Broncos Asked Russell Wilson To Adjust 2025 Injury Guarantee; QB’s Benching Was Contemplated Midseason

Jan 8, 2023; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson (3) prepares to pass in the first quarter against the Los Angeles Chargers at Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Broncos made a potentially franchise-altering move on Wednesday by benching Russell Wilson.

 

 

Given his struggles in Denver across the past two seasons and the nature of his contract, it is widely believed his time with the team has come to an end.

 

 

In the wake of the news regarding Wilson’s demotion, Bleacher Report’s Jordan Schultz reported the Broncos first threatened to bench Wilson after their upset win over the Chiefs on October 29.

 

The reason for that action, both then and with today’s move of making it official, he notes, was tied to the timing of Wilson’s 2025 injury guarantee.

 

If on the roster on the fifth day of the 2024 league year, Wilson’s mega-pact would trigger $37MM in 2025 money.

 

 

Schultz adds the Broncos asked the former Super Bowl winner to delay the time at which that clause kicked in.

 

Further reports (including from Denver7’s Troy Renck) have corroborated that, with the latter noting the Broncos

intended to have Wilson compete for the starting role this offseason without having a guarantee in place for the following year.

 

To no surprise, the 35-year-old did not acquiesce to that plan.

 

During the time after Denver’s attempt to remove the 2025 guarantees, the NFL, NFLPA and an

 

“unknown party” took part in negotiations over the matter, per Schultz and Mark Maske of the Washington Post.

 

In the end, no adjustments were made to Wilson’s contract, leaving the Broncos in a unenviable financial position.

 

With a substantial dead cap charge looming, the team is positioned to release him and begin another search process for a long-term answer under center.

 

When addressing the matter publicly, head coach Sean Payton admitted that “economics” were

 

A factor in the decision to essentially put a firm end to the Wilson era in the Mile High City.

 

Since he will dress as the backup this week, though, the possibility remains the longtime Seahawk could be thrust back into action and thus put himself at risk for injury.

 

Still alive for the playoffs, Denver’s middling offense will rely on Jarrett Stidham at the QB spot to finish the season.

 

Following that, Payton (whose relationship with Wilson has been the source of plenty of speculation during the year) will likely be heavily involved in the search process for a new quarterback.

 

That, coupled with Wilson’s first career foray into free agency – presuming the team follows through with his release – will be among the league’s top 2024 offseason storylines.

 

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