Columnists, Sports

4th and Inches: Revisiting offseason trades

Haley Alvarez-Lauto | DFP Staff

Broncos country, let’s ride?

Russell Wilson has been an elite quarterback in the National Football League for the past decade. In his 10 years with the Seattle Seahawks, Wilson won the franchise’s first Super Bowl and is Seattle’s all-time passing leader.

There were trade rumors about Wilson after a tumultuous 2021-22 season. Many teams showed interest, but few had the assets to propose a reasonable trade. In March, the Denver Broncos sent Seattle three players and a treasure trove of draft capital to acquire Wilson.

Five weeks into the season, the Seahawks seem to be the clear winner of the trade. Both teams have a 2-3 record and Seattle even defeated Denver in Week 1. 

The Seahawks currently have four selections in the first two rounds of the 2023 NFL Draft. Tight end Noah Fant and quarterback Drew Lock, two of the players Seattle received in the trade, haven’t done much so far. However, both are young players with potential and trade value.

Seattle also avoided paying Wilson the massive contract Denver gave him. In total, Wilson will earn $296 million –– $165 million guaranteed –– over the next seven years. Even if the Broncos are able to trade Wilson, it is unlikely they receive anything near the price they paid to get him. 

The good news for Denver is that Wilson can still turn his season around. He’s only played five regular season games as a Bronco after 10 years in Seattle. It takes time to adjust to a move like that, and there is still a chance he does. 

Winner: Seattle Seahawks

Loser: Denver Broncos

The Cheetah and the Penguin

The Kansas City Chiefs made history in 2020 by signing star quarterback Patrick Mahomes to a 10-year contract extension worth up to $503 million –– the largest contract in NFL history. 

However, Mahomes’ contract would force the Chiefs to make sacrifices elsewhere on the roster. The first major sacrifice happened in 2022 when they failed to negotiate a new contract for receiver Tyreek Hill and traded him to the Miami Dolphins. 

Kansas City was able to receive valuable assets in return for Hill. Miami sent them five picks, including a first and second round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. 

Adding Hill instantly upgraded Miami’s offense. Not only is he a reliable pass-catcher, but his blazing speed is also game-changing. Hill, nicknamed “Cheetah,” is widely considered the fastest player in the league. 

Hill’s new teammate, receiver Jaylen Waddle, is another speedster who impressed as a rookie last season. Together, the Cheetah and the Penguin create the fastest duo in the league. 

The question for Miami this season was whether quarterback Tua Tagovailoa could improve as a passer. Tagovailoa has been prone to injuries which limited his development so far. 

In the first four weeks, Tagovailoa displayed major growth and was an early MVP candidate. He led the team to three straight victories, including comeback victories against the Baltimore Ravens and the Buffalo Bills. However, Tagovailoa suffered a concussion in the first half of Miami’s Week 4 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals and hasn’t played since. 

Despite that, the Dolphins have proven themselves as one of the league’s premier offenses. Hill and Waddle are the only teammates in the top 10 for receiving yards. 

Aside from tight end Travis Kelce and receiver Mecole Hardman, the Chiefs have a new group of pass-catchers. They signed JuJu Smith-Schuster and Marquez Valdes-Scantling in free agency and drafted Skyy Moore in the second round of the 2022 NFL Draft. 

All of Mahomes’ new targets are competent receivers, but none replace the elite speed and big-play ability Kansas City lost after trading Hill. Yet, somehow, the Chiefs offense hasn’t lost a step. Mahomes leads the league in passing touchdowns and the Chiefs have a 4-1 record. 

Winner: Miami Dolphins 

Loser: NFL defensive backs 

Derek Carr snags Aaron Rodgers’ last weapon

After winning back-to-back MVPs, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ future on the team was uncertain. Rodgers is one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history, however, aside from receiver Davante Adams, the Packers have repeatedly failed to give him weapons. 

The possibility of losing Rodgers became very real for the Packers. The quarterback reportedly considered either requesting a trade or leaving after his contract expired in 2023. 

Despite his frustration, Rodgers committed to the Packers and signed a three-year extension, worth over $150 million. A few days after Rodgers signed, Green Bay traded Adams to the Las Vegas Raiders in exchange for a first and second round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. 

Like Hill, Adams was negotiating for a new contract. However, it was reported that the Packers offered Adams a larger extension than Las Vegas. Adams’ reasoning for leaving Green Bay was vague, but the controversy around Rodgers likely influenced his decision. 

After five games, it’s difficult to discern the outcome of this trade. The Packers are 3-2 and playing well enough to make the playoffs. However, they have struggled to find consistent contributors on offense. The Raiders, despite their revamped offense, are at the bottom of the league with a 1-4 record.  

On the other hand, Adams’s arrival in Las Vegas hasn’t seemed to make an impact on the team. Their trade for one of the league’s elite receivers is meaningless if they don’t win games.

Winner: None

Loser: Everyone involved

More Articles

Comments are closed.