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Payton & Paton: The ‘door is open’ for Wilson to return to the Broncos next season

The head coach added it would not be “a long, drawn-out process” but isn’t decided yet.

The Detroit Lions took on the Denver Broncos during week 15 of 2023 NFL season Photo by RJ Sangosti/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images

In his end-of-season presser, Sean Payton didn’t close the door completely on Russell Wilson remaining with the team next season.

“We’ll look at all the scenarios and try to do what’s best for the Broncos, but the final decision has not been made,” Payton said. “If it had been, it would have been ‘Ok, goodbye.’”

Asked about next steps with Wilson, Payton acknowledged that when they begin looking at the roster next week, the quarterback position is obviously the most significant.

“I spent half an hour with Russ yesterday and I told him, ‘Look, I don’t think it’s going to be a long, drawn-out process, but it hasn’t been decided relative to what our plans are,’” Payton said.

Payton hinted that his next pressers at the NFL Combine and/or Draft would be times to provide new information on the QB front.

“But as soon as we know something, certainly [Wilson] would be the first to know,” he added.

No doubt the decision hinges on a potential trade market for Wilson and/or the quarterback’s interest in reworking a contract that has not quite paid off on the Broncos’ side of things.

The guy responsible for that absurd contract two years ago - GM George Paton - also noted that “the door is open” for Wilson to remain.

Regardless of the possibility, Payton still didn’t hold back his disappointment in the offense’s performance throughout the season.

“Were we as good as we expected to be or wanted to be this season? No. Absolutely not,” he said. “I would say it is still heavy-duty work in progress. We’re not building on that foundation yet. We’re still putting fricking pilings in based on what I saw. Fair enough?”