It Appears the Seahawks Fleeced the Broncos in the Russell Wilson Trade

Seattle has gone 3-3 with Geno Smith at QB since trading Wilson as the Broncos have limped to a 2-4 record with him

Russell Wilson of the Denver Broncos waits to take the field.
Russell Wilson seems to have lost a steo or six in Denver.
Sean M. Haffey/Getty

Following last night’s debacle on Monday Night Football against the clueless yet victorious Los Angeles Chargers, the Broncos have now blown two consecutive games in overtime on national television and Denver now sits at 2-4 with just 91 points scored on the season, by far the worst of any team that has played the first six weeks without a bye. (Conversely, Denver’s defense has given up only 93 points and six touchdowns this season, including just one in the past two games.)

It’s fair to note that Denver’s struggles are likely amplified because three of their six losses have come in primetime, but it’s also impossible to ignore that things just do not look right on the field for the Broncos and that Russell Wilson, who was given a $245 million contract after he was traded by the Seattle Seahawks, looks like he is cashed.

Wilson, 33, went 15-for-28 for 188 yards and a touchdown during Monday’s game but was just 3-of-11 for a measly 15 yards in the second half as the Broncos scored three points combined over the game’s final two quarters and overtime. Oblivious to open receivers, scrambling to nowhere and taking damaging sacks (four for 28 yards), Wilson does not seem to be close to the quarterback who went 104-53-1 as a starter in his career with the Seattle Seahawks. What he does resemble is the player who was 6-8 as a starter last season with Seattle before the offseason trade. Or, as it should now be referred to, offseason fleece.

Since trading Wilson, Seattle has gone 3-3 with longtime backup Geno Smith handling quarterback duties and has unquestionably gotten better play under center than the Broncos have gotten from Wilson. Through six games, Smith has completed 138-of-188 passes (73.4%) for 1,502 yards with nine touchdowns, two interceptions and 14 sacks. For the Broncos, Wilson has gone 116-of-198 (58.6%) for 1,442 yards with five touchdowns, three interceptions and 20 sacks. Adding salt to the wound for the Broncos is Smith’s salary: $3.5 million.

And that’s far from the only salt festering in the gash left from the fleecing as the Broncos, in addition to owing Wilson a boatload of guaranteed cash, owe the Seahawks a treasure trove of draft picks (a 2023 first-round pick and a 2023 second-round pick) and already surrendered their first two picks in April’s draft which turned into rookie left tackle Charles Cross and edge rusher Boye Mafe.

First- and second-round picks are valuable commodities as is but first- and second-rounders from bad teams are almost priceless. As it stands, the Broncos appear to be a bad team and Wilson, along with bumbling coach Nathaniel Hackett, appears to be a major reason why.

“The only thing that matters is us winning,” Wilson said after Monday’s loss. “I’m not going to sugarcoat it. The only thing that matters is us winning and finding a way. I’ve been through tough times before. I know we can come out on the other side. We’ve got too many good football players and guys who work their butts off every day, so we’ve got to make that happen. There’s no excuse for it. We’ve got to find a way.”

The Seahawks did. They traded Wilson.

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