The Denver Broncos were one of the more aggressive teams in the NFL this offseason. They had some major needs to address and they attacked them right out of the gate. In free agency, they attacked the defensive side of the ball, signing Randy Gregory away from the Dallas Cowboys and D.J. Jones away from the San Francisco 49ers.
But, the biggest move that Denver made was upgrading the quarterback position. They have been seeking out someone since Peyton Manning retired and this offseason they were able to land Russell Wilson from the Seattle Seahawks.
It was not cheap, as the Broncos traded three players and five draft picks to land Wilson. It was a necessary upgrade, as the AFC West has turned into arguably the best division in sports. The Broncos, will be competing with the Kansas City Chiefs, Las Vegas Raiders and Los Angeles Chargers for the division crown, and all four teams made major additions this offseason.
While the Broncos are being hailed for their acquisition of Russell, some people are a little more skeptical. Over at The Athletic, a paid-subscription website, executives broke down the moves that each team made around the league.
The opinions on Denver’s offseason were widespread. One NFL executive delivered a brutally honest assessment of the deal, which fans of the Broncos will not want to read.
“It seems like they are being hailed for a move when the reality is, they didn’t want Wilson, they wanted Aaron Rodgers,” an exec said. “Let’s face it, if they get Rodgers, they are the No. 1 team in that division. Instead, they are being looked at as possibly the third-, maybe even the fourth-best team in that division. And I like Wilson. I think he can still play. But there is a big difference between what Denver wanted and what Denver got.”
There are very few teams in the NFL that have a quarterback in which Aaron Rodgers wouldn’t represent an upgrade. Denver was not one of them, as Wilson is a big step up from Teddy Bridgewater and Drew Lock, who was included in the package heading to Seattle.
Wilson may not be Rodgers, but he is certainly a few tiers away from what the Broncos have had in recent seasons. When taking into consideration what the Seahawks were offered for Wilson last year by the Chicago Bears, as they reportedly made multiple starters and at least three first-round picks available, Denver comes out looking pretty good as well.
While Rodgers may have put them atop the division, with Wilson under center, the Broncos will at least have a chance to compete. That isn’t something that could be said about the offense given their quarterback options in recent seasons.