The Broncos made a huge decision to trade for Russell Wilson this offseason. Should they have traded for Geno Smith instead?
This offseason one of the biggest moves was the Denver Broncos sending five draft picks and three players out to get Russell Wilson back. With that transaction, they also earned (and exercised) the right to extend Wilson for five years and over $150 million in guaranteed money.
So far, that has not paid off for a litany of reasons.
The Broncos sit at 2-3 and Wilson is managing an injury to his throwing shoulder even though the best option might be to take some time to rest.
Week 1 saw the Broncos facing off in Wilson’s previous home against the Seattle Seahawks. Geno Smith, Wilson’s successor, led the Hawks to a win.
The Seahawks are also 2-3 but are exceeding expectations, as is Smith.
In his Week 5 matchup against the New Orleans Saints, he nearly led the team to a victory. He threw for three touchdowns and 268 yards in the 7-point loss to New Orleans. Had it not been for heroics from quarterback (or tight end? Who knows) Taysom Hill, Smith and the Seahawks may have left 3-2.
Coming into Week 5, Smith led the NFL in completion percentage, had amassed over 1,000 yards, and has a TD-INT ratio of 3.0.
So, would the Broncos rather have Geno Smith over Russell Wilson?
Trading for Geno Smith would have been lower cost, potentially higher reward
Look, it’s absolutely unfair to say this early that the Broncos made a bonafide mistake trading for Russell Wilson, but at this point, it’s hard not to look at the product and grimace a little bit. The strategy in trading for (and giving Wilson a massive, multi-year extension) is obviously a long game.
If we look myopically at the first five weeks of the season, though, yes, the Broncos probably should have traded for Geno Smith instead. Such a move would have cost far less and probably gotten them to the same place through five weeks of the season.
Also, let’s appreciate just how good of a job Geno Smith is doing. He’s reclaiming his reputation and proving he’s a quarterback of starting caliber.
It’s a conversation that will need to be revisited several times over throughout the life of Wilson’s time in Denver to answer this question properly.