Sports Corner

By: Robert Bishop

Back again, and after speculation dating back to the last offseason, the Seattle Seahawks finally dealt quarterback Russell Wilson in a blockbuster deal. Wilson is heading to the Denver Broncos, giving the team a much-needed upgrade at quarterback. In return, the Seahawks are receiving a massive package built around a pair of first-round picks, though the wealth of resources heading to Seattle is not limited to those two headlining selections.  

Wilson will offer an immediate upgrade for Denver’s offense, a unit with a staggering amount of talent aside from under center. Even with Wilson taking a step back in recent seasons, he elevates the team. The Broncos boast a trio of excellent receivers, with Tim Patrick, Courtland Sutton, and Jerry Jeudy primed to benefit from Wilson’s presence.  

Wilson becomes far and away the best quarterback to wear a Broncos uniform since Peyton Manning’s retirement. The Broncos have had a revolving door at the position in the years since, giving playing steady playing time to Trevor Siemian, Paxton Lynch, Brandon Allen, Joe Flacco, and Brock Osweiler, among others. Given the talent elsewhere on Denver’s roster, that stable of signal-callers is simply embarrassing. The Broncos are built to win now with a Super Bowl-caliber roster, though it is worth noting that it won’t be an easy feat in the highly competitive AFC West. The division features Patrick Mahomes, Justin Herbert, Derek Carr, and Wilson. That is an incredible collection of quarterback talent in a single division. 

As for Seattle, dealing Wilson is the first step in a long-overdue rebuild for the franchise. In the trade, the Seahawks will receive two first-round picks, two second-round picks, a fifth-round pick, quarterback Drew Lock, tight end Noah Fant, and defensive lineman Shelby Harris. Lock will likely compete for the team’s starting quarterback gig against a soon-to-be-drafted rookie, while Fant instantly becomes the team’s tight end of the future. Harris will be a contributor along the defensive line for Seattle’s defense. Seattle is sure to take a step back in the short term, but the team’s long-term prospects received a massive boost with this deal. 

Now, the Seahawks are faced with the decision to embrace a rebuild fully. Safety Quandre Diggs, cornerback D.J. Reed, and left tackle Duane Brown are all free agents. It wouldn’t be wise for Seattle to retain any of them. Linebacker Bobby Wagner, who has been the face of the franchise alongside Wilson for the past decade, is entering the final season of his deal and carries a substantial cap hit. It wouldn’t be a jarring announcement for the team to either trade or release Wagner as a follow-up to the Wilson trade.  

Also worth noting is that Seattle’s move to add a cache of draft picks is worthwhile, but the franchise’s recent draft history offers a sobering potential reality for those selections. Over the past six years, Seattle has used top-100 picks on the likes of Ethan Pocic, Cody Barton, Marquise Blair, and Germain Ifedi. Acquiring draft capital by trading a star quarterback is easy. Using it effectively is much more difficult. Seattle’s rebuild is off to a great start, but the process is only beginning. 

Wilson wasn’t the only quarterback making headlines on Tuesday. Despite being linked to every quarterback-needy team in the NFL in recent weeks, reigning two-time MVP Aaron Rodgers will remain with the Green Bay Packers. The Packers used the franchise tag on receiver Davante Adams in a coinciding move, keeping Rodgers’ favorite target in town. It’s largely expected that with Rodgers committed to staying in Green Bay, the Packers will make it a priority to get Adams locked up to a long-term deal. Over the past two seasons, Adams has cemented his place as the best receiver in football. The Packers will once again be a Super Bowl contender.