On March 8, 2022, the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos agreed on a blockbuster trade involving Russell Wilson. The Seahawks traded Wilson away for a significant draft package from the Broncos with the hopes that both teams involved could get a fresh start with the move.
Throughout Wilson’s tenure in Seattle, the situation seemed to get progressively rockier as time went on. Ultimately, both the team and player decided it may be in both parties’ best interest to move on from one another.
What Did the Broncos Trade for Russell Wilson?
Let’s take a look at what the Seahawks received from the Broncos in exchange for Wilson.
The Seahawks received:
- QB Drew Lock
- TE Noah Fant
- DL Shelby Harris
- OT Charles Cross (2022 first-round pick)
- OLB Boye Mafe (2022 second-round pick)
- OLB Tyreke Smith (2022 fifth-round pick)
- CB Devon Witherspoon (2023 first-round pick)
- EDGE Derick Hall (2023 second-round pick)
The Broncos received:
- QB Russell Wilson
- DL Eyioma Uwazurike (2022 fourth-round pick)
Why Did Seattle Trade Wilson?
No matter who you asked about Wilson’s time in Seattle, they shared the sentiment that it was a tumultuous one. A situation that was rooted in dysfunction would ultimately meet a crossroads for Wilson and the Seahawks, and the results ended with both the team and player’s understanding a change was needed.
While the feelings of strain were felt for quite some time, the beginning of the end may be pinpointed to one singular moment. Wilson, who was usually buttoned up and quite politically correct in his encounters with the media, decided to let his true feelings out about the organization and his transgressions on the field.
In a 2021 interview with Dan Patrick to discuss his Man of the Year honor, Wilson, for the first time, made his frustrations public. He discussed his issues pertaining to pass protection and his feelings of being left out when it came to personnel decisions. He also discussed how often he would be sacked during his tenure.
When he spoke, the frustration became evident from the veteran QB.
“Like any player, you never want to get hit,” Wilson told reporters via Zoom. “That’s the reality of playing this position; ask any quarterback who wants to play this game. But at the same time, it’s part of the job and everything else. I think that the reality is that I’ve definitely been hit. I’ve been sacked almost 400 times, so we’ve got to get better. I’ve got to find ways to get better too.”
Asked if he is frustrated with the Seahawks, Wilson said with a laugh: “I’m frustrated [about] getting hit too much. I’m frustrated with that part of it. At the end of the day, you want to win.”
These words were out of character for the once perceived reserved quarterback, but it was clear that these were long-felt issues from a man who felt he was not being heard.
“I think that sometimes you hold onto it a little bit just because you’re looking for that play and you find it, but also so many of those times it turns into touchdowns too,” he said.
“But you never want to be sacked that many times. Four hundred times basically is way too many — 400 too many. So I think that’s a big thing that we’ve got to fix. That’s got to be fixed and has to be at the end of the day because my goal is to play 10 to 15 more years.”
It’s not the only reason for the departure, but that may have been the icing on the cake for what was already an increasingly sour relationship. Simultaneously, it may have served as the final piece that put the trade out of town in motion.
As the trade has continued to be looked at through a rearview mirror, many have openly discussed what the situation was like back then.
“While Russell made it clear he wanted this change, he made Seattle proud, and we are grateful for his decade of leadership on and off the field,” said Jody Allen, chair of the Seattle Seahawks.
“We look forward to welcoming our new players and to everyone being fully engaged while working our hardest to win every single day. I trust our leadership to take us into the future, and know we all wish Russell the very best.”
Head coach of the Seahawks, Pete Carroll, opened up about the trade as well, making it clear that he believed things could have ended differently.
“I’ve learned that sometimes you got to make tough decisions, and you got to go for it,” Carroll remarked. “It just reemphasized to me, sometimes you got to just sit with it. With really a good commitment of people in connection with the people that have to bring in the inputs of those decisions, you can make good solid choices, and it worked. It worked out tremendously for us, and that’s why we’re sitting in this position for this draft. And we have some funds to work free agency because of it.”
Wilson, on the other hand, has been quiet regarding his trade. Not much has been said since he packed his bags for Denver.