Russell Wilson trade details: Breaking down the players involved in the Seahawks-Broncos swap

Before the 2022 NFL offseason began in earnest, there were many questions about whether there would actually be a lot of movement on the quarterback market.

The NFL made it clear that the answer was a resounding yes on March 9 when it was reported that the Seahawks were going to trade Russell Wilson.

Wilson spent the first decade of his career as a starting quarterback for the Seahawks. However, there had been tension between him and the team and many wondered whether he and Pete Carroll would continue to coexist.

Ultimately, the Seahawks agreed to trade Wilson to the Broncos in exchange for a haul of players and picks. The Broncos picked up Wilson and a draft pick while the Seahawks picked up five selections and three active players, including a former first-round pick.

MORE: Broncos sign Russell Wilson to monster five-year extension

The Wilson trade will have a massive impact on the direction of these two franchises short-term, but its long-term effects will be felt by each franchise too. The trade will probably need to be evaluated on a year-to-year basis before seeing how much it favors each side.

Which players were involved in the Russell Wilson trade? Below is a breakdown of the trade and all the pieces of it who could be in action on “Monday Night Football.”

Russell Wilson trade details

Broncos get:

  • QB Russell Wilson
  • 2022 fourth-round pick

Seahawks get:

  • QB Drew Lock
  • DT Shelby Harris
  • TE Noah Fant
  • 2022 first-round pick
  • 2022 second-round pick
  • 2022 fifth-round pick
  • 2023 first-round pick
  • 2023 second-round pick

The Russell Wilson trade was a large one, as it involved four active NFL players and six draft picks. The Broncos got the best player of the bunch, as Wilson has long been one of the most consistent passers at the NFL level.

MORE: Russell Wilson says Seahawks tried to trade him multiple times before Broncos deal

That said, the Seahawks received plenty of draft capital in exchange for their long-time signal caller. They were able to cash in on some of it in 2022 and will continue to reap the rewards from it in 2023.

Additionally, the Seahawks received three players who are expected to play a role for the team in 2022; it would hardly be a surprise to see them all start by the season’s end.

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Players involved in the Russell Wilson trade

Because the Wilson trade occurred before the 2022 NFL Draft, a bulk of the picks exchanged between the two teams were from that year’s class. As such, we already know almost all of the players involved in the deal; and as many as eight of them could be on the field Monday night.

Here’s what to know about each player involved in the deal, including the newest Seahawks and Broncos draft picks.

Russell Wilson, Broncos

Obviously, Wilson was the headliner in this deal. The 11th-year quarterback is hoping to give the Broncos a shot in the arm, much like Peyton Manning did when he came to Denver ahead of the 2012 NFL season.

Wilson, 33, has posted a 104-53-1 record with the Seahawks and helped them win Super Bowl 48 in blowout fashion against the Broncos. He is a nine-time Pro Bowler and has completed 65 percent of his passes for 37,059 yards, 292 touchdowns and just 87 interceptions. His presence provides the Broncos with the best quarterback they have had since Manning’s retirement following Super Bowl 50.

MORE: Broncos went all-in by trading for Russell Wilson, and now they’re doubling down with massive extension

Drew Lock, Seahawks

Wilson wasn’t the only quarterback involved in this exchange. Lock was sent from Denver to Seattle as a part of the deal, and the hope was that the former second-round pick would be able to resurrect his career with the Seahawks.

Lock is a far less accurate quarterback than Wilson, as he has completed just 59.3 percent of his passes for 4,470 yards, 25 touchdowns and 20 interceptions. Still, he piqued the interest of Seahawks general manager John Schneider in negotiations, per ESPN, so Denver included him in the deal.

Despite Schneider’s fondness of Lock’s skill set, the 25-year-old is set to start the season as Seattle’s backup quarterback behind Geno Smith.

MORE: What Geno Smith being named QB1 means for Seahawks, Drew Lock moving forward

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Noah Fant, Seahawks

Fant was arguably the most talented player that the Seahawks received in the Wilson trade. He was a first-round pick during the 2019 NFL Draft and averaged 61 catches for 689 yards and four touchdowns per 17 games played in Denver.

It is expected that Fant, 24, will be the starting tight end for the Seahawks against the Broncos. He should be a top-three target for Seattle along with top receivers DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett.

Shelby Harris, Seahawks

The Seahawks acquiring the 31-year-old Harris was a bit of a head-scratcher, but there’s no denying that he has talent. The defensive lineman has 217 tackles and 22.5 sacks in 83 career games played since 2014. He will be a solid rotational piece for a Seahawks defensive line that needs depth and all the pass-rushing help it can get.

Harris may be a better fit on a contending team, but the Seahawks will still look to use the 6-2, 290-pound end often during the season.

Charles Cross, Seahawks

Cross was selected with the No. 9 overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. That selection represented the best overall asset gifted to Seattle in the Wilson deal, so Cross’ performance will be paramount in deciding which side ends up winning this deal long-term.

Cross is just 21 and has a well-built 6-5, 311-pound frame. He has good length, is a good athlete and should develop into a solid starter at the NFL level.

It’s worth noting that Cross committed a whopping five penalties in just 122 preseason snaps with the Seahawks, so he could struggle out of the gate. That said, offensive tackles do often take a while to adapt to NFL speed; as such, it won’t be anything to worry about unless it lingers into the second half of the 2022 NFL season.

Boye Mafe, Seahawks

The Seahawks have always favored athletes, so it’s no surprise that they selected one with the second-round pick. Mafe increased his sack output in each of his four college seasons and logged seven in his final year at Minnesota. He is lightning quick on the field and blazed a 4.53-second 40-yard dash to back up his high-level speed.

MORE: Why Russell Wilson’s contract extension is good news for Ravens, bad news for Lamar Jackson

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Mafe (6-4, 265 pounds) flashed at times during the preseason, recording two sacks in two games along with six tackles. The 23-year-old may develop into Seattle’s best pass rusher, as he has the upside needed to be a double-digit sack artist. Either way, expect to see him play a lot in obvious passing situations.

What a clutch sack by the rookie @boye_mafe 😤 📺: #SEAvsPIT on @NFLNetwork (check local listings) 📱: Stream on NFL+

Eyioma Uwazurike, Broncos

The Broncos received a fourth-round pick in addition to Wilson and they spent it on an upgrade for their defensive line. Uwazurike is a massive man at 6-6, 310 pounds and racked up 43 tackles and nine sacks — both career-high marks — in his last year at Iowa State.

Uwazurike is a high-ceiling player but he should be a solid, big-bodied run stuffer at the very least. He will begin his career as a backup on Denver’s deep defensive line.

Tyreke Smith & Dareke Young, Seahawks

We’re listing Smith and Young as one entry here because they were both acquired using the fifth-round pick the Seahawks acquired from the Broncos in this trade. Seattle traded that selection to acquire two picks that it used on Smith and Young.

Smith was a fifth-round selection out of Ohio State who totaled seven sacks during his four-year college career. The 22-year-old linebacker will miss his rookie season after suffering being placed on IR during final roster cuts.

MORE: Russell Wilson expresses hope of playing at least another decade in the NFL

Meanwhile, Young was a seventh-round pick out of Div. II school Lenoir-Rhyne who racked up 73 catches, 1,176 yards and 16 touchdowns in 43 career games. He gives the Seahawks a big-bodied receiver at 6-2, 226 pounds but also has excellent speed for his size (4.44-second 40-yard dash).

Young made the Seahawks’ roster and will jockey with Penny Hart and Marquise Goodwin for depth-chart positioning among the backup receivers. It’s unclear whether he’ll be active in Week 1.

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