A Denver perspective of Seahawks’ trade of Russell Wilson to Broncos

Nov 22, 2022, 9:13 AM | Updated: 10:28 am
Seahawks Broncos Russell Wilson...
Russell Wilson of the Denver Broncos reacts after a stalled drive against the Tennessee Titans on November 13, 2022. (Silas Walker/Getty Images)
(Silas Walker/Getty Images)

The Seahawks have a high bar to clear if they want to claim the winning side of the worst trade in NFL history.

There’s the Falcons’ trade of Brett Favre to the Packers for a first-round pick. The Saints trading away their entire 1999 draft and a couple picks in 2000 for the pick that landed them Ricky Williams. The fourth-round pick the Patriots sent the Raiders in exchange for future Hall of Famer Randy Moss. The Chargers trading up one spot to select Ryan Leaf, the Bears trading up to take Mitch Trubisky. Cleveland’s shocking trade of Trent Richardson, the Vikings giving up the farm for Herschel Walker. Throw in the Colts trading John Elway if you want; Elway forced the trade, but also became a Hall of Famer. Add DeAndre Hopkins being traded to the Cardinals for a second-round pick and David Johnson – if only the Cards could find a way to win with him.

At the very least, it’s looking pretty lopsided. We already know that here in Seattle, where the Seahawks snagged a starting left tackle with one of two first-round picks from the trade and have turned a season of low expectations into a fight for first place in the NFC West. But how do they see the trade in Denver?

Orlando Franklin, a former Denver Broncos offensive lineman and current host at 104.3 The Fan, joined Bump and Stacy Monday to share his thoughts on what’s gone wrong this season for the Broncos.

The answer: bad mistakes by Wilson, a banged up offensive line, and an awkward mesh of offensive systems. The lingering question: whether they’ll figure it out … or whether they wound up trading multiple first rounders for the worst years of Wilson’s career.

“We understood it was going to take time for Russell Wilson to adapt to this offense,” Franklin said. “But what we don’t understand is yesterday on third-and-10 when the Broncos called a timeout and Russell Wilson, a veteran quarterback, a guy that’s played against a lot of defenses that should understand the situation right there – that the Raiders just used their last timeout, so either you’re throwing an incompletion or you’re taking a sack to keep the clock going. I think more and more, fans are just more frustrated as it goes on because they’re looking at a quarterback and it’s like, man, how does he not know these things?”

‘Someone needs to be the adult in the room’

There’s certainly hope in Denver that Russell Wilson and Nathaniel Hackett can figure it out – but in the meantime, there’s been plenty of finger-pointing. Who’s most responsible?

“You can never sit there and solely point the finger at one person,” Franklin said. “I think Nathaniel Hackett as a play caller was trying to defer to Russ and do what Russ liked and trying to put Russ in opportunities to cook. But ultimately you can’t do that with (injuries and regression on the offensive line)…

“These guys don’t know how to win close games. And they were banking on Russell Wilson being able to get them over the hump of winning these close games. But then you have a head coach that came in and got all googly-eyed, where he needs to be an adult in the room with Russell Wilson and tell him straight up we’re not going to do those things. The Broncos have looked ridiculous week in and week out because you’re trying to mesh two systems at the same time, when all it should’ve been about in Year 1 was trying to figure out one system and that’s Nathaniel Hackett’s system.”

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