There’s a new era in Broncos football as Tuesday they officially introduced Quarterback Russell Wilson in front of assembled media and staff at UC Health Training Center. Wilson who was acquired via trade with Seattle that was reported last week, was officially allowed to join his new club when the new league year began at 2:00PM Mountain Time.
Wilson and a 4th Round Pick are now property of the Broncos. In exchange, General Manager George Paton sent the Seahawks Quarterback Drew Lock, Tight End Noah Fant, Defensive Lineman Shelby Harris and 5 draft picks. Those picks include this year’s 1st round pick No. 9, and next year’s 1st rounder as well, Denver’s 2nd round pick this year, No. 40, next year’s 2nd rounder as well as the Broncos 5th round pick in next month’s draft
"When I think about Russ, the first thing that comes to mind, is elite arm strength, Paton said." We’re bringing him to a team that is talented, that is hungry...I’ve never met anyone that’s completely obsessed with winning as Russ is. You watch him and Coach Hackett in a room, and I can only stay in there about 30 mins. There’s a lot of juice, a lot of energy in the building. The work starts today, gonna take all of us, to work in partnership to get to where we need to go."
Hackett described the initial conversation with Paton about the possibility of getting Wilson, "F-yeah" is what was said. Then Paton asked him to go ahead and watch the tape of Wilson, just to be sure, saying that's what personnel guys do, they double check. "He's kicked my ass enough times, to know how good he is,"
In Wilson the Broncos are getting a proven winner, who’s likely headed to Canton whenever he hangs. In 10 NFL seasons, he has gone to the playoffs 8 times, won a Super Bowl and lost one, and went to 9 Pro Bowls. He’s currently 4th highest rated passer in league history behind only Patrick Mahomes, Aaron Rodgers and DeShaun Watson. He’s competed 65% of his passes, throwing for 37,059 yards, 292 Touchdowns and just 87 interceptions.
Wilson detailed his first visit to Denver last Tuesday to take a physical and find out what the Broncos were about. "flew here, landed, we met for several hours…He answered all those questions…Same thing I asked Coach Hackett, what’s your plan with that, how are you gonna lead these guys, and how are we gonna do it together. That’s the journey of being the head coach and quarterback. That’s super exciting that he and I had the same journey together.
The expectation is Wilson along with new head coach Nathaniel Hackett will jumpstart a Denver offense that hasn’t been ranked higher than 22nd in the last 6 seasons. His playing style is perfectly suited to excel in what Hackett is expected to run, an evolved version of the West Coast offense rooted in running the ball using an outside zone scheme and play-action off of the run game.
Wilson has already spent time in Denver, and made a surprise visit with his wife, R&B Singer Ciara yesterday at Children’s Hospital.
“Ciara and I were able to go to the Children’s Hospital around 9:30. It was amazing to obviously see the kids. To see the energy in the building," Wilson said. We were able to read our book, and talk about life and talk about kids. It’s just an emotional experience....“It takes everybody. In the rooms, for kids to ov ercome cancer, or the battles their facing, it’s the people in the room there. Sometimes there’s a lot of family members, sometimes there’s not…I’ve seen it all...Going to hospitals and going to Children’s hospitals is everything for us. We have 3 beautiful kids, and I want to give back. God’s given me an opportunity to serve. And I’ve been given that opportunity here, and we’re gonna win a lot of games, but it’s about more than that."
A number of Wilson's new teammates were in attendance including Justin Simmons, Tim Patrick, K.J. Hamler, Baron Browning and Andrew Beck. Perhaps a guy who may become his favorite target wideout Courtland Sutton, fresh off a vacation appeared on NFL Network this week and detailed his initial interaction with his new signal caller, “As soon as I landed, my phone was going off, it was Jerry (Jeudy), Tim Patrick, K.J. (Hamler) and Russ,” he said. “Everbody was just sitting there talking. It was really cool to hear, just first moments, he was talkin’ about, I’m ready, let’s get to work…it’s exciting for sure.”
Of course ultimately it's about winning, and if the Broncos win, the cost of this trade will be more than worth it. Wilson said something that had to be music to everyone in Broncos Country's ears, that he wants to play 10-12 more years, and he wants to win 3 or 4 more championships. Wilson said the main reason he wanted to come here was because Paton, Hackett and he all had the same vision, "We want to win, that's the most important thing," he said. "Winning's everything. Winning's the only thing."