John Elway on Russell Wilson Trade to Broncos: 'He Was The Piece We Needed'May 11, 2022
The Denver Broncos are expecting to make a major jump in the 2022 season after the offseason acquisition of star quarterback Russell Wilson.
Broncos legend and president of football operations John Elway told Mike Klis of 9News that he believes Wilson gives the team exactly what it was missing to be a playoff contender.
"He was the piece we needed," Elway said. "We had a good football team around him and I think George [Paton] did a tremendous job of putting that deal together and getting him here. It's great to see the fan base energized again."
The Broncos landed Wilson in a blockbuster trade with the Seattle Seahawks in exchange for two first-round picks, two second-round picks, a fifth-round pick, quarterback Drew Lock, defensive lineman Shelby Harris and tight end Noah Fant.
A nine-time Pro Bowl selection, Wilson is regarded as one of the top signal-callers in the league. He had a bit of a down year in 2021 after missing time with a broken finger. In 14 games, he threw for a career-low 3,113 passing yards with 25 touchdowns and six interceptions.
Denver went 7-10 last season and missed the playoffs for the sixth consecutive season. Elway said he believes Wilson gives the Broncos a chance at competing for a division title, provided that the team is able to stay healthy throughout the year.
"We've got a chance to compete in the AFC West, which obviously is going to be tough. But again like anything we've got to stay healthy," Elway said. "We've had a tough time doing that the last several years. If we can stay healthy, Russ has been there, he's won Super Bowls, he knows what it takes and the leadership he's provided has been tremendous."
Wilson's presence has already had an impact on Denver, creating more interest in the team. The NFL announced that the Broncos will be a part of the Christmas Day tripleheader in a matchup against the defending-champion Los Angeles Rams.