Russell Wilson will play his first regular season game for the Denver Broncos on Monday — and he’ll do so in a stadium that probably feels like a second home.
The Broncos are facing the Seattle Seahawks at Lumen Field in Seattle, the same place where Wilson spent the first 10 seasons of his career.
Why was Russell Wilson traded?
Wilson’s time in Seattle was mostly successful, and the team won the Super Bowl during his tenure in February 2014.
But his relationship with team leaders turned rocky toward the end. In early 2021, he complained publicly, sharing that the organization was letting him down.
“He vented about pass protection and a perceived lack of say in personnel decisions relative to other elite quarterbacks. He made multiple mentions of his legacy and said the nearly 400 times he’d been sacked in his career — the most in a player’s first nine seasons since the 1970 merger, per ESPN Stats & Information — was ‘way too many,’” according to ESPN.
Voicing the complaints failed to lead to meaningful change. Last season, he “wound up with the first losing season of his NFL career,” The New York Times reported.
When was Russell Wilson traded?
Wilson was traded by Seattle to Denver in March, just days after Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll denied that moving him was an option.
The quarterback waived his no-trade clause to make the trade possible, partly because he was pleased with the idea of playing for the Broncos, the Times reported.
“The Broncos had presented the best opportunity for professional and personal satisfaction (offensive scheme, management, geography),” the article noted.
Wilson told the Times that he believes the Broncos can win the Super Bowl this year.
“I wasn’t just going to go anywhere,” he said. “I felt like this team can be great.”
How long will Russell Wilson be with the Broncos?
Wilson is currently under contract with the Broncos through the 2028 season, according to ESPN. The team extended him on Sept. 1, more than 10 days ahead of his first regular season game with the team.
“Wilson, 33, is now under contract with the Broncos for $296 million. The extension pays Wilson, who has two years remaining on his previous deal signed with the Seahawks, an average salary of $49 million. He is set to make $24 million this season and $27 million next year before the extension kicks in,” ESPN reported.