BRONCOS

Russell Wilson has earned the right to be the Broncos QB in 2024

Nov 28, 2023, 5:00 AM | Updated: 5:18 pm

That Russell Wilson debate isn’t going to end up happening after all.

He’s earned the right to be the Denver Broncos QB in 2024 and beyond.

At 1-5, it looked like the whole offseason was going to be filled with questions about which quarterback the Broncos would select in the NFL Draft and how in the world they were going to get out of Wilson’s monster deal that kicks in next season. You know, the one that will pay him $242.5 million over the next five years.

It would have been an exhausting exercise, with more fighting in Broncos Country over the most controversial topic, and that was Wilson’s future.

But somehow, someway, that speculation is now dead. And thankfully, we’re talking about a 6-5 Broncos team that could make a miracle run to the playoffs after winning their fifth-straight game on Sunday. Oh how long ago September and October feel.

Wilson’s been excellent this season. Let’s just start with his red zone numbers. He’s thrown 17 touchdowns and zero interceptions. He’s completed 34-50 passes and has a passer rating of 116.7. When the Broncos need six points, Wilson has been clutch more times than not.

Overall, he’s thrown 20 touchdowns, which is tied for fifth in the NFL. He’s in the same company with Josh Allen, Dak Prescott, Tua Tagovailoa, Patrick Mahomes and Justin Herbert. That’s exactly the type of player GM George Paton thought he was trading for when he gave up a massive haul of players and picks to acquire Wilson in the spring of 2022.

And even though he’s only 21st in the league in yards, the Broncos don’t need him to throw for a massive total each week. On the backs of their defense forcing an absurd amount of turnovers and a running game that’s averaging 115.5 yards per contest, the Broncos have found a formula that works for them.

Wilson deserves a ton of credit. After the 70-20 beatdown in Miami it looked like his time in Denver would go down as one of the worst trades in NFL history. It’s amazing what a stretch of really good football can do for a man’s career and the support of the city he plays in.

It’s cool to like Wilson again. It’s fun to cheer for him. And his unwavering belief that the Broncos could get thing this turned around should be applauded.

Look, we see the evidence of it every week, but former Broncos head coach Nathaniel Hackett literally almost ruined Wilson’s career. His numbers were awful in 2022, he was punchline around the league and many wondered if Wilson had killed his future Hall of Fame hopes.

But the question of whether or not it was a Hackett problem or a Wilson problem has been answered emphatically. The Jets absolutely stink on offense, and Wilson is flourishing. It’s very clear Hackett did indeed do one of the worst coaching jobs of all-time and Wilson suffered because of it.

With 10 rookie QBs starting in the NFL this season, a record, it’s not a fun time to be looking for a quarterback. Teams are desperate as some of the greats have exited for good and there simply aren’t enough capable young ones to replace them.

That’s why the idea of going quarterback shopping this offseason sounds awful. Luckily, the Broncos don’t have to. Wilson’s earned the job and as long as he keeps playing well he can finish his career in Denver and hopefully be under center for the Broncos for several more seasons.

It’s a credit to head coach Sean Payton, showing he could leave the comfy TV set and “fix” Wilson. Again, the fixing was mostly getting away from Hackett, but Payton’s certainly done his part.

The Broncos will enter this spring with some questions and holes to be filled. What those are remains to be seen, especially after hopefully playing in their first playoff game since 2015.

Luckily, who the QB will be moving forward isn’t one of them.

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