Russell Wilson had the chance to play elsewhere during the 2022 season, but he made the decision that would likely change the course of NFL history.
Prior to the start of the 2022 season, the Seattle Seahawks traded Wilson and a fourth-round draft pick to Denver for two first-round selections, two second-round picks, and a fifth-rounder, along with three players: tight end Noah Fant, quarterback Drew Lock and defensive end Shelby Harris.
Per Sports Illustrated’s Greg Bishop, appearing on Seattle’s ESPN radio affiliate, the Eagles had a deal with the Seattle Seahawks for Russell Wilson, but it never went through because Wilson nixed it before he would agree to join the Denver Broncos.
Wilson, who had a no-trade clause on his contract, also rejected a trade deal with the Washington Commanders.
After Wilson was traded to the Broncos, Eagles coach Jeffrey Lurie said he’ll “always regret” not drafting Wilson in 2012. As it turns out, his nixing that deal was the best thing that could’ve happened to the Eagles as Jalen Hurts turned the corner and got the Eagles back to the Super Bowl.
Hurts now has a better contract than Wilson because of his spectacular 2022 campaign.
Following the blockbuster deal, Seattle had a surprising 9-8 season, due in part to the resurrection of quarterback Geno Smith’s career, while Wilson and the Broncos struggled through a nightmarish 5-12 campaign.
Seattle also turned the picks they had into left tackle Charles Cross, edge rusher Boye Mafe, linebacker Tyreke Smith, and receiver Dareke Young in the 2022 draft, and cornerback Devon Witherspoon and pass rusher Derick Hall in this year’s draft.
It seems everybody got better except the Broncos.
A year later, with the hiring of offensive guru Sean Payton as Denver’s new head coach, the team has hope Wilson can return to the player he was during his highly productive years with the Seahawks.
For the 34-year-old, there is still time to reward the Broncos for their big gamble.
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