NFL Insider Hints at Russell Wilson’s Future With Broncos

Russell Wilson

Getty Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson.

The Denver Broncos expected they were only a quarterback away from Super Bowl contention when they traded for Russell Wilson in March 2022. Fast-forward to October 2023, and the Broncos have a 1-5 record heading into Week 7.

Nothing about the Wilson trade has gone according to plan for Denver. According to The Athletic’s Dianna Russini, Wilson’s future with the Broncos is “unclear” with Sean Payton at the helm.

“It’s unclear whether Payton will stick with Russell Wilson at quarterback past this season. If the Broncos decide to move on from him, Wilson has another $37 million that becomes fully guaranteed on the fifth day of the 2024 league year in March,” Russini wrote in a story published October 14. “I would be surprised if Wilson is part of the Broncos’ future.”

The Broncos have not resembled a team ready to compete for a Lombardi Trophy in the Wilson era. Denver has gone 5-16 in his 21 starts with the team.

Wilson has improved statistically under Payton’s watch despite the Broncos’ struggles. Per ESPN, Wilson is on pace to finish the 2023 campaign with 34 touchdown passes, which would be higher than his average with the Seattle Seahawks (29.2).

Through six games, Wilson has thrown 12 touchdown passes. It took him until Week 16 of 2022 under former head coach Nathaniel Hackett to reach 12.

Sportscaster Asks, ‘What in the World Has Happened to Russell Wilson?’

The seemingly rapid decline of Wilson has been a topic of conversation in the Mile High City. One sportscaster asked a question that has hovered over the Broncos and their fan base since the 2022 season.

“What in the world has happened to Russell Wilson?” Rich Eisen wondered aloud on the October 13 episode of his radio show. “You couldn’t get him down. He would extend plays and extend plays and extend plays and look down the field and just wear you out with his legs and with his arm. And now he just looks worn out period.”

Eisen said there was no question that Wilson was on the path to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Now, with the exits of players like Randy Gregory and Frank Clark, Eisen questioned whether Payton was “pruning the tree.”

“Sean Payton said after the game, he’s disappointed but not discouraged because they tried hard,” Eisen said. “That just sounds to me like he’s just trying to keep a brave face on right now. He knows what’s going on, I imagine, with his team and everything else is going on, potentially down the road as well.”

Most Winnable Games Left for Broncos in 2023

Week 7 vs. Green Bay Packers: The Packers sit at 2-3 following a prime-time loss to the Raiders in Week 5. Jordan Love threw three brutal interceptions in the loss. Love has been noticeably up and down in his first season as the full-time starter in Green Bay.

Denver only has four interceptions on defense to start the year. Yet, Love is a young quarterback who can be forced into making mistakes. If they can capitalize, this game would be the ideal rebound for the Broncos on defense.

Week 16 vs. New England Patriots: It feels odd that the Patriots are one of the worst teams in the NFL. New England also has a 1-5 record and will have tough AFC East matchups against the Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins looming in back-to-back weeks.

The entire team has been a mess on the field. Everything has gone wrong for the Patriots, from the inconsistent play of quarterback Mac Jones to injuries to key players. Head coach Bill Belichick is staring a lost season directly in the face before Thanksgiving.

Week 18 at Las Vegas Raiders: Denver came close to defeating the Raiders in the season opener. The Broncos had several chances to win in Payton’s first game with the team.

Las Vegas has won two straight games over struggling opponents in the Packers and Patriots to even their record at 3-3. The .500 record has hidden the Raiders’ issues for the time being. Perhaps the Broncos’ rival will not be as fortunate in the second meeting between divisional foes.

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