According to reports the Denver Broncos are dumping QB Russell Wilson at the end of the season and the internet has kicked off in a big way.
The Broncos will be on the hook for $85-million over 2 years ($35.2m in 2024 and $49.6m in 2025) if they release Wilson. If they trade him prior to June 1st they will take a $68-million hit in 2024. And lets be honest, the chances of trading a QB everyone knows your cutting and getting them to pay some of his salary is very slim.
The reason the move is happening now is that Wilson will gain an extra $37-million in guarantees if he were to be injured and unable to pass a physical in March.
BRONCOS ARE ACTUALLY STILL IN PLAYOFFS
As hard as it is to imagine, the Broncos are actually still in the playoff hunt. Yes it’s highly unlikely, but it’s much less likely without Russell Wilson playing. But then maybe that’s the point? It’s easier to cut a QB and take a MASSIVE dead cap hit after you’ve missed the playoffs.
Now the internet has certainly got a lot to say about the lack of respect head coach Sean Payton has paid his QB, and whether that’s a race thing. There can be no argument, at all, that black QB’s get less respect than their white peers. It’s been shown many times that black QB’s get less time to prove themselves, and former Dolphins coach and now Vikings defensive coordinator Brian Flores has his lawsuit against owners over racism.
Has Russell Wilson been that bad for the Broncos? PFF rank him 19th/28 QB’s with at least 325 drop backs. One of those beneath him are golden boys Gardner Minshew and Sam Howell who have received a LOT of good press this season. And even Baker Mayfield has received way more good press than Wilson despite them both having 26 touchdown passes and 8 interceptions.
The Broncos have won 6 of their last 9 games. Of the 8 games they’ve lost this season they’ve conceded over 30 points in half of them including the SEVENTY that the Dolphins put on them. I’m not sure how that’s on Wilson. If we look at scoring, the Broncos offense ranks 16th with 21.8 points per game, while the defence is 29th conceding 25.1 points per game.
There will be those who saying the Broncos offensive output hasn’t been good enough, and they may be right. Denver has only just passed the 3,000 yard passing mark this season, but is that on Wilson or Payton. Russ ranks 17/28 at 6.9 yards per attempt. One of those also at 6.9 yards is Patrick Mahomes and he has 114 more drop backs.
You can’t argue that the Broncos are getting great value for the horrendous trade they made for Wilson, or the horrendous contract they gave him. And maybe Jarrett Stidham will prove to be great and his career 6 touchdown 7 interceptions to this point were the result of bad situations.
“Most of you know we’ve made a change at quarterback,” Payton said. “I understand all the speculation and everything that surrounds a move like that, and I can tell you, look, we’re desperately trying to win. Sure, in our game today, there are economics and all those other things, but the number one push behind all of this—and it’s a decision I’m making—is to get a spark offensively. Obviously, it’s difficult, and all of us feel like, ‘Man, we didn’t do well enough.'”
“I spent time with Russ this morning and he’s been a pro and obviously disappointed,” Payton said. “All the work that goes in to doing what he does—or doing what they do at that position—is difficult. It’s difficult and challenging and there’s a part of—certainly myself as a head coach—man, I needed to be better.”
“One of the things we saw when we saw Stidham… he’s a guy that I’m anxious to see play,” Payton said. “If I didn’t feel like he gave us the chance to win, we wouldn’t be making that move.”