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The Seahawks Had No Choice But to Trade Russell Wilson

Ryan Phillips
Russell Wilson, Detroit Lions v Seattle Seahawks
Russell Wilson, Detroit Lions v Seattle Seahawks / Steph Chambers/GettyImages
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The Seattle Seahawks have put the Russell Wilson Era in their rearview mirror. After a year of speculation, Seattle finally traded Wilson to the Denver Broncos for a large package of picks and players. Given the deteriorating situation with Wilson, the Seahawks had no choice but to trade him.

Wilson had been hinting for a long time that he was done in Seattle. After a 7-10 campaign in 2021 it became clear the relationship needed to be over. Wilson was disgruntled and ready to move on. And if the Seahawks were going to make a move they had to do it now.

Wilson is 33 years-old and not getting any younger. He also has two years left on his contract, making him more valuable than if he was in the final season of his pact. That meant they could get a stronger return for him. The Seahawks will save $11 million against the cap moving him this year. It was now or never to get a maximum return.

When quarterbacks are unhappy, franchises suffer. Wilson wasn't happy, so the Seahawks were going nowhere. Trading him had to be a bitter pill to swallow. Wilson is the best player in franchise history, a nine-time Pro Bowler who led the franchise to its only championship at Super Bowl XLVIII. But it was time.

Seattle was 7-10 in 2021 but looked even worse than that. The Seahawks are a team going nowhere fast with no quick fixes on the horizon. A team like that having a top-level franchise quarterback is a waste. They had to use him to jumpstart a rebuild that was sorely needed.

In exchange for Wilson the Seahawks replenished their depleted draft capital. They landed two first-round picks, two second-round picks, a fifth-rounder, plus quarterback Drew Lock, tight end Noah Fant and defensive lineman Shelby Harris. Those players all fill positions of need for Seattle, though I have a hard time seeing Lock as anything other than a backup under center.

Until 2021, Wilson had never missed a start. But he broke the middle finger on his throwing hand in Week 5 this season, had to undergo surgery and missed three games. He probably returned too quickly and struggled a bit. Still, he completed 64.8 percent of his passes for 3,113 yards, with 25 touchdowns and six interceptions. His passer rating of 103.1 was excellent and his QBR of 54.7 ranked 10th in the NFL.

Wilson is still an excellent quarterback and should give a serious boost to the Broncos. But the relationship in Seattle was broken and wasn't going to be mended. The Seahawks had to trade him. There was no other option.

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