BRONCOS

Broncos QB choice could come down to Sean Payton wanting to ‘win now’

Feb 10, 2024, 8:30 PM

LAS VEGAS — Sean Payton begins draft meetings on Monday. And those meetings will take place in the prism of the status of Russell Wilson.

All signs point to an end of the road for Wilson and the Broncos. Which leads to the question of what comes next. And the answer to that may depend on the Broncos’ timeline for returning to relevance.

That timeline may be a short one, according to longtime radio host and former NFL defensive lineman Mike Golic.

“Sean wants to win now, so you find whether it’s a trade or a free agent, you find somebody who you feel can be that guy,” Golic said from Radio Row at Super Bowl LVIII.

“And if you want to draft a quarterback, too, and have a vet bridge, that’s cool, but I think you still want to hit the ground running with the team you have.”

A DECISION LED BY SEAN PAYTON

And ultimately, what Payton wants will drive the decision … just as benching Russell Wilson was driven by what the coach wants from his quarterback.

“You’re not bringing in Sean Payton and then telling him, ‘Russell Wilson is going to be your quarterback for the next five years because we did an extension,” Golic said.

“Sean Payton gets to make his own decision on that, and his decision was to move on, and then you’ve gotta figure out everything else, from cap money to dead money to dead cap hits. It gets pretty intensive behind the scenes with that.”

And that’s part of what Sean Payton and the Broncos will have to figure out.

“It seemed that Sean Payton wanted to move on and didn’t want to take the chance of not only owing — but then getting in salary-cap hell,” Golic said. “But still, Russell can go play for somebody else at a small amount and Denver’s picking up the tab.”

Golic can be heard Sunday on 104.3 The Fan, as he will be an on-field reporter on Westwood One’s radio coverage of Super Bowl LVIII.

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