Russell Wilson, welcome to the AFC West, the new Mt. Rushmore of quarterbacks

Russell Wilson holds his arms wide as he walks off the field
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson gestures as he walks off the field after an NFL preseason football game against the Chargers in August. The Seahawks won 27-0.
(Stephen Brashear / Associated Press)

On the day Aaron Rodgers finally announced a decision, he wasn’t the only quarterback to make headlines. Russell Wilson also did when he was traded from Seattle to Denver.

What the deal means to the AFC West:

Quite a quad: Everyone loves to debate who belongs on the Mt. Rushmore of whatever in life, right? Well, this division — on its own — now has an impressive Mt. Rushmore of quarterbacks: Wilson, Justin Herbert, Patrick Mahomes and Derek Carr.

Each has made at least one Pro Bowl, with Herbert going this year in his second NFL season. Mahomes and Wilson have won Super Bowls and Carr just threw for a career-high 4,804 yards.


It was February of 2019 when most observers were selling the notion that Kansas City owned the division until further notice. The Chiefs had Mahomes and the latest Super Bowl trophy.

And, yes, Kansas City has won the last six AFC West titles. But this is hardly a one-team — or one-quarterback — division.

Many thought Aaron Rodgers might head to Denver, but he agrees to stay with the Packers, and Broncos trade for Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson.

Unleashing the Broncos? In discussing Denver’s offense in recent seasons, opposing coaches always talked about their talented young wide receivers, particularly Courtland Sutton and Tim Patrick.

Both are 6-foot-4 and close to 220 pounds, presenting defenses with a pair of potential big-body problems.

The unspoken part of that evaluation: “Thank God they don’t have anyone who can throw to them!”

That has all changed now, Wilson giving the Broncos the quarterback the franchise has sought since the retirement of Peyton Manning. Denver used the No. 15 overall pick in 2020 on another wide receiver — Jerry Jeudy — meaning Wilson will have options.

And those Broncos pass catchers now have someone who can better handle the passing part.

The Chargers and 27-year-old wide receiver Mike Williams agree on a three-year deal that guarantees him $40 million and is worth up to $60 million.

Familiar face, unfamiliar foe: Wilson spent a decade in Seattle and has played in 158 regular-season NFL games.

Only two of those appearances have come against the Chargers, both losses for Wilson.

He and the Seahawks fell 25-17 at home to the Chargers in November of 2018 and 30-21 at San Diego in September of 2014.

Wilson was a combined 43 of 64 for 437 yards and four touchdowns in the defeats. He threw one interception.

So, barring injury, he’ll face the Chargers as many times in 2022 as he did over the previous 10 seasons.

Wilson’s arrival means Herbert and the Chargers will enter every AFC West game with a notable quarterback matchup. The league has to love that.