BRONCOS

Russell Wilson’s podcast appearance felt like interview for next job

Feb 27, 2024, 4:00 AM

By now you’ve probably seen or heard the podcast interview Denver Broncos QB Russell Wilson did with former NFL wide receiver Brandon Marshall.

It’s an insightful conversation touching on all kinds of different topics, with of course Broncos Country most curious about when went down last year with Sean Payton.

Wilson spoke on the threat of being benched extensively, if he didn’t redo the injury-clause in his contract. And while Wilson described the Broncos actions as “illegal,” a source told Denver Sports’ Andrew Mason that’s simply not the case.

But rather get in the weeds on that subject, there was a bigger takeaway from Wilson’s nearly 85-minute long interview with Marshall. It felt like an interview for his next job. Specifically, Wilson saying the right things to an NFL head coach who might be looking for his new starting QB.

First, he spoke a ton about winning. The quote that’s getting the most run is the one about wanting to win two championships in the next five years. Some people like ESPN’s Damien Woody scoffed at it, while others liked Wilson’s relentless optimism.

“For me it’s about winning, over the next five years I want to win two (Super Bowls). I want to feel the chill of that trophy again,” Wilson told Marshall.

Wilson has touched the Lombardi Trophy once, but that was all the way back in 2014 at Super Bowl XLVIII. Ironically, his Seahawks beat the Broncos that night thanks to a historically good defensive performance against Peyton Manning and the rest of the offense.

Still, Wilson has reached the mountaintop. And he’s eager to get back. It might be just the message Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin or new Atlanta Falcons boss Raheem Morris want to hear.

“The thing I want to do man is win, that’s all I care about,” Wilson said.

After heaping praise on the city of Denver and saying he’d like stay, Wilson made it clear if it’s not with the Broncos that doesn’t change his goals.

“If it’s not there, though. I’ve gotta go to a place where we’re gonna win again. That’s what matters,” Wilson said.

Wilson also spoke about winning at his introductory press conference with the Broncos. He talked about wanting to play 10-12 more years and win three or four more Super Bowls. It looks like those expectations have been cut significantly.

Still, at the time fans in the Mile High City ate it up. We were all so desperate for a winning QB since Manning retired that we loved to hear it. Instead, Wilson went 11-19 in a Broncos uniform with his time in Colorado almost certainly over.

But Wilson knows how to spin that too. He knows he was dealt a tough hand with the incompetent Nathaniel Hackett in 2022 and then the mid-season benching threat in 2023. He can have a sympathetic story for other organizations to hear.

“I love the city and everything else, but you also want to be at a place that wants you too,” Wilson said.

He even talked about battling through a lat injury suffered in early 2022.

“For me, going to Denver, I was like, ‘I’ve gotta play through it.’ And I want to win. That’s all I care about, was winning. I’ve played through things before and won,” Wilson said.

Not only is he telling the world he played injured, but he did it because all he cares about is winning. That’s a nice pitch for a head coach to here.

Tomlin is looking for his first legitimate QB since Ben Roethlisberger retired a couple years ago. Morris has a talented offense in Atlanta, but needs the right man under center. Wilson certainly gave both a lot to chew on during his chat with Marshall.

And really, that was probably the goal. Why else would Wilson grant such a long and in-depth interview unless he was planting the seed for his next opportunity? It’s a smart move from the QB, but he didn’t just do this podcast out of the goodness of his heart.

No, this was Wilson trying to play chess with the rest of the league. And that means when he inevitably gets released, he can suit up for someone else while calling checkmate on the Broncos and making them pay his $39 million salary.

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