The Denver Broncos are looking for their next franchise quarterback. And it could come in the form of a very big name.
The Broncos will be one of the main teams pursuing a quarterback in the offseason. With a plethora of cap space — over $39 million available entering the 2022 offseason — Denver has the assets to make a major blockbuster trade for a quarterback happen.
“John Elway may not be running the show anymore, but he laid the blueprint for buying a title when he spent big for Peyton Manning back in 2012,” says Benjamin. “With ex-Packers coordinator Nathaniel Hackett in tow, Rodgers will be the obvious target, but even if he can’t be pried from Green Bay, they have the run game, receiving corps and defense — not to mention cap space — to justify a big swing. They feel primed to try for both Watson and Wilson, and maybe even Kirk Cousins, who got a big deal from GM George Paton in Minnesota, before exploring cheaper alternatives.”
Benjamin’s analysis aligns with a report from the NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero that the Broncos will be among the teams exploring the trade market for their next quarterback.
As mentioned by both Benjamin and Pelissero, Wilson will be among those names possibly on the trade market.
While the Green Bay Packers’ Aaron Rodgers has been the most mentioned big-name quarterback for the Broncos, Wilson could emerge as an option for the Broncos.
A report from Ian Rapoport of NFL Network back in January indicated that Wilson is keeping his options open. However, the Seahawks quarterback more recently stated his desire to continue his career in Seattle, saying he wants to win “three more Super Bowls” with the Seahawks.
“I’ve been fortunate to be able to play 10 amazing years in Seattle,” Wilson told Chris Russo on SiriusXM. “My hope and goal is to be back there and keep winning there. That’s the vision, that’s the goal. That’s always been it, never been anything different.”
“I want to win three more Super Bowls,” Wilson said. “That’s my focus, is to get back and win it again and for us to overcome all the obstacles. There’s nothing more fun than that.”
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Why the Broncos Could Trade for Wilson
With head coach Pete Carroll making it clear that the Seahawks will not enter a rebuild for the 2022 season, Wilson’s insistence on remaining in Seattle is exactly what the organization wants to hear.
Wilson could very well be open to a trade to the Broncos. The veteran quarterback holds a no-trade clause, which means he would have to approve of any possible trade. Denver features an elite defensive unit and a bright young offensive core of players in former Pro Bowler Courtland Sutton, Tim Patrick, Jerry Jeudy, Noah Fant and Javonte Williams.
It also doesn’t hurt that the Seahawks would be trading their franchise quarterback to an AFC team, rather than an NFC one. Teams mentioned in the past as possibilities for a Wilson trade are the likes of the Philadelphia Eagles, New Orleans Saints and New York Giants.
All three of those teams reside in the NFC.
It just so happens that one of those teams also mentioned as a possibility are the Broncos.
Why a Wilson Trade May Not Happen
Wilson has two years left on his deal and his owed $24 million for the 2022 season and $27 million for the 2023 season. If any deal is possible, the Broncos would likely have to give up multiple draft picks and a rising young offensive player to make the Seahawks bite.
A proposed trade idea from Bleacher Report’s Kristopher Knox sees the Cleveland Browns give up four draft picks — including two first-rounders — and quarterback Baker Mayfield in exchange for Wilson.
A similar type of deal would likely have to happen for the Broncos to have any shot at a Wilson trade.
Another roadblock just so happens to be the uncertainty of Wilson’s play moving forward.
The 33-year-old quarterback had a down season by his standards following finger surgery in the middle of the season. According to Pro Football Focus, Wilson’s 73.9 offensive grade in 2021 was the lowest of his career and ranked just 17th among all quarterbacks in the league.
The Broncos would have to weigh the risk of Wilson’s age combined with his decline in play and decide whether or not it’s worth it to give up so much draft capital.
In the case of a Rodgers trade, there are little question marks despite his age. The Packers quarterback is coming off of his fourth MVP campaign and led Green Bay to the No. 1 seed.
In the case of a potential Wilson trade, there appears to be more question marks than answers.
That ultimately may scare the Broncos away from a deal involving the Seahawks quarterback.