Broncos Buster: How the Seahawks won the Russell Wilson trade 1 year ago
Part of what makes the NFL the most unstoppable force in American media is the unpredictability each new year brings, and nothing was a bigger shock last season than the fates of the Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks.
One year ago today, the Seahawks shocked the NFL world by trading franchise quarterback and Seattle sports icon Russell Wilson to the Broncos. Years of rumored frustration between Wilson and the Seahawks came to fruition, as the quarterback who helped Seattle win its only Super Bowl left the Emerald City to join the team he helped defeat in the big game.
At the time, this felt like a slam dunk for Denver. The consensus in the media – as well as most of us here at Seahawks Wire, including myself – was Seattle got smoked by the Broncos. It appeared Denver finally found a quarterback to lead their talented roster, while the Seahawks were clearly engaging in a full blown rebuild.
Oh, how wrong we all were. In this case, I have no problem admitting it.
What seemed to be a win for the Broncos quickly materialized into Seattle winning one of the most laughably lopsided trades in NFL history. Right from game one, the Russell Wilson era was off to an inauspicious start as Denver lost the Monday Night Football opener to the Seahawks, 17-16. Wilson looked off the entire game, and in the most crucial moment, the Broncos took the ball out of his hands and attempted a 64-yard field goal for the win…
…In an open air stadium at sea level. It went about as well as you’d expect.
From there, things only went from bad to worse. Denver fielded a completely inert offense as Wilson had by far the worst season of his career. The quarterback who used to be seen as a perennial MVP candidate suffered a cataclysmic, potentially legacy altering, reputational meltdown – both as a player and as a person. Wilson sadly became a punchline last season, and the conversation about him is if he can return to form under his new head coach Sean Payton.
Meanwhile, the grass couldn’t look any greener in Seattle. With the Broncos’ first round pick last year, the Seahawks selected Charles Cross who looks like a franchise caliber left tackle. As for the players Seattle got in the trade, Noah Fant and Shelby Harris were productive starters. Drew Lock never saw the field, but that’s a positive because Geno Smith remarkably produced one of the best seasons a Seahawks quarterback has ever had.
Now Seattle is picking in the top 10 again, thanks to Denver’s abysmal 5-12 season. Because of this trade, the Seahawks will have the No. 5 overall pick, as well as 6th pick in the second round (No. 37 overall) from the Broncos. Seattle has a unique opportunity with quality draft capital to supplement their outstanding draft last year to help potentially catapult them back into contention.
Granted, this is only after one year. Fortunes can change just as quickly in the opposite direction for each team. But as of right now, there is a clear winner in this trade.
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