12 championship game and Kayvon destroying him and you know he wasn't a tackle either.  No way I'd bench Becton or Fant for Ekwonu.  He's a really good guard, but I don't think he's as good as Nelson.  Nobody is that good.  That said, Ekwonu is a fairly safe pick; it's just that it's not the best use of resources.

Not saying Seattle didn't mess up here; you get a quarterback like Russell Wilson, you want to keep him.  The process really isn't working for the Seahawks, between this and the Jamal Adams trade.  I'm only thinking about why they did this, and Wilson being seriously injured is the only reason it makes sense for them.  Especially with them hanging onto the coaching staff.


109 AVT was considered a guard at this point

Because that's where he spent most of the time. Ikem is not because it wasn't. He meets all the old timey size requirements and I'm gonna need some clips vs Clemson because you've got to be the only one using that game against him. 

And some teams are just stupid. There has been no outside doctor reporting on the potential severity because there is none. Maybe rushed back last year but he's not going to lose his hands because of it. Just like GB did with their QB, moves can just be dumb. Love was a stupid pick and stupid picks usually became clearly stupid with time. These guys are human, they don't always get things right. 

117 Unfortunately, I am not good…

Unfortunately, I am not good at separating out video footage.  Here is the OL footage vs Clemson on youtube:

Here is a link to an article about Ikem on Gang Green Nation:

The poster (superhuman) uses footage from the Clemson game about halfway into the article to point out what Ekwonu's issues would be at tackle.  He does a better job articulating that than I would.  The poster would probably still be fine drafting Ekwonu at 4.

This entire discussion will probably end up moot.  I'm very confident the Jets will find a suitor for 4 now that Seattle has a pick in the top ten.  Of course, they could take Thibodeaux if he keeps falling due to his "poor attitude" or whatever else GMs want to dream up.

122 That seems to be a you problem

Because no other team will likely value him as such, outside of a short term situation. A few plays ignores a lot of his career. And let's not overrate the decent but expiring Fant (& 2+1 of Becton but that's obviously much further away). 1st rounders are long term investments that you hope contribute right away. I don't see why he couldn't compete with either this year and then slide over if he has to, the next year. 

142 It would be more likely to…

It would be more likely to be the other way, where he plays right guard (which he's never played) and then shifts to tackle, probably right, when Fant leaves in free agency.  Or the Jets could draft Zion Johnson and Jamaree Salyer later on and take one of the edge rushers or Sauce Gardner at 4.  In which case both tackle and guard are solved, and they're spending less money on it.  Or they could trade down, but the Communists trading for Wentz puts a damper on that idea.

Two of those plays are running plays.  I'm not drafting a tackle at 4 so I can run, I want him to protect the blindside of my quarterback.  The play where he clobbered the blitzing defensive back was great, but I've seen Jack Conklin and Orlando Brown do that to defensive linemen.  It's a great play, but it's one play.

As far as him competing with Becton, the only competition would be if Becton was not healthy.  Becton has quicker feet, is a better athlete, has better positioning (sometimes Ikem's wrestling moves shift his body out of line when he's shoving people around).  When Becton played Clemson he shoved people for yards.  With one arm.  I saw Neal do the same thing to Nakobe Dean in the Championship game.  Unfortunately, Neal leans too often.  But perhaps that can be coached out of him.


27 On the other hand

Wilson looked mighty good at the beginning and end of this season.  If his midseason slump was due to an injury, I will admit that he is no longer playing at a an elite HOF level as is Aaron Rodgers, but at a Tier 2 level, very very good borderline HOF level.

Would you rather have Wilson if you are Denver, or the 4 picks and Fant with no QB?  I'll take Wilson.  Conversely, if you are Seattle, you are clearly in rebuild and do not believe that another championship is in the cards with Wilson.  However, whatever you currently are starting with, a QB is not part of the picture, with all apologies to Drew Lock.

28 That’s the thing. Depending…

In reply to by jheidelberg

That’s the thing. Depending on how you view the players acquired, this price isn’t that much higher than what they gave up for Adams. 

I will say, it will be interesting to see how Wilson’s career unfolds. This was his first major injury marred season and he has been a QB who absorbs a lot of punishment. But to me this trade is a no brainer for Denver who instantly escapes the wilderness and the QB conundrum

34 The interesting thing about…

The interesting thing about this to me is the players:

noah fant is, after 3 seasons in the NFL, about an average starter.  That is a bad return for a first round pick.  He is also high variance, combining a low catch rate with some solidly explosive plays. A change of scenery seems like a good choice.

The same conclusion is true of lock.  He might be able to be a long-term nfl starter, but either the broncos coaching was wrong for him or he won't, and regardless he probably is past the point where the broncos could invest in him.  A fresh start is good for him. 

Of course, both players are young, and could be a part of a rebuild.

The inclusion of Shelby Harris I don't get.  He has been quietly quite good over the last three years, but he is also 31.  That doesn't seem to be a great pickup for Seattle, and seems the profile of a win-now player that Denver might want to hang on to.  On the other hand, defensive end/tackle hybrid players can be very scheme dependent, and with a new defensive scheme maybe Denver didn't think they could use him, in which case it makes sense to look to send him?  I don't see a lot of upside for seattle, but his cap numbers are not crazy and there isn't risk for them so maybe.

I think the picks was slightly more than Denver should have traded for Wilson, but not egregiously so (I think 2 1s and a 2 is probably closer to fair), but its not a bad deal.

IMO the biggest loser from this is the texans.  I think it (should) put their demands for watson in perspective, considering he has legal issues, personal issues, possible suspension coming, and much bigger cap hits.  He is younger and arguably better, but I think it makes it unlikely they will get more than 2 picks for watson.

38 noah fant is, after 3…

noah fant is, after 3 seasons in the NFL, about an average starter.  That is a bad return for a first round pick.

It's really not. He was selected at 20. The average 20th pick is worth around 5-5.5 AV per year. Hey, that's Noah Fant!

Draft picks are like lotto tickets. Some are jackpots. Most bust.

64 Albert O was likely to be…

Albert O was likely to be seriously pushing Fant for the #1 TE spot in Denver after last season, but both seem to be fairly capable TEs so can see why he was included from both sides - would be interested to know if Albert was also discussed. Quite surprised one of the Broncos WR was not included as the WR room at the Broncos is pretty deeps since Patrick was extended.

As a Broncos fan I hugely prefer this to likely giving more for Rodgers. Wilson’s mobility will be helpful, his cap hit is currently lower and he will likely play longer. Seeing anyone want Drew Lock is a surprise, but maybe a change of air will help him decide whether he wants to put in a lot of work to improve his mechanics and consistency or not.

67 You and me might be the only ones

To prefer Wilson over Rodgers, but I definitely do as well.  Thrilled we didn't have to part with one of the WR's or a core defensive player.

Fant I think was one of the players most mis-used by the previous staff, and he and Lock have decent chemistry.  His performance went up with Lock in the lineup.  Still, not a "core" player by any means.

Definitely a great deal for Denver.  The picks hurt but they do have extra, and this is a better use of them + Jeudy + Surtain which is what I was hearing for Rodgers.

I hope Lock does well in Seattle.  I always liked him.  Whether it didn't work out because of Lock himself or because of the (horrible) decision Fangio made to replace Scangerello with Shurmur after his rookie season I don't know.  But I hope he prospers in Seattle.

79 I've wondered about the WR…

I've wondered about the WR stuff too, but then I think about the no trade clause and wonder how much that affects it. Is Wilson going to say yes if all the best receiving talent is leaving as well? Not that Fant isn't talent but how much talent could Denver give up and still have Russ sign off on the deal?

Same thing applies to Rodgers. One of his beefs with GB is they haven't gotten him enough pass catchers. So if Pitt had put together a package that included Johnson and Freiermuth to get him is Rodgers going to say OK I'll go to another team where I only have 1 guy to throw to again!

81 Wilson looked mighty good at…

In reply to by jheidelberg

Wilson looked mighty good at the . . . end of this season.

Did he, though? Before the injury he was completing 72% of his passes; after, the only games in which he even approached that were the roasting of Detroit and his dink-and-dunk-fest against SF (overall, 61% across 9 games). C% isn't the only thing that matters, but the fall-off after a serious finger injury is striking. Like I said in another post, I have to wonder if Seattle's evaluation of his recovery/health going forward isn't good. I hope I'm wrong.

105 Spoken like someone who hasn…

Spoken like someone who hasn't watched much Noah Fant.  Shelby Harris was actually the best piece that came from the Broncos.  He will be missed.  Broncos are instantly a far better team with average play from Wilson, and a title contending one if he plays like he did when he wasn't injured.

21 I feel vindicated by my…

I feel vindicated by my comments after the Jamal Adams trade. That decision indirectly led to todays result.

30 Playing Devil's Advocate for…

Playing Devil's Advocate for a second, a tale of two QBs and their DVOA ranks from the last 8 years:

A: 8, 10, 10, 20, 18, 5, 6, 14

B: 12, 13, 7, 10, 15, 15, 3, 13


B is Russell Wilson. A is Kirk Cousins. Certainly you'd prefer Wilson, but it's actually fairly close (with the obvious exception of Cousins' 2018). That's about as far as I'll advocate for this particular devil, though.

As others have noted, if the Seahawks wanted to rebuild then they should've started with the coaching staff first rather than the quarterback. And yes, the chances of getting a replacement QB with even a decent shot at being the next Russ don't seem very good, with the 9th pick in a weak QB draft and presumably a lower selection next year (alongside their own, which admittedly might be fairly high). I also don't get taking back Drew Lock, when you've got a Geno Smith who can bottom out for you already sitting on the roster. I guess if they can move Bobby Wagner they don't really have much committed salary except Lockett (probably fine) and Adams (oof).

45 They're nothing alike lol

On completely different ends of adot and all this tells us (really, confirms) is that Russ has a higher floor AND ceiling. 

Yall are really short to remember him being an MVP candidate a couple years ago, goodness lol

I guess people see what they want to see 

47 MVP?

From what I can see, he's never gotten even one MVP vote. Yeah, he's been good in stretches, excellent too, but he's really his own worst enemy at times too.

49 Candidate

In reply to by AnonyRuss

He was right behind Lamar that whole year.

But neither did Stafford and he's the same age. Seriously, what are we doing here comparing him to Kirk. Recency bias is STRONG whew

54 I could just as easily say …

In reply to by ImNewAroundThe…

I could just as easily say "narratives are sticky." If Russ doesn't have one of the best pass defenses ever in his early years, does he have the same reputation as he does now? I think the Cousins comparison is very useful, actually. I'm not saying Russ = Kirk, that's silly. I'd pick Wilson easily if we're doing some franchise draft. But how much better matters, especially when we're talking about trade returns and the like. Cousins is like the borderline between "good enough" and "we'd like to move on if we can", so I like using him as a benchmark.

57 Ah so that's how you see it.

Yeah, sorry to burst the bubble but he was #good then. People thinking he was a game manager are...something.

The comparison is pretty awful. Like seriously prisoner of the moment. Is everyone decent just mobile Kirk? That ignores how they play which is pretty important. 

The same happens with Rodgers. People seem to keep wanting to push them out because they can't believe that...QBs last longer in a league youre not allowed to touch them in? And try to thrust the Herbert's up because new and shiny. Only can go up. 

Kirks style of play IS what limits him. We just saw his antithesis win...again. 

60 How much better is a great…

How much better is a great question and I think it applies to every QB. Context matters a lot. But Cousins has been surrounded by pretty good players and hasn't been able to take the next step. Actually, Cousins with better mobility sounds about right. It's just that mobility would be a huge deal for Cousins, since his main issue is how poorly he handles pressure.

80 Candidate

In reply to by ImNewAroundThe…

What candidate gets no votes? That would be Russell Wilson in the MVP race. Seriously, there's been a ton of articles about it over the last couple of years. 

Look, I'm a Seahawks season ticket holder and have been since 1999. I've been a Seahawks fan since moving to the PNW in 1982. Russell Wilson has been the best QB in Seahawks history, end of story. I've seen every game he's played. He's been a phenomenal QB and will probably be good for at least a couple more years. There are things he does well and things he doesn't do well. He's been sacked a lot through out his career and a lot of that is down to him holding the ball forever and a day as well as some really bad offensive lines. He doesn't get the ball out quickly even in the fastest tempo plays. He doesn't run hardly at all any more and when he does, he doesn't have the quickness from even two years ago to beat that end or linebacker. His best years were when he had a solid running game and Doug Baldwin. 

If the Broncos have that, he'll probably do well and I wish him the best of luck. 

Having said all that, I'm not happy that he got traded. I can understand it but I don't like it. Great QBs like him don't show up every day. He's light years better than Kirk Cousins. I'm not looking forward to the next round of the likes of Stan Gelbaugh out there. 


83 I happen to think Wilson is…

In reply to by AnonyRuss

I happen to think Wilson is vastly superior to Cousins myself. That said, the numbers make it at least an interesting discussion about why the consensus(which to repeat, I am part of) feels Wilson is way better than Cousins; despite the gulf in DVOA being closer than you might think. For instance, you can compare Rodgers to Cousins and the discussion ends in seconds.

As posters above have written, perhaps we are prisoners of the postseason and media narratives? Russ is viewed as a winner, a consummate pro and a leader - all plaudits that might be true but ring as word spaghetti coming from the typical beat writer. Whereas, Cousins is viewed as an overpaid mope.

I think when you boil it down, for me, it comes down to the fact that the weak parts of Russ' game are probably overvalued by DVOA relative to the typical perception; by that I mean, he takes a lot of sacks and his drives are more feast or famine.


84 Gonna play semantics...

In reply to by AnonyRuss

You're kidding yourself if you don't think he was good that year (hint: notice Kirk wasn't even top 5 in WAR that year). It's just something Kirk has NEVER come close to...and probably never will. There's a ton of articles BECAUSE it's so surprising for someone...that's been good for so long! There's a reason OP left out the first two years (but included Kirks measly 5 starts in '14).

I know Russ too. Wait...what are we arguing about? Lol this started because I can't believe people think Russ and Kirk are like, even outside of mobility when they play completely the opposite (which, again..., matters, like, a LOT, it's the whole reason the Broncos did this trade and a similar reason the Rams did it with Stafford, whos actually the one in the Kirk tier, even though they're different too). 

The gulf between is significant that people are missing. Since 2012 (their draft year) Russ is 3rd in EPA+CPOE composite and Kirk is 8th (including the postseason btw). But that's if you put the min. plays down to Kirks level and that only leaves 13 total QBs. Open it up to the top 32 in that timespan, Russ drops to 5th (of course Mahomes and the now retired Peyton jump in) but Kirk drops to 13th. There's just simply a divide people seem to be missing between them. Kirk may be the line but Russ is firmly above it. No question. It's just not close. He's not just higher in the composite either but EPA/play, Adj. EPA/play, Success Rate and CPOE despite completely different aDots (Russ 3rd/4th, Kirk 25/26/27th). Excluding the first two years doesn't change much either. 

51 That ceiling is now 7 years…

That ceiling is now 7 years ago, though. Not that he's done, by any means - I think Russ is still easily a championship caliber quarterback. But I think he's "get to the playoffs and have a hot streak" type QB (like Burrow was this year) rather than a "carry my team to the championship" type QB. That's not really shade, there aren't many of the latter out there, and even they aren't any guarantee, obviously.

62 The year he was 4th in DYAR…

The year he was 4th in DYAR and 7th in DVOA, his best season in half a decade? Yes, he was very good that year. He has not been as good the last two years, nor the two years before that. He's still been quite good. I'm not sure how saying "yes he's better than Cousins but maybe not by as much as their reputations would suggest" is some horrendous slam on him. I think the Broncos made an excellent trade. I think the Seahawks made a mistake, but moreso in a) evaluating their team last off-season and b) moving Russ instead of bringing in new coaches. All of these things can be true.

32 I am surprised that Denver…

I am surprised that Denver didn't have to give up a little more, but I think the deal largely makes sense for both teams. Denver strikes me as one of the few teams who might legitimately be a QB away from a Super Bowl (very much unlike the Bears last year when the rumors were that they pursued a trade for Wilson; I was strongly against it because I don't see the Bears outside of the QB being good enough to contend while Wilson is still a top 5-10 QB). If the Seahawks need a rebuild, then they're better off trading Wilson and starting the rebuild than wasting the last few years of his career going 9-8 at best.

I don't follow Wilson closely enough to have strong feelings on how many years he might have left at his current level of play, but I think Tom Brady really broke the way most fans think about QBs. They just assume now that anyone who wants to play into their 40s can, and keep up a very high level of play. I suspect that in general, betting on players to decline in their late 30s will continue to be the smart bet.

41 I think the return on a 30+…

I think the return on a 30+ QB is capped, not because they aren't good, but simply because it doesn't make sense for a team to gut their roster to acquire a win-now QB. The model is the Stafford trade - give away some future picks, but nothing that makes your team weaker in the present. That's what the Broncos did here. There's also the issue that while Wilson is a top-10 QB, he probably isn't a top-5 QB who instantly makes your team a contender.

52 It just occurred to me that…

It just occurred to me that the Broncos already had extra resources from the Von Miller trade, so one of the 2nds they gave up was basically extra.  And they can even re-sign Miller if they wanted to!  (Doesn’t look like Wilson’s cap hit is all that bad).

56 Wow

The first QB domino finall falls...

A lot of chatter rcently that the Sehawks weren't confident that they'd be able to re-sign Wilson when his contract's up next year, so with that in mind there's some sense in getting what you can for him. I'd still have kept him and figured the rest out next year,but I'm not an NFL GM.

If Wilson's anything like his normal self, the AFCW is a bearpit

72 broncos are relevant

I am excited that My Favorite Team is suddenly relevant.  No complaints.

Very serious price to pay.  Most painful, and weirdest, piece was Shelby Harris.  Really valuable piece to the defense.  Doesn't really fit with a Seattle rebuild.  That feels like lose-lose for each team. 

As far as 20/20 hindsight/regrets:


Seattle selected Wilson in the third round, while Denver selected Brock Osweiler in the 2nd.  Had those picks been reversed, NFL history would have been altered in a significant way.


87 To be fair...

That means pretty much every other team passed on Wilson too.  Not like Denver was uniquely blind there.  

That said...yeah, I remember the preseason game between Denver and Seattle that year, when Osweiler was Denver's 2nd string QB and Wilson was still 2nd string for Seattle.  Wilson tore us apart.  I mean, it was brutal (he beat up the Bears the week before that as well).  I remember wishing we had Wilson instead of Osweiler and Manning :)  (in my defense, NO ONE really knew how Manning was going to recover from his surgery yet).  But Wilson was without a doubt the best player on the field that day, and it wasn't close. 

If I'm dreaming, please don't wake me up.

90 3 QBs were taken in the Top…

In reply to by reddwarf

3 QBs were taken in the Top 8 that year:  Luck, RG3, and at #8 ...?

Then who went at #22, the 4th QB off the board?

Osweiller was the 5th, Wilson was 6th, and Cousins was 8th.  Who was 7th?  Hint:  he's tied with Wilson in most ringz from this QB draft class.

97 Good job, Seattle

An outstanding trade for Seattle:

1), Russ wanted out. He wanted out. He. Wanted. Out.

2), his contract is up after next season. When he could then leave with the Seahawks getting bupkus.

3), even with Russell the Seahawks are rebuilding. Worse than the Cards unless Kyler leaves/crashes, much worse than the Rams this season at least, much worse than the 49ers for the next 3-4 years unless Trey winds up a huge bust.

4), not only did they get 4 high draft picks, not only did they get 2 legit starting players, they get salary relief. If their rebuild does work, they'll now be set $$$-wise to add on a veteran Pro Bowler or two come '24.

5), guys, Russell is trending down. Still up there, but trending down. Maybe he stays healthy and staves off further decline. Maybe not.

As for Denver?

I wouldn't have done it. I don't think they're quite close enough. But I can certainly see the sense in it. (other than including the defensive player in it, unless they do think he just wouldn't fit whatever new scheme they're bringing in)

99 Lol

In reply to by BigRichie

No wonder. Carroll truther despite the numerous times Russ said he wanted to be there

100 'They didn't get enough'

I'll pick on Aaron here, since he's way bigger than I am.

So, Aaron, you believe the Seahawks turned down a better offer to take this one instead?

'They didn't get enough' is by definition just a bogus argument. Of course the Seahawks took the best offer out there. Each of the 30 other NFL teams decided Russell Wilson wasn't worth to them what Denver offered up.

At some point Denver says 'ahh, screw it, Jimmy G did get the 49ers into the 4th quarter of a Super Bowl+Conference Championship with a lead, and he's way better than what we've had the last few years.' Or Russell holds out of minicamps, doesn't report to training camp and now your negotiating position is much weaker. Or DeShaun settles his cases, and your negotiating leverage gets cut in half.

Either you argue the Seahawks are a contender with Russell. Or that waiting will help Seattle more than it will help Denver. 'They didn't get enough' is just a nothingburger.

111 'They didn't get enough' is…

'They didn't get enough' is by definition just a bogus argument. Of course the Seahawks took the best offer out there. 

Aaron's point is that the best offer may have been "Just keep Russell Wilson."

No one had a gun to their head making them pick one of their offers. They had the option of refusing them all.

154 How much Wilson’s no trade…

How much Wilson’s no trade clause affected the deal is something we might have to a while to find out. But if Seattle got a better offer from a team Wilson would move to (Washington, perhaps?) and it might have been a case of getting something enough to not be an actively bad deal from one of the reportedly few teams he was interested in moving to.

Broncos have a new coach who at least seems to be flexible about how the offence will run, a decent selection of pass targets, and whilst the OL is not a strength might well still be an improvement. Denver also has a reputation for being a nice place to live. 

106 That's a pretty fair…

That's a pretty fair assessment for the Seahawks.  If they didn't think they could sign him, or didn't want to, they aren't going to get more for him later most likely.  Harris is a really good player.  Fant has been fairly underwhelming so far, but he's been serviceable.  As for the Broncos, they have a top tier defense and great talent at WR and RB.  What else would you wait for?  QB was far and away their biggest need.  Nothing else was close.  They are a markedly better team with Wilson, instantly in the picture to make noise in the playoffs. 

113 "As for the Broncos, they…

"As for the Broncos, they have a top tier defense and great talent at WR and RB."

Their defense finished 20th last year. I realize defense is variable year to year, but who exactly are the stars on that unit? I'll grant you Simmons and maybe Chubb if he could ever stay healthy (though even that is a huge stretch). Perhaps Surtain makes a big leap and maybe they sign Von Miller. But it's still a lot of ifs, mays, and could.

Even the talent at receiver is more projection than hard reality. Judy is a top tier draft pick held back by QB play, but the same could have been said about Sammy Watkins who never became a star. And I like Sutton but again, still a projection.

141 Their defense finished 20th…

Their defense finished 20th last year.

I'm a Chief fan, so mostly I when I see Denver they have been losing.  But I agree with this comment/DVOA.  I don't think the Broncos D is that good.  Having said that, a better offense (which Wilson will give them) will help the D - playing with a lead is always better for the D.

Wilson is obviously better than Lock.  The real question is he better than Lock plus 1 to 2 starters (depending on your view of Harris/Fant) plus the 2 to 4 starters the draft picks would return.  Not to mention the cap space he consumes, which will get bigger with his next contract (if he doesn't already have a promised extension with large raise attached).

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