The LA Rams and the Seattle Seahawks were two teams in the NFC West that did not have any first-round picks in the 2022 NFL Draft. Meanwhile, the LA Rams and Denver Broncos are rumored to be pursuing FA OLB Von Miller. While the Broncos held a sentimental edge with Miller, the LA Rams were certainly in a much better position to compete for another Super Bowl victory in 2022.
Well, today much of that has changed. In a pattern much like the LA Rams blockbuster trade of 2021 for veteran quarterback Matthew Stafford, the Denver Broncos believe that they are a veteran quarterback away from hoisting the Lombardi Trophy, and have agreed to trade a lot to the Seattle Seahawks for veteran quarterback Russell Wilson.
So what did the Seattle Seahawks get in the deal? Well enough to begin rebuilding the team, that’s certain.
The Russell ransom
While the years are not yet available, the Seahawks will harvest two first-round, two second-round, and one fifth-round draft pick, plus quarterback Drew Lock, defensive end Shelby Harris, and tight end Noah Fant. In return, the Denver Broncos will acquire veteran quarterback Russell Wilson, and a fourth-round pick.
It seems as though the Denver Broncos are the first NFL team to try replicating the LA Rams roster-building strategy by trading away first-round picks to acquire an elite veteran player. There may be more teams adopting that strategy as time passes. After all, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and now the LA Rams have won Super Bowls behind the throwing proficiency of an NFL veteran. Now that the Rams have confirmed the veteran QB method, veteran quarterbacks were expected to be red-hot this offseason.
The LA Rams, as a result, will no longer face Russell Wilson twice a year. But, thanks to the NFL 2022 schedule, the Rams will face him once in 2022. The Rams will now likely face new Seahawks quarterback Drew Lock twice in 2022.
NFC West QB picture obscured
The LA Rams NFC West opponents were all at a fork in the road over their starting quarterbacks. The Seattle Seahawks, after swearing not to trade QB Russell Wilson, have traded him. The San Francisco 49ers are still trying desperately to trade veteran QB Jimmy Garoppolo to clear salary-cap space.
Finally, the Arizona Cardinals have quite the conundrum with quarterback Kyler Murray. While he is certainly talented, he has shown little maturity in his time with the team, reportedly refusing to join his teammates in the final minutes of their Wildcard loss to the LA Rams. Now, he reportedly wants to be among the NFL’s top-paid quarterbacks? I would recommend that the Arizona Cardinals think long and hard before agreeing to do so.
This trade feels like a surrender of the Seahawks into a full-on rebuild mode. How competitive with the San Francisco 49ers be in 2022 without Garoppolo? One thing is certain, the NFC West landscape is changing dramatically.
And this transaction may be enough to catapult the Denver Broncos to the forefront of the bidding war over OLB Von Miller. But we’ll talk about that in a separate article soon enough.