QB Fallout: Packers, Rodgers, Broncos, Wilson, Seahawks, Steelers, Panthers

Although the timing is rather conspicuous, the Broncosmove to acquire Russell Wilson may not be closely connected to Aaron Rodgersdecision to stay with the Packers. Denver did not engage with Green Bay on Rodgers this offseason, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reports. The Broncos had been connected to Rodgers for nearly a year, when the then-disgruntled superstar included them on a list of acceptable trade destinations ahead of the 2021 draft. A previous report indicated Denver and Green Bay had trade terms lined up, in the event Rodgers informed the Packers he wanted out, but Schefter’s account would appear to contradict that. It does seem the Broncos were still eyeing Rodgers this year, with 9News’ Mike Klis reporting the team wanted to exit the offseason with either Wilson or Rodgers (Twitter link). After the Combine produced considerable buzz connecting Rodgers to a Green Bay return, Klis adds the Broncos and Seahawks’ Wilson talks accelerated. The clubs had been discussing Wilson for weeks. As such, it probably was not a coincidence both QB headlines occurred within hours of each other.

Here is the latest from an explosive day on the quarterback scene:

  • Wilson made noise about his Seahawks situation in 2021, and Schefter notes those comments irked some within the organization. Wilson continued to say he wanted to stay in Seattle, but Schefter adds he planned to revisit some issues he had with the Seahawks at some point this offseason. The perennial Pro Bowler, however, did not try to force his way out of Seattle this year, Albert Breer of SI.com tweets. The Seahawks kept Wilson in the loop on their talks with the Broncos, Breer adds. They certainly needed to run it by him, given the no-trade clause included in Wilson’s 2019 extension.
  • The Broncos not only topped Wilson’s destination list, but Ian Rapoport of NFL.com indicates they were the only team he wanted to be traded to this year. Denver does not have receivers who have proven as much as Tyler Lockett or D.K. Metcalf, but the team is deep at that position and employs promising running back Javonte Williams. Ex-Wilson Wisconsin teammate Melvin Gordon is on the radar to return as well. Wilson’s agent named the Bears, Raiders, Saints and Cowboys as acceptable trade destinations for his client last year, but the Broncos emerged as a candidate late in 2021. The Broncos passed on Wilson in 2012, taking Brock Osweiler in the second round, but the Colorado Rockies did draft him in 2010.
  • Denver will keep one of its two 2022 second-rounders, sending Seattle its own 2022 and ’23 Round 2 picks, Mike Klis of 9News notes. The Broncos will retain the second-rounder they obtained in last year’s Von Miller trade (No. 64 overall). The fourth-rounder Seattle is sending to Denver is a 2022 pick, Schefter tweets. The Broncos also have two third-rounders this year, the latter of which acquired in the Miller deal. Miller is rumored to be back on the Broncos’ radar. Tuesday’s Wilson trade probably will not quiet those rumblings, though Klis suggests the longtime Bronco edge rusher is likely to end up elsewhere (Twitter link).
  • The Steelers were connected to Rodgers last week, but ESPN.com’s Jeremy Fowler notes they were not believed to be major players on this trail (ESPN+ link). Bridge-type passers like Jameis Winston, Mitchell Trubisky and previous Broncos starter Teddy Bridgewater are believed to be on Pittsburgh’s radar.
  • More than a dozen teams were believed to have contacted the Seahawks on Wilson, per Schefter. The Panthers, who have longtime Seahawks exec Scott Fitterer as GM, were among those to do so, Joe Person of The Athletic notes (subscription required). Carolina is still in the market for a quarterback. Considering the interest the team showed in Deshaun Watson last year, more rumors connecting these two parties figure to surface in the coming weeks. The Panthers remain interested, though Watson’s 2022 availability remains in doubt.
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