Grades for each of the recent blockbuster trades in the NFL

Image of NFL blockbuster trades

The 2022 NFL offseason is about to kick into high gear with the legal tampering window set to open in free agency on Monday, but there have already been several NFL trades involving superstar players across the league.

Before we dive headfirst into all of the free agency news that will soon be upon us, let’s revisit those trades and give each team a grade for their effort.

Russell Wilson trade

The Russell Wilson trade involved the most assets changing teams. The Broncos sent the Seahawks QB Drew Lock, tight end Noah Fant, defensive lineman Shelby Harris, two first-round picks, two second-round picks, and a fifth-round pick. Seattle sent Denver Russell Wilson and a fifth-rounder.

Sure, that’s a significant haul for the Seahawks, but unless they use one of those draft picks on a quarterback who turns into a franchise player, they’re the loser in this deal. We won’t have a ‘real’ verdict until after the 2023 NFL draft when we can evaluate which prospects Seattle landed as a result of the trade, but for now, Denver wins this deal and it isn’t particularly close.

The Broncos will have little trouble replacing Noah Fant’s average production at tight end. And while it’s true they gave up two first-rounders, in reality, Wilson serves as their first-round pick in 2022. Landing a potential Hall-of-Fame quarterback with the ninth overall pick is nothing short of a grand slam.

The addition of Wilson puts the Broncos in the mix to be the best team in the AFC next season. They already have a top-tier defense and the offense is overflowing with skill players. All Denver was missing was a quarterback. Now, they not only have one, but they have one of the NFL’s best. And that’s an absolute win in one of the biggest NFL trades in recent memory.

Seattle Seahawks grade: D-

Denver Broncos grade: A+

Carson Wentz trade

The incredible twists and turns of Carson Wentz’s career added another chapter with the Colts’ decision to trade him one year after giving up significant draft capital to the Philadelphia Eagles to acquire him. Specifically, Indianapolis sent Philadelphia their third-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft and their first-rounder this year for Wentz only to discard him after one forgettable season.

I guess you could say that the fact they managed to get anything for Wentz this offseason is a win. The Commanders traded their third-round pick this year and a conditional third-rounder in 2023 (that can become a second-rounder) with the hopes that Wentz will finally solve their quarterback problem. Call it a hunch, but I don’t think he will.

Both teams come out of this deal looking like desperate clubs with no plan behind center. The Colts get an ‘F’ because of how terrible their trade for Wentz was and the fact they gave up on him for pennies on the dollar. The Commanders barely earn a passing grade because, well, Wentz is an upgrade over the other quarterbacks on their roster and they still have the 11th overall pick to possibly land a prospect like Malik Willis or Kenny Pickett.

This was an all-around ugly NFL trade for two teams that appear completely lost.

Indianapolis Colts grade: F

Washington Commanders grade: D

Bryan Perez

Bryan is the founder of Pro Football Draft. His work has been featured on The Draft Network, NBC Sports and USA Today. Former CFL scout.

Follow him on Twitter: @BryanPerezNFL