After weeks of negotiations, in one of the biggest deals in NFL history, the Denver Broncos agreed to send a raft of players and draft picks to the Seattle Seahawks in exchange for the Super Bowl-winning quarterback. Russell Wilsonsources say ESPN.
Broncos agreed to trade quarterback Drew Locktight end Noah you aredefensive line Shelby Harristwo first-round selections, two second-round selections, a fifth-round selection for the Seahawks for Wilson and a fourth-round pick, sources said.
The trade gives Denver the quarterback it’s sought after since Peyton Manning retired, and it gives Seattle a foundation to rebuild without the quarterback who led the Seahawks to their only Super Bowl title.
Upon Wilson agreeing to waive the no-trade clause, the Seahawks would send him to Denver, ending a historic 10-season career in Seattle that included nine Pro Bowl picks, one Super Bowl title and more wins than any quarterback he’s posted in his lifetime. The first 10 seasons in the league.
Wilson will also have to pass a physical exam. The trade cannot be officially announced until Wednesday, March 16 at 4 p.m. ET, which is the start of the 2022 league year.
Nothing to do with Denver’s acquisition of Wilson Aaron RodgersThe decision to return to Green Bay. Denver general manager George Patton began business talks with Seattle for Wilson at least two weeks ago, sources said. But in recent days, as trade talks with Seattle heated up, it became clear that Wilson was Bronco A’s plan. The Broncos and Packers have not discussed Rodgers’ deal this season.
The Seahawks were quietly listening to Wilson’s performances and received calls from multiple teams. A league source estimated that the total number is more than ten teams. Wilson felt he would have to move on, and if he did, he wanted to go into a successful program. Denver, with all its offensive talent and solid defense, is in a “win now” position.
Denver has been trying to find the right quarterback since Manning’s retirement, just as the organization has been trying for years to find the right quarterback after John Elway’s retirement. Enter 33-year-old Wilson.
Wilson defeated the Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII and would become the first quarterback to play on the team that beat him in the Super Bowl, according to ESPN Stats & Information.
Coach Pete Carroll told reporters at the Boy Scouts rally last week that the Seahawks had “no intention” of trading with Wilson, but Carroll once again stopped short of dropping the possibility entirely. Carroll said the standard response to general manager John Schneider for teams inquiring about Wilson is that the Seahawks don’t shop in the middle, according to The News Tribune.
Wilson’s trade comes 13 months after his frustration with the organization surfaced. He complained publicly in February of all the hits and sacks he’s taken over his career – putting pressure on the team to better protect his passes – and of his lack of say on personnel matters relative to the top midfielders.
Sources told ESPN that Wilson’s comments angered some in the organization. But those tensions appear to have subsided during the drama-free 2021 season.
It is not clear if Wilson requested a deal.
According to a source, Wilson always planned to reconsider his concerns after the 2021 season. He has spoken on multiple occasions of his desire to stay in Seattle for the long-term, saying that he wants to win more Super Bowls with the Seahawks. But Wilson stopped short of declaring that he would remain in Seattle, although a no-trade clause could guarantee this.
Wilson has two years and $51 million left over the four-year extension and $140 million he signed in April 2019. That includes base salaries of $19 and $22 million, with $5 million on the March roster each year making up the remainder. Had Wilson stayed on the Seattle roster as of March 20, the Seahawks would have owed him a $5 million bonus.
Wilson leaves Seattle as the franchise’s career leader in most relevant passing categories and the only midfielder to win the Lombardi Cup for the Seahawks.
The Seahawks are scheduled to play a home game against the Broncos next season.
ESPN’s Brady Henderson contributed to this report.
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