Broncos Drop Russell Wilson: A Costly Move or a Necessary Reset?

The Broncos have made the decision to shorten Russell Wilson’s stay in Denver, ending his expensive and unsuccessful stay at an early age. The quarterback will be released by the team before the league season starts on Wednesday.

The Broncos’ general manager George Payton and coach Sean Payton thanked Wilson for his contributions and wished him luck in his future pursuits in a joint statement. He highlighted plans for development through the draft and free agency, underscoring the team’s focus on assembling a formidable squad for the 2024 season and beyond.

Though Wilson’s departure would cost the Broncos an additional $85 million above their salary cap over the next two seasons, the decision had financial ramifications for the team.

In March 2022, Wilson—who had previously won a Super Bowl with the Seattle Seahawks in 2013—arrived in Denver with great hopes of winning a title. The Broncos paid a high price for his acquisition, giving up players and important selection picks in order to obtain him. In September 2022, Wilson agreed to a hefty £245 million five-year contract extension with Denver.

On the field, the Broncos fell short of expectations despite significant expenditure. With a 5-12 record, they were last in the AFC West in 2022. Under Payton, they made a slight improvement to 8-9 in 2023, but they were still out of the playoff picture. Wilson was benched for the final two games of the 2023 season as the team looked to revive its offense. Wilson had form issues, especially in 2022 when he had his lowest passer rating of his career.

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