Russell Wilson Is About To Unlock the Broncos’ Potential

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Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson passes
(AP Photo/John McCoy)
Colton Pool @CPoolReporter Mar 08, 2022, 7:12 PM

On the same day reports filtered in about Aaron Rodgers remaining in Green Bay, news surfaced about another superstar quarterback changing teams.

According to ESPN, the Denver Broncos are trading standout players and draft capital to the Seattle Seahawks in order to acquire Pro Bowl quarterback Russell Wilson. This greatly changes both teams’ odds to win Super Bowl 57.

Russell Wilson Trade

The Broncos are giving up two first-round picks, two second-rounders and a fifth, as well as quarterback Drew Lock, defensive lineman Shelby Harris and tight end Noah Fant. All three of those players started games last season.

The Broncos will receive a fourth-rounder back in the trade on top of Wilson.

While the Seahawks have enough to aid in their rebuilding efforts, the Broncos will greatly benefit from plugging Wilson into their offense.

Russell Wilson MVP odds

Wilson is tied for the fifth-best NFL betting odds to win MVP at +1400. However, he’s among a top tier that includes two other quarterbacks in his new division, the AFC West.

Patrick Mahomes of the Chiefs and Rodgers are tied at +700. Josh Allen of the Bills is next at +900, the Bengals’ Joe Burrow is fourth at +1200 and the Chargers’ Justin Herbert also has odds of +1400.

Denver Broncos Super Bowl odds

The Broncos are tied for the fifth-best Super Bowl odds at +1200 and are third to win the AFC at +650. They opened at +1600 with the possibility of trading for a high-caliber signal-caller but shifted to +2500 after Rodgers’ four-year, $200 million contract was publicized Tuesday. Denver’s odds dramatically shifted right back, following the Wilson trade.

According to the odds market, the Bills and Chiefs (+750) are most likely to win Super Bowl 57. The Packers, who opened at +1600, are now third at +1000. The reigning Super Bowl champion Rams are fourth at +1100, while the Bengals are tied with the Broncos at +1200.

The Chiefs have the top NFL betting odds to win the AFC West at -115 while the Broncos are second at +275. The Bills and Chiefs are tied to win the AFC at +400.

Seattle Seahawks Super Bowl odds

The Seahawks’ NFL Super Bowl odds dipped from +4000 to +6600. That’s ahead of only five teams. They have the 14th-best odds to win the NFC at +3300.

The Packers and Rams have the top NFC odds at +450. The 49ers (+600), Cowboys (+650) and Cardinals (+900) are in the top five.

Russell Wilson Trade

Wilson, at 33 years old, undoubtedly took a step back last season. He was rated 15th by Football Outsiders’ DYAR metric after ranking 11th in 2020 and fourth in 2019.

But last year’s regression occurred while Wilson was dealing with a finger injury he suffered early in the season that ultimately required surgery. Wilson should have plenty of time to heal this offseason and enter the 2022 season with a clean bill of health.

Wilson helped the Seahawks win their only Super Bowl, a win over the Broncos in 2014. He has garnered nine Pro Bowl selections and earned more wins through his first 10 seasons than any other QB ever has in that same time span.

Wilson does leave a situation with explosive receivers. DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett, both Pro Bowlers, were graded 12th and 13th by Pro Football Focus last season as they combined for 148 catches and 2,142 yards.

But Wilson enters another situation with impressive weapons. The Broncos also can turn to Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy and Tim Patrick, all who have shined at different moments.

Sutton is a former Pro Bowler who will be entering his fifth year in the league. With 776 yards and two touchdowns on 58 catches a season ago, he was 35th among receivers by FO’s DYAR metric.

Patrick has steadily earned a more prominent role in Denver’s offense the past few years. While ranking 20th in DYAR, he caught 53 passes for 734 yards and five touchdowns last season.

Jeudy will be entering his third season after being drafted in the first round out of Alabama. After catching 52 passes for 856 yards and three touchdowns as a rookie, he injured his ankle in Week 1 and didn’t have quite the same impact in 2021. 

Sutton, Jeudy and Patrick all have a strong chance to shine with an upgrade at quarterback. After 11 different starters for the Broncos since Peyton Manning retired before the 2016 season, Wilson provides the team stability at the position.

Russell Wilson Contract

Following a four-year, $140 million extension in 2019, Wilson has $51 million over two years remaining on his deal. But even with that contract in consideration, the Broncos have the eighth-most cap space with over $26 million, according to Spotrac.

According to ESPN, the trade means the Seahawks will take on $26 million in dead money. That would be the second-most ever behind Carson Wentz’s $33.8 million.

The possibility of Wilson leaving Seattle dates back to last off-season when he expressed his desire to be surrounded by better pass protection. That may not be as much of a concern in Denver.

PFF graded the Broncos ninth in pass blocking and the Seahawks 25th. According to FO, the Broncos were 21st in adjusted sack rate while the Seahawks were 25th.

The Broncos may lose some offensive line help, with starting right tackle Bobby Massie set to be a free agent this offseason. However, Wilson’s mobility compared to former Broncos quarterbacks Teddy Bridgewater and Lock should also be an asset.

Seattle Seahawks Future

It wasn’t immediately clear which picks the Seahawks will receive in the trade. But if the Broncos did surrender the ninth overall pick in this year’s draft, Seattle has a chance to find its next franchise QB.

This year’s class of rookie quarterbacks isn’t particularly strong. However, the likes of Liberty’s Malik Willis (+5000), Pitt’s Kenny Pickett (+8000) and Cincinnati’s Desmond Ridder (+10000) are among the prospects with high NFL Draft odds that could potentially be taken first overall.

Willis, in particular, would be an especially interesting pick for the Seahawks at No. 9. He possesses exceptional accuracy downfield and mobility. These traits would blend in well with the Seahawks’ pass catchers and lack of protection up front.

Willis’ patience in the pocket and ability to read defenses has been a concern, so he would ideally land in a spot where he doesn’t have to play right away. With Lock as a stopgap quarterback and Fant and Harris providing boosts to the team, Willis could learn the NFL game while the Seahawks could be patient with him.

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About the Author

Colton Pool

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Colton Pool is a Web Content Writer for BetMGM living in Bozeman, Montana, focusing on the NFL and NBA. Previously, he covered Montana State football at the Bozeman Daily Chronicle and worked at newspapers in his home state of North Dakota. He graduated from North Dakota State in 2015.

Colton Pool is a Web Content Writer for BetMGM living in Bozeman, Montana, focusing on the NFL and NBA. Previously, he covered Montana State football at the Bozeman Daily Chronicle and worked at newspapers in his home state of North Dakota. He graduated from North Dakota State in 2015.