Mar 9, 2022 - Sports

2 blockbuster quarterback deals reshape NFL

Photo: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Photo: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The QB world order was shaken up in the span of a few hours on Tuesday, with Russell Wilson traded to the Broncos and Aaron Rodgers announcing his return to the Packers.

The Wilson trade: The Broncos sent QB Drew Lock, TE Noah Fant, DE Shelby Harris, two first-round picks (2022, 2023), two second-round picks (2022, 2023) and a fifth-round pick (2022) to the Seahawks for Wilson and a fourth-round pick (2022).

  • The move is reminiscent of the one the Rams made to get Matthew Stafford last offseason and is being called the "biggest trade in Denver sports since 1983," when John Elway forced his way out of Baltimore.
  • Wilson joins Patrick Mahomes, Justin Herbert and Derek Carr in a loaded AFC West, and his arrival comes at a momentous time for the Broncos — the only NFL team currently for sale.
  • Fun fact: Wilson will become the first QB to start for a team that he beat in the Super Bowl.

The Rodgers deal: In 2021, Rodgers called his future a "beautiful mystery." Months of speculation followed, with many predicting he'd leave. In the end, he'll return to the only franchise he's ever known.

  • It's unclear how much the Packers will pay Rodgers. He denied a report that he'd agreed to a four-year, $200 million deal that would have made him the highest-paid player in NFL history.
  • Backup Jordan Love will now wait three years, as Rodgers did, or longer, until the baton is passed. Or perhaps Green Bay will trade him.
  • Related move: The Packers placed the franchise tag on Davante Adams. The NFL's most feared QB-WR duo isn't going anywhere.

The big picture: These moves "served as a vivid reminder that success (and failure) in the NFL is determined by QB play more than ever," writes The Athletic's Stephen Holder.

  • "NFL teams are increasingly lumped into one of two classifications: those with an elite franchise QB and those without one."
  • "Where would you rather be? And what would you be willing to do to go from the latter group to the former? Tuesday provided some answers."

Looking ahead: Tuesday's news shook up the betting markets, with Denver's Super Bowl odds shifting from 22-1 to 12-1 and Green Bay's shifting from 15-1 to 10-1. Plus, given Wilson's arrival in the AFC West, the Bills (+750) leapfrogged the Chiefs (+850) as favorites.

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