Seahawks Trade Russell Wilson To Broncos; Wilson Signs $245 Million Deal

By Terrance Turner

March 8, 2022 (updated Sept. 1)

ORCHARD PARK , NY – AUGUST 20: Russell Wilson (3) of the Denver Broncos leads his team to the field before the first quarter against the Buffalo Bills at Highmark Stadium on Saturday, August 20, 2022. (Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

The Denver Broncos and superstar quarterback Russell Wilson have reached an agreement on a five-year, $245 million contract extension that includes $165 million guaranteed, sources told ESPN. Wilson now is under contract with Denver for seven years and $296 million.

In terms of guaranteed money, this deal is the third-most lucrative in NFL history, behind only Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson‘s $230 million and Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray‘s $189.5 million. The deal keeps Wilson in Denver through the 2028 season, per ESPN, solidifying a blockbuster trade that the Bronocs made in March.

The Seattle Seahawks agreed to trade quarterback Russell Wilson to the Denver Broncos, multiple sources told ESPN on March 8. Broncos quarterback Drew Lock will be sent to the Seahawks as part of the deal, sources told ESPN writer Adam Schefter. Tight end Noah Fant and defensive lineman Shelby Harris will also be joining the Seahawks, per NFL Network’s James Palmer. Schefter claims that the deal also includes two first-round picks and two second-round picks.

The deal could not be finalized until the new league year begins on March 16. As part of the deal, Wilson was expected to waive the no-trade clause in his contract. (He signed a four-year, $140 million deal in 2019, which involved a no-trade clause.) The deal was pending a physical and Wilson’s approval, according to ESPN.

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This shocking, blockbuster trade marks the end of an era for Wilson and the Seahawks. Wilson has been named to nine Pro Bowls in his ten seasons in Seattle. Russell Wilson led the Seahawks to tie the Denver Broncos with an NFL-best record of 13-3. The Seahawks thrashed the Broncos in Super Bowl 51, winning 43-8. Though the defense got most of the love — NFL editor Gregg Rosenthal called it “the toughest, deepest, most versatile defense in football” — Wilson threw for 206 yards, two touchdowns, and no interceptions for a 123.1 passer rating. His play helped the Seahawks win their only Super Bowl title.

The next year, Wilson worked his magic again, throwing for 20 touchdowns. He led the Seahawks to a 12-4 record — again tying for the best record in the league. The Seahawks advanced to their second straight Super Bowl, this time playing the New England Patriots (who were also 12-4).

Russell Wilson at the 2015 Super Bowl. Photo from NBC Sports.
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In Super Bowl 52, the Seahawks led 24-14 until the Patriots scored 14 unanswered points in the fourth quarter. Then, in the fourth quarter, Seattle chose to call a pass play on second and goal from the 1-yard line with 26 seconds and one timeout left instead of just handing the ball to star running back Marshawn Lynch. Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler intercepted the pass, sealing a win for the Patriots.

Though the Seahawks would never reach the championship again, Wilson continued to shine, setting franchise passing TD records in the 2015 and 2017 seasons. Wilson will leave Seattle with a total of 113 career wins — the most ever by a quarterback in this first ten seasons. He also leads the league in Pro Bowl selections during that span, and he’s second all-time for most passing touchdowns through the first decade of a quarterback’s career.

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