49ers news: Biggest winners, losers of Seahawks Russell Wilson trade

Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /
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Melvin Gordon III, Jerry Jeudy, Tim Patrick, Denver Broncos
Denver Broncos running back Melvin Gordon III (25) with wide receiver Jerry Jeudy (10) and wide receiver Tim Patrick (81) Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports /

Winner: Broncos

The Broncos have been struggling to find themselves a starting-caliber quarterback ever since Hall of Famer Peyton Manning retired following the 2015 season. And 2022 was particularly rough after quarterback Drew Lock, who was part of the deal for Russell Wilson, flamed out and led to fellow signal-caller Teddy Bridgewater having to hold onto those duties, albeit with very little success.

As a result, Denver finished with a frustrating 7-10 record and a last-place finish within the AFC West, the second time in as many years it ended up in last place in the division.

Surprisingly, though, the Broncos have a solid roster on both sides of the ball. A young offensive line, strong running game, playmaking wide receivers in Courtland Sutton and Jerry Jeudy and an offensive-minded head coach in newly arrived Nathaniel Hackett.

In a way, Denver had to make a deal like this.

The AFC West is now the toughest division within the NFL, at least in terms of quarterbacks, as the Kansas City Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes and the Los Angeles Chargers’ Justin Herbert will be franchise centerpieces for a long, long time.

The Broncos now have their franchise centerpiece moving forward and a roster that can finally compete for a deep push into the postseason.