On Tuesday, the NFL world was shaken as news that the Seattle Seahawks traded future Hall of Fame quarterback Russell Wilson to the Denver Broncos for three players and a handful of draft picks. This was the type of big splash that the Broncos were looking to make this offseason. Denver was rumored to be one of the most likely destinations for Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers if he were to be traded. However, news had broken earlier Tuesday that he had struck a deal to remain in Green Bay. That left Denver looking elsewhere. But for this big of a trade to go down, it must have been in the works for quite some time.

The terms of the deal were as follows: Seattle receives two first round picks, two second round picks, a fifth round pick, quarterback Drew Lock, tight end Noah Fant and defensive lineman Shelby Harris. In return, Denver receives Russell Wilson and a fourth round pick.

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With a trade of this magnitude, it deserves to broken down. Let’s grade the Seattle Seahawks-Denver Broncos Russell Wilson trade.

Seattle Seahawks-Denver Broncos Trade, Graded


The Broncos knew that to have any chance to win the AFC West, they are going to need an elite quarterback. The Kansas City Chiefs have Patrick Mahomes and the Los Angeles Chargers have Justin Herbert. You can’t even sleep on the Las Vegas Raiders, who made the postseason with Derek Carr last year.

By trading for Wilson, they get exactly what they were desperate for, a great quarterback under center. Wilson’s resume speaks for itself ever since entering the league out of Wisconsin in 2012. Wilson has won one Super Bowl, been to two, and practically carried an entire offense on his back for the last half-decade.

Wilson will be entering his 11th season as a pro. In today’s climate, that’s still relatively young, as long as he stays healthy. He will join a team that was arguably a top-10 roster last season. But they did not have a quarterback to take them to the next level.

Wilson will have plenty to throw too, as he did in Seattle. Jerry Jeudy is the headliner, but Courland Sutton is a former Pro Bowl receiver and Tim Patrick quietly is coming off back-to-back good seasons for a third receiver. Javonte Williams might be a breakout star at tailback this season. If Melvin Gordon III is still with the team, this will likely be the best rushing attack Wilson has had since Marshawn Lynch.

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But, I only give Denver a B+ because of how much they had to give up. Two first round and two second round picks is already a ton of capital. This isn’t the NBA, those four picks can be four starters tomorrow.

Drew Lock obviously is not a big deal, but both Noah Fant and Shelby Harris are. Harris was one of the most important players on a good Denver defense. Fant was quietly a very productive tight end and his loss will be felt.


I believe, by a very narrow margin, that Seattle won this trade. I would assume their front office smelled the desperation from the Broncos once they learned they were out of the Aaron Rodgers sweepstakes.

Wilson had been rumored to want out for a couple seasons now. So, the Seahawks dangled the carrot until they got what they wanted. What they got was quite the haul.

Seattle has a chance to fill a lot of holes on both sides of the ball with the five draft picks they received. Remember too, that with Mahomes, Herbert and Carr in the AFC West, Denver could still easily finish third or fourth. Therefore, those early picks could be top-10 each round.

But Seattle also acquired an above average tight end in Noah Fant. Fant has good hands, and is a very good blocker. That’s something Seattle has needed at the line of scrimmage for quite some time.

But the key player in the trade is Shelby Harris. Harris is a very good defensive lineman with flexibility. He mostly lined up outside for Denver, posting six sacks in both 2019 and 2021. He missed five games in 2020 due to injury. But Harris is also a play-caller on defense for the line.

Seattle has a lot of needs on both sides of the ball. Between the picks they acquired, and the players they received, I believe they slightly came out ahead here. That is especially true if Wilson was eventually headed for the exit.