Wilson, Rodger’s news proves quarterback empowerment movement

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - SEPTEMBER 12: Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks celebrates after the game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on September 12, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)

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INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA – SEPTEMBER 12: Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks celebrates after the game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on September 12, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)

Michael Cody Stephenson, Staff Writer

On Tuesday, the NFL did what it does best, owning the news cycle in the madness of March with the headlines of Aaron Rodgers reportedly becoming the highest paid player in NFL history, and a blockbuster trade involving quarterback Russell Wilson.

Initial reports made by Ian Rapoport of NFL Media indicated Rodgers agreed to a 4-year $200 million deal that would make him the highest paid player in the NFL.

On the other hand, Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reported the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos agreed to a trade for Seahawks Super Bowl winning quarterback Russell Wilson.

Rodgers has confirmed via twitter he will be playing for the Packers next year but called the initial reports of him signing a contract and the terms of the contract “inaccurate.”

In the new age of player empowerment across all professional sports, the premier position of them all, NFL’s starting quarterback has made it clear over the last few years that its seat at the table is solidified.

Tom Brady started the trend by leaving the New England Patriots after two decades with the organization to join the faceless Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2020 in hopes to win more championships with some new blood and more control. It worked out.

Brady won his seventh Super Bowl in his first season with the Bucs.

Quarterback’s around the league couldn’t help but look at Brady’s first year in Tampa Bay from afar and think to themselves that maybe the grass is greener on the other side.

Endless rumors of the next quarterback on the move to his hand pick destination haven’t stopped since.

Matthew Stafford after 12 long years with the Detroit Lions figured it was time for a change of scenery in hopes to play in more meaningful games. The Lions did right by Stafford and traded him to the Los Angeles Rams before the start of the 2021 season. It worked out.

Stafford won his first Super Bowl in his first season with the Rams.

It’s been no secret over the last 12 months that both Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson could be the next quarterback’s to use their new-found empowerment in hopes of finding the same type of success of that Brady and Stafford, respectively.

It turns out Rodgers, Wilson and the quarterback position is as powerful as ever.

After two years of posturing, threats of retirement, back-to-back MVP awards, Rodgers was able to secure himself a new contract to return to Green Bay.

Rodgers used his leverage, the Packers caved, after two seasons of rumors hinting at a potential split between quarterback and team, it worked out.

Wilson used his leverage differently, quietly, might be the better word if compared to Rodgers.

He stressed publicly one time that he wanted more of a role in personnel decisions, and his agent floated potential teams that he would accept a trade too if traded by the Seahawks.

One year later, Wilson is now a member of the Broncos organization.

If Wilson wanted a change of scenery, it worked out, and if he simply wanted a better chance at getting back to another Super Bowl, it’ll be tough, but Brady and Stafford are the perfect test cases.

One thing was made clear in the NFL on Tuesday, quarterback empowerment is here to stay.