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Broncos playing their cards about Wilson close to the vest

The Denver Broncos seem unsure of Russell Wilson’s future in Denver. Is it really that unclear?

Denver Broncos v Las Vegas Raiders Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

For some strange reason, the Denver Broncos are playing coy about their future plans with the quarterback Russell Wilson. Why in the world would it be so unclear?

My first thought is that they are trying to get Wilson to buy into slimming his contract down to a more feasible level to stay for a couple more years. That’s my initial knee-jerk thought, but I don’t honestly give it much merit for a couple of reasons. For one thing, Wilson isn’t going to take a pay cut. He’s nothing if not about his brand and earning potential. The other thing is I don’t think for a second that Sean Payton is married to the idea of needing Wilson to be able to compete next year.

The problem with this marriage in the first place is that Wilson is not the kind of QB that Sean Payton needs to make his offense hum. All of the skills Payton keys in on when looking for a QB are things that Wilson lacks: quick read ability, timing throws over the middle, and the ability to run a large playbook.

The next thought that comes to mind is that maybe the Broncos are trying to line up a trade to a team that needs Wilson’s service. The problem with that idea is that I can’t think of a team that would be dumb enough to trade for that overblown contract that the Broncos gave Wilson. Why would they when they can just wait for him to be released, sign him to a minimum contract for the first year, and let the Broncos pay his salary?

Finally, I think the most likely reason the Broncos are playing coy is because they want to handle the situation with some level of class. Russell Wilson played his ass off for this team. While that didn’t translate to wins, at some level you have to appreciate him coming to work and leaving it out there on the field (which he absolutely DID do). Dumping him in the first press conference after the end of a losing season seems like a slight to the guy. I expect they will part ways but in a respectful amount of time.

Broncos News:

‘We’re just as impatient as you are to win’: Owner & CEO Greg Penner sees progress in 2023 season, speaks to Broncos fans about higher expectations for future
“This is a proud franchise," Penner said. "We grade ourselves by our winning record, and this year, we didn’t meet our expectations."

‘There’s still a lot of work to be done’: HC Sean Payton recaps 2023 progress and details next steps
“My appetite is where it should be — a little bit stronger,” said Payton when asked if 2023 was a success.

Broncos head coach Sean Payton: 'Final decision hasn't been made' on Russell Wilson
Russell Wilson 's benching for the season's final two weeks was viewed as the precursor to a divorce, but on Tuesday, Denver Broncos head coach Sean Payton insisted the door isn't closed on a possible return, saying that no decision has been made.

Broncos open to Russell Wilson's return but say no call made yet - ESPN
Broncos owner/CEO Greg Penner, general manager George Paton and coach Sean Payton all left the door open Tuesday for Russell Wilson to return in 2024.

George Paton explains why Broncos will not be in first wave of free agency - Denver Sports
The Broncos were active at the start of free agency this year. Don't expect that to be the case in 2024 as they look to internal replacements.

Joel Klatt knows which national championship QB could help Broncos right away - Denver Sports
Joel Klatt of Fox Sports likes J.J. McCarthy and Michael Penix Jr. ... but in his eyes, one is clearly a better NFL QB prospect at this time.

The hamstring of Greg Dulcich is 'great,' but now he has 'weird' foot injury - Denver Sports
The hamstring of Greg Dulcich feels "good," and his weight is down ... but now it's a foot injury suffered Dec. 13 that is cause for concern.

Other NFL News:

Cowboys' Jerry Jones clarifies comments on Mike McCarthy's future: 'I couldn't be more pleased'
Following the Cowboys' victory over the Commanders to close the season with an NFC East title, Jerry Jones raised some eyebrows when he wouldn’t fully commit to Mike McCarthy's future. He clarified those remarks days later.

NFL playoffs: Which AFC/NFC teams are most likely to hit Super Bowl LVIII? Who'll lift Lombardi Trophy?
Which AFC and NFC teams are most likely to reach Super Bowl LVIII? Who's the favorite to lift the Lombardi Trophy? Cynthia Frelund crunched the numbers to find probabilities for all 14 teams in the NFL playoffs.

NFL contract incentive winners include Baker Mayfield, Jordan Love - ESPN
If Week 18 celebrations seemed a little excessive, it might have been due to players hitting their incentives.

Titans fire coach Mike Vrabel after six seasons - ESPN
The Tennessee Titans have fired coach Mike Vrabel, the team announced Tuesday.

Steelers rule T.J. Watt out; Mason Rudolph to remain QB1 vs. Bills - ESPN
Steelers coach Mike Tomlin ruled T.J. Watt (knee) out for Sunday's playoff game at Buffalo and said Mason Rudolph would remain the starting quarterback.

Jets' Garrett Wilson 'appreciative' after venting to team about frustrations - ESPN
Garrett Wilson said he was "appreciative" of the Jets for letting him vent about his frustrations and he's satisfied that the team will try to address his concerns.