AFC West Odds Update After the Broncos Traded for Russell Wilson

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Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks. Ronald Martinez/Getty Images/AFP

It’s the end of an era in Seattle! Russell Wilson is heading to Mile High after the Seattle Seahawks hammered out a blockbuster trade with the Denver Broncos to ship the veteran quarterback that only a week ago the organization, along with head coach Pete Carroll, insisted they had “no intention” to trade.  

Multiple media outlets reported on this momentous move on Tuesday, ending weeks of speculation about the Denver Broncos’ intentions. The Broncos were linked to several top veteran signal-callers this offseason, most notably Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers.  

It’s no secret that the Broncos were in desperate need of a viable quarterback. Drew Lock, the second-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, didn’t pan out as expected and the Teddy Bridgewater experiment failed to deliver viable results last year.

It was also perfectly obvious that the Broncos would struggle to find a franchise quarterback in the 2022 NFL Draft in lieu of a top 10 pick in the first round, as well the rather limited quarterback class that is available this year. 

The only market left was free agency or the trading block. No other avenue could deliver the kind of quarterback Denver wanted and that could fill the big shoes left by Peyton Manning’s retirement in 2015.  

Rodgers, Wilson Were Denver’s Top Options 

Multiple top-rated sportsbooks tipped Rodgers as the favorite to land in Denver this offseason, although Wilson was in the mix as well because he’d taken his dissatisfaction with the Seahawks organization into the public domain, around the same time as Rodgers’ off-field drama with the Packers was unfolding.

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Wilson wasn’t happy about his lack of involvement in team-building and strategic decision making. Like many veterans who’d seen Tom Brady’s every whim satisfied in Tampa Bay on the road to winning Super Bowl 55 with the Buccaneers, understandably Wilson (and Rodgers) wanted a slice of that consideration and respect.  

Both Rodgers and Wilson were, at one point or another, linked to the Broncos ahead of last season and separately to different franchises too. For instance, Wilson was linked to the Chicago Bears for a period in 2021. His agent also floated the idea that Wilson would consider the Dallas Cowboys, Las Vegas Raiders and New Orleans Saints if they were interested. 

Wilson’s Trade The Biggest Deal Since Stafford’s Trade 

The day began with news of an imminent deal with the Packers that would keep Rodgers in Green Bay for the foreseeable. Rodgers’ decision to forgo retirement or a trade took him off the table, although it didn’t factor in Denver’s decision according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.  

Wilson’s move from Seattle to Denver marks the biggest trade in the league since the Los Angeles Rams turned the NFL on its head by trading away Jared Goff and a slew of draft picks to the Detroit Lions for Matthew Stafford in return. 

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Wilson, at 33 years of age, is in his prime. He signed a four-year deal with the Seahawks in 2019 that made him the highest-paid quarterback at the time of signing. His deal included a no-trade clause which would give him the power to veto any trade he didn’t fancy. As per NFL insider Schefter, Wilson appears to have green-lighted this trade. 

In exchange for Wilson and an additional 2022 fourth-round pick, the Broncos will give up an arsenal of players and picks — from quarterback Drew Lock, tight end Noah Fant, and defensive lineman Shelby Harris to the ninth and 40th pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, Denver’s first in 2023, a second-rounder in 2023 and a 2022 fifth-rounder.  

The deal hasn’t been officially announced by either organization because all the players involved must pass through various checks and balances, including physicals. Assuming all goes to plan, the announcement should come just in time for the official start to the 2023 NFL season.  

Odds Impact, Super Bowl LVII and AFC West Odds 

It may be some time before the teams make their respective announcements, but sports betting sites have already taken stock of Wilson’s trade to Denver and reflected it on a number of their NFL odds boards. 

The Broncos opened on +1800 to win Super Bowl LVII, but on Tuesday those odds were scaled back to +1200 with BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review) and Bovada (visit our Bovada Review). This puts them among the Top 10 teams to win the coveted Lombardi Trophy. 

The AFC West odds have seen the biggest impact with the Denver Broncos shortening from around +500 (third-best) to +200 (second-best), leapfrogging the Los Angeles Chargers in the betting hierarchy.  

Read More: Early Value on 2022 NFL Draft Props Market

Naturally, the Kansas City Chiefs remain the runaway favorites in the AFC West. By all accounts, the Chiefs are the team to beat not only in the division but also the AFC Conference and, even, Super Bowl 57. However, now that Wilson is heading to Mile High, things are bound to be more difficult for the Chiefs in a division that has only gotten stronger. Should make for a very fascinating 2023 season indeed.