by Matthew Smith
March 8, 2022
After the end of the NFL season capping off with the Los Angeles Rams winning the Superbowl, the hype surrounding the NFL, like always around late February and March has quieted down. Until today that is when two of the best Qb’s in the league decided to bless our social media feeds with some exciting game changing news. Both quarterbacks finally put the “where is he going” question & rumors to rest.
Russell Wilson Traded to The Broncos
The star quarterback who played his whole career up until now with the Seahawks, winning a championship in 2 Superbowl appearances has been traded to the Denver Broncos in exchange for quarterback Drew Lock, tight end Noah Fant, defensive lineman Shelby Harris, 2 1st Round Picks, 2 2nd round picks and a fifth rounder. Seattle also gave up a 4th round pick in the trade alongside Wilson, ESPN reported.
The timing of this trade is comical, as just last week Head Coach Pete Carroll told the media, the team had no intention of trading Wilson despite the interest of many teams.
This reminds me of so many blockbuster trades throughout the four major North American Leagues, that all started with a GM saying they have no intention of trading their star player days before they ship them out of town, i.e. Pk Subban and Marc Bergevin , Demar Derozan and Masai Ujiri and many others.
Wilson has been nothing but fantastic in his tenure with the Seahawks, averaging at least 30 TD passes in the last 4 out of 5 years dating back to 2017. Broncos fans, just to give insight on how elite that is, you can compare it to the stat of the Broncos quarterbacks who haven’t been able to throw for more than 18 TD passes in that same timespan.
If we analyze the trade assets and compare it to a similar transaction that recently happened before the season started, that of Matt Stafford being traded to the rams. The Lion’s haul looks very similar to the ones of the Seahawks. They received Goff, 2 1st round picks and a 3rd round pick. Stafford immediately joined a Superbowl contender and as a Bengals fan, I know the rest… let’s just move on.
Even though both quarterbacks were traded for similar assets; the win now situations they’ve been put in are completely different. Like I mentioned, Stafford was put in a position to win, his offensive stardom and that elite Wideout core, mixed with a fantastic O-line and top 10 Defense is the pinnacle of a Superbowl team. However, Russell Wilson will not be put in that same position; instead, he gets a Broncos team that ranked high in defensive stats, low in offensive stats and a Broncos O-line which is at best an average core. However, with the addition of Wilson to complement a skilled wideout core that includes Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy and Tim Patrick; it is safe to assume those low offensive stats that ranked 18th overall will be slowly climbing up the ranks week by week. For the O-line, it will be up to Bronco’s general manager George Paton to fix the issue via the Draft or Free agency; as the Right tackle Bobby Massie was so inconsistent in protecting the pass rush that the Broncos running game was non-existent with him blocking up front, and don’t even get me started on Center Lloyd Cushenberry III who looks like he needs to hit the gym some more as he struggled immensely to block big strong defensive tackles, and unlucky for Cushenberry, as of course there is no shortage of them in the NFL. It should be interesting to see how Denver addresses the issue in the offseason. My guess is if neither of those 1sts round picks are 2022 (very unlikely) they take either Alabama offensive tackle Ikem Ekwonu or Missipy State offensive tackle Charles Cross. If the Broncos don’t have a first round selection in this year’s draft then you better hope the addition of Wilson can attract some elite offensive tackles to Denver in free agency, which in my opinion shouldn’t be a problem considering the O-line is their biggest weakness.
I love this trade by Denver, even though they parted ways with great assets to acquire Wilson; they immediately become a threat in their division and for the first time in a while, could be in the hunt for a division title or at worst securing a wildcard spot. Why wouldn’t you want to create a competitive atmosphere that you’ve been missing evry since their 2015 superbowl win; to quote Los Angeles Rams general manager Les Snead …“F**k Them Picks”.
Nonetheless, whoever joins this team in the offseason will have to aid Russell Wilson in an already stacked AFC West division that features the likes of Patrick Mahomes, Justin Herbert and Derek Carr who just had his best statistical season with the Raiders.
Where do the Seahawks stand?
Seahawks finally put the question of what to do with Russell Wilson? to bed. Seattle went 7-10 and finished dead last in the NFC West. It makes sense to shake things up, however, to trade their best player in Wilson doesn’t give much hope for a competitive season occurring this year. If I’m Tyler Lockett or DK Metcalf, I would still be refreshing social media to see breaking news of Seattle flipping assets for an elite quarterback. However, Seattle will most likely be content in plugging an average quarterback in to succeed Wilson, as all the eyes of the executives will be looking towards the 2023 NFL Draft. Seattle of course could take a quarterback of the likes of Liberty’s Malik Willis or Pittsburgh’s Kenny Pickett, in this year’s (2022) draft but it won’t be the answer to their long-term future. Yes, they added the young elite potential of TE Noah Fant, whom I love by the way, however Seahawk fans should expect last season’s 7-10 last place finish in the NFC West to become a familiar spot in the coming years.
Aaron Rodgers Breaks Bank
On the same day of Russel Wilson being traded to the Broncos (many expected Aaron Rodegers potential new home), Rodgers signed back with the Packers with a record-breaking new deal of 200 million $ over the next 4 years. Meaning Rodgers becomes the highest paid NFL player in history, making a staggering 50 million$ AAV. In Monopoly terms, Rodgers can build as many hotels as he so likes on Boardwalk and Park Place.
If you watch the Chtib & Zhang show, me and Zhang both predicted that Rodgers would stay nice and cozy in Wisconsin for the foreseeable future and why wouldn’t he? Already at the age of 38, there were few teams Rodgers could have gone to that were immediately looking to win who were missing an elite quarterback. Even if Rodgers switched conferences and decided to join the AFC, he’d still have to compete against the likes of Mahomes, Herbert, Allen and oh ya Joey Brrr, to complete his Superbowl aspirations. For me Rodgers cements himself as the new biggest drama queen in the NFL, for scaring Packers fans to death with the thought of him leaving their team. Now the clock begins, with the likes of Wide receiver Davante Adams most likely getting Franchised tag and returning next season; the Packers still led by Rodgers will be looking for another Superbowl championship to add on to his already Hall of Fame worthy resume.
Was Aaron Rodgers already hinted to us he was coming back to Green Bay all the way back in October when he dressed up as John Wick? I don’t want to assume anything, but I like to think that Rodgers favorite quote in the movie goes something like this: “People keep asking if I’m back and I haven’t really had an answer, but yeah, I’m thinking I’m back”!
Once again check out this article by @mackenzierants, another AEW Dynamite Preview:Fallout From Revolution!