Broncos say the door is still open for Russell Wilson to return as QB
Jan 9, 2024, 1:41 PM
Don’t count on QB Russell Wilson leaving the Denver Broncos just yet.
That was a big theme of the press conferences held on Tuesday by head coach Sean Payton and general manager George Paton.
Both decision makers in Denver, as well as CEO Greg Penner, aren’t kicking Wilson to the curb… for now. Even after Wilson was benched for the Broncos final two games of the season, they’re insistent no decision has been made yet on the quarterback’s future.
“There’s so many things that go into a decision, specific to the quarterback, which is significant, obviously. It’s too early, at all. I spent a half an hour with Russ yesterday. I told him, I said 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 told the media.
He added they won’t leave Wilson and his representation in the dark for too long.
“As soon as we know something, certainly he would be the first to know,” Payton said.
Asked more about the meeting with Wilson on Monday, Payton made it clear that nothing was finalized.
“Yeah, listen, otherwise it would’ve been like ‘hey goodbye.’ We’ll look at all the scenarios and try to do what’s best for the Broncos. Communication will be important and yeah, that final decision hasn’t been made,” Payton said.
Things got messy this season, as Wilson said the Broncos threatened to bench him after the win against the Chiefs if he didn’t redo the injury guarantee is his massive $245 million contract set to kick in next season.
Paton spoke on that, dodging the question multiple times if Denver told Wilson he wouldn’t play. Instead, Paton echoed the head coach on Wilson’s potential future with the Broncos.
“The door remains open with Russ. I’ve had good conversations with Russ. Sean’s had good conversations. The door is open,” Paton said. “We’ll visit with the coaching staff, scouting staff. We’ll visit with Russ and his people and we’ll go from there.”
The Broncos will be on the hook for more than $80 million in dead salary cap space if they cut Wilson this spring. They could take it all at once, or spread it out over two seasons.
Backup Jarrett Stidham was largely unimpressive in the two games he started, so maybe there’s a scenario where Payton, Paton and Penner make this work.
In the meantime, believe them or not, they say no decision has been made yet on Wilson’s future.