The Russell Wilson era appears to be over in Seattle.
The Seahawks have reportedly agreed to a deal that will send the team’s star quarterback to the Denver Broncos, ending ongoing speculation about whether Wilson would stay in the city where he won a Super Bowl championship and became the face of the franchise.
The trade, first reported Tuesday by NFL Network reporter Tom Pelissoro, would send Wilson to the Broncos for a “massive haul” that includes multiple first-round draft picks, plus additional picks and players.
Drafted in 2012, Wilson owns nearly every Seahawks passing record, according to Seattle Sports, and has a career 104-53-1 record with 292 touchdowns, 87 interceptions and 37,059 yards.
While the loss of the nine-time Pro Bowl QB, who arguably has plenty of good football left to play, is easily among the biggest deals in Seattle sports history, the loss for Seattle would echo far beyond the playing surface at Lumen Field.
Wilson has been a fixture of the community beyond sports, making a mark in technology, entrepreneurship and philanthropy. He’s had a hand in multiple startup pursuits, and has been a pitchman for such companies as Alaska Airlines and Microsoft.
Along with his music superstar wife Ciara, Wilson just opened their first clothing store in Seattle, The House of LR&C, where the couple showed up two weeks ago to party with shoppers.
Wilson launched his brand management and production company West2East Empire in Seattle. He took a stab at social media with an app called TraceMe that was acquired by Nike in 2019. That startup was originally backed by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, who Wilson counted as a friend.
“Russell is one of the most engaging entrepreneurs I’ve ever met, both inside and outside of sports,” Jason LeeKeenan, who co-founded TraceMe with Wilson, told GeekWire. “His impact on Seattle, even beyond the Seahawks, has been incredible – from founding tech startups like TraceMe to his recent fashion endeavors and all of the incredible non-profit work he’s done.
“As a Seattle sports fan I’m bummed, but I’m also excited for Russell personally, and I know he’s going to succeed on and off the field, wherever he goes,” he added.
Wilson is also among a host of big names in Seattle tech and other industries with an ownership stake in the Sounders FC soccer team.
His regular visits with sick kids at Seattle Children’s Hospital have made him a hero among those who don’t even sport his No. 3 jersey. Wilson launched his Why Not You Foundation to fight poverty through education.
Pioneer Square Labs co-founder Greg Gottesman called it a hard day for Seattle because Wilson was more than just a franchise quarterback.
“He started companies here, played a major role on behalf of so many important not-for-profit causes, and served as a role model for so many of us, young and old,” said Gottesman, who also worked closely with Wilson on TraceMe. “I can tell you the same positive energy he exudes on TV is the way he is when you talk to him about new ideas, work with him on a startup, or interact in the boardroom.
“He is relentlessly positive – always trying to get better – and being around a person with that quality of character rubs off in a good way,” Gottesman added.
The Seahawks went 7-10 last season as Wilson missed three games with a finger injury. Trade talk heated up as the offseason approached and rumors swirled about Wilson’s desire to move on.