The Denver Broncos shook the NFL landscape on Tuesday, March 8 when they traded two first-round picks, two second-round picks, a fifth-round pick, quarterback Drew Lock, tight end Noah Fant, and defensive lineman Shelby Harris to the Seattle Seahawks in exchange for quarterback Russell Wilson and a fourth-round pick, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
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The Broncos for several years now have had a solid foundation of players, but have struggled in large part because of poor quarterback play. Trading for Wilson fills the Broncos’ biggest void and puts them in contention for a championship during the 2022 season.
The trade is bad news for the Kansas City Chiefs, who are in the AFC West with Denver. Last season, the Broncos finished in last place in the division with a 7-10 record. Now, Denver will increase the competitiveness of a division that during the 2021 season saw Kansas City make a deep playoff run, the Las Vegas Raiders make the playoffs, and the Los Angeles Chargers miss the playoffs due to a Week 18 overtime loss to Las Vegas.
Chiefs Players React to Broncos Trade
Chiefs players of the present and past reacted to the blockbuster trade that sent Wilson to Denver.
“Wilson in the west… Damn… What could have been,” pending free agent safety Tyrann Mathieu wrote in a since-deleted tweet.
“Happy for you @DangeRussWilson love ya big homie.. See you in da #AFCWest,” wide receiver Josh Gordon, a former teammate of Wilson, wrote.
“Still 15 > The rest,” wide receiver Daurice Fountain wrote.
“AFC West lit,” former Kansas City guard Jeff Allen wrote.
“And I’m still going with Patrick Lavon Demetrius Robert James Mahomes II,” defensive tackle Khalen Saunders wrote.
This section will be updated as reactions from players continue to be posted on Twitter.
Aaron Rodgers Remains in Green Bay
In other NFL quarterback news that is slightly related to the AFC West — Aaron Rodgers announced on the same day that he will be returning to the Green Bay Packers.
“Hey everyone, just wanted to clear some things up; YES I will be playing with the @packers next year, however, reports about me signing a contract are inaccurate, as are the supposed terms of the contract I “signed”. I’m very excited to be back,” Rodgers wrote on Twitter.
Rodgers is refuting that he has agreed to a four-year, $200 million contract with the Packers, with $153 million in guarantees, which was reported by NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport. That type of contract would make Rodgers the highest-paid player in NFL history.
Rapoport also noted that Rodgers considered retiring or joining the Broncos, who have former Green Bay offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett as their head coach now.
Had Rodgers decided to join the Broncos, that would have made the division even more competitive when compared to Wilson now being in the AFC West.
Either way, the path to another championship will be increasingly difficult for Kansas City moving forward because of Denver. According to BetOnline, the Broncos’ odds to win the 2023 Super Bowl went from 25/1 before the trade to 12/1 following the news of the trade.