Russell Wilson was dealt to the Denver Broncos in one of the biggest trades in NFL history and there aren’t any definitive winners and losers. Seattle acquired mainly draft capital and young assets in return for the nine-time Pro Bowl quarterback.
The Wilson trade culminates the busiest 24-hour stretch thus far in the NFL off-season. I’m not sure if I’m more surprised that Aaron Rodgers is still a Packer and not a Bronco, or if Russell Wilson is a Bronco, but here we are.
Wilson waived his no-trade clause to be in Denver, which will make him the first player to start for a team that he had previously beat in the Super Bowl. Funny enough, Wilson was drafted to play baseball by the Colorado Rockies and now he’ll be playing in that state anyways.
Here are the immediate winners and losers.
Winner: Broncos receivers
Need we say more?
Winner: Nathaniel Hackett
The Broncos head coach and former Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator is in Denver to run a high-powered, West Coast offence. Wilson has never been an on-time, rhythm thrower. Whether he’ll be successful in a more regimented system is up for debate.
Hackett’s presence in Denver was assumed to be in the hopes of luring Rodgers to follow him from Green Bay, but when the MVP decided to stay put, Wilson becomes a consolation prize that is less of an exact fit. Either way, for an offensive-minded head coach, the offensive tools at his disposal are appreciably better today than they were when he took the job.
Loser: Pete Carroll
Pete Carroll is 70 years old. Does he have the time or energy for a rebuild?
Carroll told anybody that would listen that the Seahawks weren’t looking to move Wilson, only for Seattle to promptly move Wilson. Carroll wants to win by running the ball and playing good defence. That’s how Seattle won the Super Bowl back in 2014. It is tough to do that when Wilson is begging to throw the ball and is the highest-paid player on the team.
This is either an ideological shift back to what Carroll wants or a sign that he is no longer wanted and the youth movement will continue both on the field and on the sidelines.
Loser: Russell Wilson
Yes, Wilson wanted a trade but the grass isn’t always greener.
The situation Wilson is leaving isn’t appreciably better than the one he’s going to. Wilson leaves the hardest division in the NFC for the hardest division in the AFC. Seattle is exploring a rebuild because, as presently constituted, they are the fourth-best team in the NFC West. Even with Wilson, the Broncos might still be the fourth-best team in AFC West. They might even be the fourth-best offence. When you compare the AFC West skill position players, Denver still has an uphill battle.
Kansas City Chiefs
QB: Patrick Mahomes
WR: Tyreke Hill
WR: Mecole Hardman
TE: Travis Kelce
RB: Clyde Edwards-Helaire
San Diego Chargers
QB: Justin Herbert
WR: Keenan Allen
WR: Mike Williams
TE: Jared Cook
RB: Austin Eckler
Las Vegas Raiders
QB: Derek Carr
WR: Hunter Renfrow
WR: Zay Jones
TE: Darren Waller
RB: Josh Jacobs
QB: Russell Wilson
RB: Javonte Williams
WR: Jerry Jeudy
WR: Courtland Sutton
TE: Albert Owuegbunam
Loser: Russell Wilson dynasty fantasy owners
Wilson might win more, but can we expect Wilson to have more production in his new offence? He just left DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett. He’ll be working with a better offensive line and running backs but certainly a less talented receiver group.
Loser: The remaining QBs on the market
Deshaun Watson and Jimmy Garoppolo lost two potential destinations on the same day. The quarterback carousel continues but the demand is decreasing. When you add Jameis Winston and Mitch Trubisky to the mix — plus any QBs in the upcoming draft class — the proverbial game of QB musical chairs tells us someone is going to be left without a dance partner.
Winner: Seattle’s salary cap
Wilson has a 2022 base salary of $19 million with a cap hit of $37 million, followed by a 2023 base salary of $21 million with a cap hit of $39 million. Seattle absorbs a $26 million dead-money cap hit but frees up $11 million by trading Wilson.
Loser: Seahawks fans
Rebuilds aren’t fun and they are far from certain. Seattle hasn’t drafted well since they selected Wilson and Bobby Wagner in 2012. And on the same day that they dealt Wilson, they also let go of the QB of their defence in Wagner.
The draft picks received in the trade mean nothing if you don’t hit on them. The haul is great but in the aggregate they only have one extra first-round pick if you look at what they traded for Jamal Adams not long ago. The easy part is tearing it down. The hard part is building it back up.
Wilson delivered Seattle its only Super Bowl title in franchise history. To willingly say goodbye to him with no clear plan to get back to championship level is a hard pill to swallow, even if it’s the right decision for the long-term future of the franchise.
Winner: Broncos fans
Football is fun when you have a good QB, and there’s no question that you need a QB to have a chance to win in the NFL. Denver has had 11 different QBs since Peyton Manning retired.
The Broncos’ offence has ranked 21st or worse in scoring each year since Manning hung up the cleats and the team has had the fourth-worst quarterback rating in that time. In that same span, Wilson has had the sixth best QBR. When you look at the list of most passing TDs in their first 10 seasons, Wilson (292) is only behind Manning (306) and just ahead of Dan Marino (290). That’s A-list, Hall-of-Fame status. Even in more recent years, he’s been elite. Since 2020, Wilson’s NFL ranks seventh in QB wins, eighth in completion percentage, fourth in passing-TDs -to-interception ratio, and second in passer rating.
This is a clear upgrade in the short term.
Winner: AFC West
Never has a single division (or conference) had this much firepower.
Total QBR Rank based on 2021 numbers:
Justin Herbert: 3rd
Patrick Mahomes: 5th
Russell Wilson: 10th
Derrick Carr: 14th
The AFC is the WrestleMania of QBs. Add Josh Allen, Lamar Jackson and Joe Burrow into the mix and the AFC is loaded with franchise QBs on teams in win-now mode — all of which who are considerably younger than Wilson.
If the Broncos aren’t good enough to compete for a championship now, that window might close quickly. Their championship window isn’t as long as they might think.
Loser: Denver’s long-term plan
Quarterbacks are playing better and longer than ever before, but Wilson is 33 and his style of play specifically doesn’t bode well for aging gracefully. So much of his success, unlike an undersized QB like Drew Brees, relies on his mobility and deep-ball arm strength. When those talents fade, how does Wilson win?
Consider that teams don’t trade franchise QBs. Seattle saw him every day and was still willing to part ways with him. Wilson, rightfully so, will be on washed watch but if he delivers one championship for the franchise like Manning did, nobody will care about not being able to replenish via the draft.
Winners: Malik Willis and Kenny Pickett
Seattle can now use the Broncos’ No. 9 overall pick to select a quarterback in the draft. Liberty’s Malik Willis or Pittsburgh’s Kenny Pickett would give Seattle a new face of the franchise. Whether real or perceived, the fact Seattle could be a player for a QB at No. 9 will drive up the draft stock of both QBs. No disrespect to Geno Smith or Drew Lock, but if I was a betting man, I’d bet Malik Willis is the Week 1 starter in Seattle.
Loser: The Washington Commanders
The Seahawks turned down a trade offer from the Commanders that included three first-round picks! Washington wasn’t even being subtle. General manager Martin Mayhew said he was “canvassing” the league for a starting QB and, on Wednesday, reportedly landed quarterback Carson Wentz from the Indianapolis Colts.
Even with that reported deal in place, the drop-off after Rodgers and Wilson was always going to be steep — and that could spell trouble for Washington.
Winner: Prospective Broncos Buyers
The Broncos are up for sale and this deal isn’t a bad thing for a future owner. You don’t expect teams being sold to spend money, you expect them to clean up the books and remove any liabilities. But owning a football team is less about return on investment and more about return on fun. The Broncos being relevant and having hope makes the franchise a more enticing purchase.
Winner: Los Angeles Rams
This trade, in a way, is a huge sign of respect to the Rams. The Broncos are essentially saying forget about draft picks, we need a star QB starter kit and we’re in business. The Seahawks are saying the Rams just won and are light years ahead, we need to tear it all down. Both premises might be faulty.
Last year, the Broncos were 7-10 and play in a tough division. The Rams were 10-6 when they decided to go all-in for QB Matthew Stafford. The Broncos are not just a superstar QB away because the AFC West is full of star QBs.
The Seahawks were 7-10 last year but a season when your QB was hurt is a deceiving sample. In the three seasons previous to last, they were 12-4, 11-5, 10-6 and made the playoffs in each of those seasons. They also won the division in 2020. Before last season, the last time they had a losing record was 2011.
Even after the trade I think Denver and Seattle are probably closer in the standings than we might think but both collectively a few paces behind the defending champs.
US Soccer announces both men and women will split the prize money from FIFA
Atlanta, United States of America (USA)- The US Soccer Federation (USSF) has announced soccer players representing the United States men’s and women’s national teams will receive the same pay and prize money, including at World Cups.
Under the new deals, which run through 2028 and cover the next four World Cups, dozens of top men’s and women’s players have been told in internal presentations that they can expect to collect average annual payouts of about US$450 000 from the USSF and potentially more than double that in successful World Cup years.
The deal also encompasses other areas such as child care, parental leave, short-term disability, mental health impairment, travel and equal quality of venues and field playing surfaces.
“This is a truly historic moment. The first Federation in the world to equalize FIFA World Cup prize money. These agreements have changed the game forever here in the United States and have the potential to change the game around the world.
US Soccer and the USWNT (United States Women’s National Soccer Team) and USMNT (United States Men’s National Soccer Team) players have reset their relationship with these new agreements and are leading us forward to an incredibly exciting new phase of mutual growth and collaboration as we continue our mission to become the preeminent sport in the United States,” said USSF president, Cindy Parlow.
This latest development comes after the USSF was ordered to pay US$24 million to settle a discrimination lawsuit with a group of past and present USWNT stars.
As part of their settlement, the group of women’s players will divide US$22 million, which was around a third of what they had originally hoped to seal, with the extra US$2 million used to establish a fund that helps the players navigate their post-soccer careers and women’s sports to grow.
Formula 1 sets 22 races for 2022 & 3 sprinting events
London, England- Formula 1 has confirmed that there will be 22 races for the 2022 calendar and 3 sprinting events.
The move follows Formula 1’s decision to permanently cancel Russia’s race at Sochi in the wake of Russia’s military operations in Ukraine.
Formula 1 organizers cancelled the event shortly after Russia’s military operations in February leaving the original slot open as they worked through various replacement options to fit with the original schedule.
Following the cancellation, Formula 1 received plenty of interest from host venues but had to work out if any addition would prove beneficial to the schedule rather than increase costs in terms of logistics.
With the original 23-race number set to be a record for a Formula 1 season, the event organizers then decided the most efficient approach was to simply drop the race that was originally slated for September 25 and leave two weeks between the previous three-straight slate in Europe and the following back-to-back weekends in Singapore and Japan.
Meanwhile, the number of sprint qualifying events that had been expected to be doubled to six this year will remain at three.
However, according to McLaren’s CEO, Zak Brown, Formula 1 teams are in favour of more sprints, “We tried to get six sprint races off last year, which obviously didn’t happen for this year. I think all the teams voted in favour of six sprint races now we have seen the data which tells us it creates more fan awareness, and that’s what I think is most important in growing the sport, how do our fans respond when we try new activities?”
Revised 2022 Formula 1 Calendar:
- Bahrain GP (Sakhir) March 20
- Saudi Arabian GP (Jeddah) March 27
- Australian GP (Melbourne) April 10
- Emilia Romagna GP (Imola) April 24
- Miami GP (Miami) May 8
- Spanish GP (Barcelona) May 22
- Monaco GP (Monaco) May 29
- Azerbaijan GP (Baku) June 12
- Canadian GP (Montreal) June 19
- British GP (Silverstone) July 3
- Austrian GP (Spielberg) July 10
- French GP (Paul Ricard) July 24
- Hungarian GP (Budapest) July 31
- Belgian GP (Spa) August 28
- Dutch GP (Zandvoort) September 4
- Italian GP (Monza) September 11
- Singapore GP (Marina Bay) October 2
- Japanese GP (Suzuka) October 9
- United States GP (Austin) October 23
- Mexico City GP (Mexico City) October 30
- Sao Paulo GP (Interlagos) November 13
- Abu Dhabi GP (Yas Marina) November 20
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CFL strike ends after league, players reach tentative agreement on new CBA – TSN
The first Canadian Football League strike in nearly 40 years ended Wednesday night, opening the door for the full resumption of training camps and the first on-time start to the regular season since 2019.
The CFL and the CFL Players’ Association reached a tentative seven-year deal on a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) Wednesday, less than 96 hours after the strike began when talks broke off.
Monday’s preseason game in Saskatchewan between the Roughriders and Winnipeg Blue Bombers is being rescheduled – an announcement is expected on Thursday – but in terms of actual casualties because of this labour stoppage, that’s it.
The end result is a deal – which still has to be ratified by the league’s board of governors and CFLPA members – that produces measureable gains for the players in several areas including health and safety, revenue sharing, salary cap, and guaranteed contracts.
There are tangible measures to slow player turnover, which has long been a CFL problem ignored in collective bargaining.
The big question mark economically is how meaningful the revenue sharing formula will prove to be for the players, and whether they will truly be able to share in any league prosperity.
There is always much debate about the state of the business in Canadian football, but this deal suggests that not all is doom and gloom. Coming off two years in which the league suffered massive losses from a lost 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic and significant ones off a reduced 14-game schedule in 2021, the CFL did not bargain like a league that was on its last legs.
It provided minimum annual increases to the salary cap that are double those prescribed in the last CBA. And the league signed a deal that provides far more than what’s been given in recent memory. All of which suggests there must be some optimism about what lies ahead, barely a year after the CFL parted ways with the idea of merging with the XFL.
So if there was so much ‘give’ from the owners side on this deal, what did they owners ‘get’ in return?
Essentially, besides the term of the deal, the league gained flexibility for its teams in how the league’s ratio of Canadians is applied. The CFL ratio is always the most hotly debated, misunderstood and controversial aspect of Canadian football – people tend to love it or hate it.
The league itself tends to love it … well, sort of.
There’s never been an intent to eliminate the league’s quota for 21 Canadian players on every roster, seven of whom have to be starters.
But reduce it? Sure, the league’s always been open to that and the players’ association has always opposed it.
The uncomfortable truth in all of this is reducing the ratio improves the quality of the game, and improving the quality of the game is something with which the league has become acutely concerned about of late. That’s not a knock on Canadians. It’s just a recognition that the numbers of players in the United States far, far, far outnumber those north of the border.
The sides came up with a solution that preserves the seven Canadian starters but provides for more flexibility for coaches to use American players than they would have been able to in the past. Specifically, veteran American players, those who’ve spent at least three years with their team or five in the league, will be allowed to play as Canadians in some circumstances.
That not only is going to put more of the best players on the field, it’s going to give additional value to American veterans, which slows roster turnover, another key issue this agreement effectively addresses.
Players have a strong incentive to re-sign with their teams, since that allows up to 50 per cent of the final years of their contracts to be guaranteed.
Overall, both the movement of players from team-to-team and out of the league should slow, which is a true win-win for players, fans and general managers.
It’s hard to imagine what the world of Canadian football will be like in 2029, when the new CBA expires.
No doubt much will have changed.
The league is marching into that future with a new collective bargaining agreement that addresses many longstanding issues in the CFL.
Who wins on the business side is hard to say, given all the uncertainties that lie ahead.
But right now all that matters to most is that collective bargaining has been put to bed and the CFL is finally ready to embark on a full season of football.
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