- ESPN NFL Insider
- Joined ESPN in 2009
- Former president of the Pro Football Writers of America and the author of four books
In one of the biggest trades in NFL history, the Denver Broncos have agreed to send a significant package to the Seattle Seahawks in exchange for standout quarterback Russell Wilson, sources tell ESPN.
Broncos quarterback Drew Lock, tight end Noah Fant, defensive lineman Shelby Harris and multiple draft picks will be sent to the Seahawks as part of the deal, sources said.
The trade gives Denver the quarterback it has sought since Peyton Manning retired, and it gives Seattle a foundation on which to rebuild without the quarterback who led the Seahawks to their only Super Bowl title.
Wilson is expected to waive his no-trade clause, the last obstacle before the trade can be completed, freeing the Seahawks to send him to Denver and ending his historic 10-season run in Seattle that included nine Pro Bowl selections, one Super Bowl title and more wins than any quarterback ever has posted during his first 10 seasons in the league.
Wilson also will have to pass a physical. The trade can’t be officially announced until Wednesday, May 16 at 4 p.m. ET, which is the start of the 2022 league year.
Denver acquiring Wilson has nothing to do with Aaron Rodgers’ decision to return to Green Bay. Denver general manager George Paton initiated trade talks with Seattle for Wilson at least two weeks ago, per sources. But in recent days, as trade talks with Seattle heated up, it become clear that Wilson was the Broncos’ Plan A. The Broncos and Packers have not discussed a Rodgers trade this offseason.
The Seahawks quietly were listening to offers for Wilson and got calls from multiple teams. One league source estimated the total to be over a dozen teams. Wilson sensed he was going to have to move on, and if he did, he wanted to be going to a winning program. Denver, with all its offensive talent and its tough defense, is said to have greatly appealed to him.
Denver has been trying to find a suitable quarterback since Manning retired, just as the organization tried for years to find a suitable quarterback after John Elway retired. Enter 33-year-old Wilson.
Wilson beat the Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII and will become the first quarterback to start for a team they beat in the Super Bowl, according to ESPN Stats & Information.
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