With Russell Wilson being traded away from the Seattle Seahawks on March 8, 2022, ESPN’s Brady Henderson shared his belief that on the anniversary of the deal, Seattle should celebrate making that deal and opening up the starting quarterback role for Geno Smith.
“With the ink still drying on Geno Smith’s new three-year deal with the Seattle Seahawks, the organization has another occasion worthy of a toast: the first anniversary of the Russell Wilson trade,” Henderson said.
Smith signed a deal with Seattle worth $75 million with all incentives and $30 million guaranteed on March 6, per NFL Network reporter Tom Pelissero.
Because of the change from Wilson to Smith, Henderson feels the Seahawks are moving in the right direction as an organization. “The move paved the way for Smith’s remarkable career turnaround and drastically altered the Seahawks’ trajectory,” the ESPN reporter said.
Smith won the NFL’s Comeback Player of the Year in 2022, while Wilson had his worst season from a statistical standpoint with the Denver Broncos on the heels of signing a deal worth $245 million that includes $165 million guaranteed on September 1.
Russell Wilson Caused Stir in Denver for Having Second-Floor Office
One of the major storylines coming out of the 2022 season — and a major reason why Henderson feels Seattle should celebrate trading Wilson — for the Broncos was the quarterback’s office sharing a floor with the coaches.
The Atheltic’s staff revealed what one unnamed coach told Wilson during the season in a piece published on February 24 (subscription required). “So, are you a coach or are you a player?” the coach asked the quarterback. “Your open door should be you sitting at your locker.”
Another coach described a locker room that was reportedly confused at Wilson’s special treatment. “The players were always on the first floor; they never really came up to the second floor,” the coach said. “If you came up to the second floor as a player, it honestly wasn’t a good thing because you were probably getting released.”
For what it’s worth, former Broncos running back Melvin Gordon defended Wilson to The Athletic‘s Kalyn Kahler, debunking rumors that he had his own parking spot and claimed that he was the hardest worker on the team. “He gets there earlier than everyone else, probably like 5:00 a.m. every day,” Gordon said. “So even if it was [the same] parking space, I can see why they thought that because he probably parked in the same spot because he beat everybody there.”
Former Broncos QB Could Have Strong Free Agent Market
Former Broncos quarterback Drew Lock, who was traded to the Seahawks as part of the Wilson trade, could price himself out of Seattle in free agency — even though Henderson reports the Seahawks want to retain Lock as Smith’s backup.
“The Seahawks want to re-sign Lock to remain Smith’s backup, but he may have a strong enough market to price himself out of Seattle’s budget,” Henderson wrote.
One team that could have an interest in Lock in free agency due to a coaching tie and a Tom Brady-sized void in the quarterback room, according to Henderson, is the Buccaneers. “One quarterback-needy team that could have interest in Lock is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who just hired Seahawks quarterbacks coach Dave Canales to be their offensive coordinator,” he wrote in a piece published on February 20.