When Russell Wilson’s trade to the Denver Broncos from the Seattle Seahawks was announced, it sent shockwaves through the NFL.
And at Wilson’s unveiling as a Broncos player on Wednesday, first-year head coach Nathaniel Hackett couldn’t contain his excitement at having a Super Bowl champion as his quarterback.
“Wow! C’mon, y’all. Russell Wilson! Holy sh*t. Very exciting,” he said with a smile.
The 33-year-old Wilson was traded from the Seahawks to the Broncos in exchange for a huge haul, including two first-round draft picks, two second-rounders, a fifth-rounder, quarterback Drew Lock, defensive tackle Shelby Harris and tight end Noah Fant.
The nine-time Pro-Bowler, who has consistently been one of the best quarterbacks in the league since he was drafted in 2012, says that he chose to move to Denver for one reason only: “That’s to win.”
“That’s what I believe in. So every day, what you’re going to get from me is that mentality,” Wilson explained at the press conference. “You’re going to get that juice. You’re going to get that energy.
“You’re going to get that focus and we’re going to do it together. All the guys back there, we’re going to do it together because that what it takes. We’re here for one thing and that’s to win. That’s to win at the highest level, often. I’m excited about it. I’m excited about the journey, so Broncos country, let’s ride.”
Wilson added that he hopes to play “10 to 12 more years” and win “three to four more Super Bowls,” planning to “finish on top as a champion.”
Before Wilson’s opening press conference as a Denver player, the Seahawks hierarchy released statements saying that the decision for Wilson to move on was one driven by the quarterback himself.
“While Russell made it clear he wanted this change, he made Seattle proud and we are grateful for his decade of leadership on and off the field,” Jody Allen, chair of the Seahawks, said in a statement.
“We look forward to welcoming our new players and to everyone being fully engaged while working our hardest to win every single day. I trust our leadership to take us into the future and know we all wish Russell the very best.”
Head coach Pete Carroll echoed Allen’s message.
“This has always been a challenging time of year where we have consistently maintained a competitive approach to getting better as a team,” Carroll said. “As Jody stated, Russ’ desire in doing something different afforded the organization an opportunity to compete in multiple ways.
“He has always been the ultimate competitor whose leadership and consistency helped shape our culture. Our franchise has won a lot of games and we will always be grateful for the exciting moments and incredible records.”
However, Wilson said that the decision to leave Seattle was a mutual one, a decision reached between him and the team.
“I didn’t initiate it; it was definitely mutual. Along the way, there’s definitely been a lot of conversations. It hasn’t been I initiating anything, but it is what it is. I’m excited, I’m happy to be here, that’s all I know. Obviously, I’m happy about the 10 years I’ve had but I think that – you know, it’s, you know, we’ll have to read about it later, we’ll have some fun in my book one day, we’ll have some good stories.”