May 20, 2024

A recent revelation sheds light on the Denver Broncos’ strategy concerning Russell Wilson. During the week leading up to Super Bowl LVIII, Broncos head coach Sean Payton discussed Wilson’s situation, including his benching and the team’s future plans.

Russell Wilson: Denver Broncos QB blames benching on refusing to  restructure his contract | NFL News | Sky Sports

Despite Payton’s previous assurance of a prompt decision regarding Wilson’s status, the nine-time Pro Bowler remains on the roster over a month later. The Broncos may be hesitant due to the significant dead-money hit of $34 million if Wilson is released post-June 1. However, there’s speculation that Payton is exploring the possibility of renegotiating Wilson’s contract before making a final decision.

According to NFL insider Ian Rapoport, the Broncos might initiate discussions with Wilson about restructuring his contract to retain him for the 2024 season. This suggests that all options at quarterback, including retaining Wilson, are being considered by the Broncos.

Wilson’s current contract includes substantial payments for the upcoming seasons, with guaranteed money extending into 2025. The Broncos’ ownership group, led by the Walton/Penner duo, reportedly sought this lucrative deal to secure Wilson before the 2022 season. However, the investment has not yielded consistent elite performance from Wilson, raising questions about the contract’s value.

Despite Wilson’s struggles to justify his hefty salary, Payton managed to salvage some success with him in the 2023 season. However, Payton had to make significant adjustments to accommodate Wilson’s performance, raising concerns about his ability to lead the team effectively.

The relationship between Wilson and the Broncos may be strained following his benching and contract negotiations. If renegotiations fail, the Broncos may opt to release Wilson, leading to significant financial implications. In such a scenario, the team would likely explore quarterback options in the 2024 draft, potentially setting back the Payton era.

Payton, although not directly involved in Wilson’s acquisition, is aware of the quarterback situation in Denver. If Wilson is released, Payton will face pressure to secure a franchise quarterback to maintain the team’s competitiveness.

The upcoming draft meetings will likely include discussions about Wilson’s future with the Broncos. The outcome of these talks will shape the team’s quarterback strategy moving forward.

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