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Mile High Morning: An inside look at the trade for Russell Wilson

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The Lead

The trade for Russell Wilson is as good a story as it is a trade.

In a behind-the-scenes article for the LA Times, Sam Farmer takes readers through the tale, from the discussions between the two teams to the trip to Denver that sealed the deal for Wilson to waive his no-trade clause.

As Farmer writes, the key to get the ball rolling for General Manager George Paton was in-person meetings with the Seahawks' GM during league-wide scouting events.

"[T]he conversations between Paton and Seahawks general manager John Schneider started in late January at the Battle House Renaissance in Mobile, Ala., when the two were in town for the Senior Bowl," Farmer wrote. "They continued a month later at the scouting combine, where the two met four nights in a row in a quiet booth at Loughmillers, a pub in Indianapolis that wasn't as crawling with NFL personnel as other hangouts."

In the secrecy necessary for this kind of landscape-shifting move, Wilson began his own evaluation of the potential trade.

"Talking to him was almost like talking with a scout," Paton told Farmer. "He knew the positives, the negatives, what the strengths of the team are, how are we going to improve here, what are our needs. He really talked like a seasoned personnel executive in discussing the team."

But the best detail of all from the story may be of Head Coach Nathaniel Hackett's reaction after news of the deal broke on Twitter. The music-loving former offensive coordinator was, obviously, ecstatic to see the reports.

"Hackett cranked up the 2004 hit song 'One, Two Step' by Wilson's Grammy-winning wife, Ciara, that echoed through the building," Farmer wrote.

There's plenty more to the story, so make sure to check out Farmer’s detailed account of one of the biggest trades in team history.

Below the Fold

With the move, as well as several others within the division, the AFC West is expected to be the league's toughest.

"It's like an arms race," Paton told The Athletic's Lindsay Jones on Wednesday. "It's a strong division, and obviously that's why we're trying to sign a lot of players so we can do a better job."

The division got yet another jolt on Thursday, as Las Vegas reportedly traded for wide receiver Davante Adams. Earlier in the week, the Raiders signed pass rusher Chandler Jones, and the Chargers added pass rusher Khalil Mack and cornerback J.C. Jackson.

But like Wilson said in his press conference, there's no fear in Denver.

"When he said it, I believed it," Justin Simmons told Jones. "I'm not afraid of anything either, and I want to play against the best."

The Unclassifieds

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