Just hours after news broke that Aaron Rodgers will stay with the Green Bay Packers in 2022, a blockbuster NFL trade went down. The Seattle Seahawks agreed in principle to send their franchise quarterback, Russell Wilson, to the Denver Broncos.
NFL insiders have reported the framework of the deal, which includes multiple first-round picks. That fact alone makes the Seahawks the loser of this deal because, as ESPN’s Dan Orlovsky explained in a tweet the day before the trade went down, Seattle stinks at making first-round picks lately.
The Seattle Seahawks trade QB Russell Wilson to the Denver Broncos
Since the 2021 season ended, there’s been mass speculation that the Denver Broncos were targeting Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers. The organization made a similar move before with Peyton Manning, the team desperately needs a starting signal-caller, and the Broncos even hired Rodgers’ offensive coordinator, Nathaniel Hackett, this offseason as head coach.
However, on Tuesday, March 8, 2022, Rodgers announced he’ll be staying in Green Bay. Just over two hours later, ESPN’s Adam Schefter broke the news on Twitter that Russell Wilson is heading to the Broncos.
The trade is still pending Wilson passing a physical and his official approval, but, for all intents and purposes, the Super Bowl-winning Seahawks QB is now a Bronco.
In return for Wilson and a fourth-round pick, multiple NFL insiders are reporting that Denver is sending Seattle two first-round picks, two second-round picks, a fifth-round pick, as well as TE Noah Fant, DE Shelby Harris, and QB Drew Lock.
While this is certainly a big haul, it may not be a great one for Seattle, as ESPN analyst and former NFL QB Dan Orlovsky explained the day before the trade.
Dan Orlovsky tweeted about the Seahawks’ drafting woes
Seattle Seahawks general manager John Schneider got his job in 2010. Head coach Pete Carroll showed up in the Pacific Northwest the same year. In their first several drafts together, the duo hit it out of the park.
Their first draft netted Pro Bowlers like OT Russell Okung, S Earl Thomas, WR Golden Tate, and S Kam Chancellor. The next season’s draft bore Pro Bowl fruit as well, with LB K.J Wright and CB Richard Sherman coming on board. LB Bobby and QB Russell Wilson arrived in 2012, and the foundation of a Super Bowl championship team came together.
Since 2016, however, the Seahawks drafts have not been good.
Dan Orlovsky tweeted about the franchise’s recent draft history, writing that the organization has made 52 draft picks since 2016, and only three have made a Pro Bowl. That includes punter Michael Dickson.
The other two players who’ve appeared in football’s All-Star game are CB Shaquill Griffin (pick No. 90, 2017) and DK Metcalf (No. 64, 2019).
Other than that, the Seahawks have selected some decent players like LB Jordyn Brooks (No. 27, 2020), RB Rashaad Penny (No. 27, 2018), TE Will Dissly (No. 120, 2018), C Ethan Pocic (No. 58, 2017), and Chris Carson (No. 249, 2017), but none who move the needle.
The Seahawks just came away with a major haul of draft capital from the Russell Wilson deal. The problem is, they may have already lost the trade if Schneider and Carroll keep picking players like they have the last six years.
What do Pete Carroll and John Schneider do at quarterback in 2022?
Draft history aside, Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll and GM John Schneider must now decide what to do at the most crucial position in football next season.
The first option is to start a QB currently (or soon to be) on the roster. That means either the three-year veteran from Denver Drew Lock or 2020 Indianapolis Colts fourth-round pick Jacob Eason. Lock has an 8-13 record as a starter and 25 touchdowns to 20 interceptions. Eason has taken exactly five career snaps, all of them passes, and the opposing defense picked off one of those passes.
The next option is to draft a QB. The New York Jets own the Seahawks’ No. 10 overall pick, thanks to the Jamal Adams trade. However, Seattle now jumps up to Denver’s No. 9 slot with the Russell Wilson swap.
The entire section above is about how poorly the Seahawks have drafted lately, but if they want to roll the dice on a top QB in 2022, Malik Willis and Kenny Pickett should be around when they pick.
The Seahawks can also use some of their roughly $35 million in cap space to sign a veteran signal-caller. Examples include Mitchell Trubisky, Jameis Winston, Marcus Mariota, or Teddy Bridgewater.
Finally, there is an out-of-the-box fourth option that Carroll and Schneider just might be brazen enough to try and pull off. They can package the few of their own picks they have left with the ones coming from the Denver Broncos and try to pull off another blockbuster. This one would involve Jimmy Garoppolo, Derek Carr, or even Deshaun Watson heading to Seattle.
It would be a bold move to try something like this. But, as Dan Orlovsky pointed out, it might be better than letting Carroll and Schneider use the picks.
All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference