No deal in the history of the NFL has been more awful than the one the Broncos made to get Russell Wilson... at least, that's according to ex-NFL general manager Michael Lombardi, who tells TMZ Sports Denver's trade for the QB "is going to go down as the all-time worst."
The former Cleveland Browns decision-maker didn't mince words when discussing Wilson's benching with us this week ... explaining he believes the Broncos' 2022 swap with the Seahawks will now go down as a historic blunder.
"When you add the contract and the trade," Lombardi said, "it's the worst of all time."
The Broncos gave up a bevy of picks -- including a first-rounder and a second-rounder -- plus three other players in the move to acquire Russ before the '22 season. They then signed the 35-year-old to a massive $245 MILLION contract extension.
But, Russ played terribly in 2022 ... and wasn't all that much better in 2023 -- which forced Sean Payton to sideline him this week for Jarrett Stidham.
The head coach's decision likely signals the end of Wilson's Denver tenure -- and with it all but over, Lombardi's ready to dub it the most disastrous NFL deal ever.
Lombardi said prior to the Broncos' move, there had been other historically bad ones -- including the Vikings' infamous 1989 trade with the Cowboys for Herschel Walker -- but he said "none of those trades had contracts attached to them that impact the salary cap in future years."