Sean Payton accidentally admits Broncos planning for “next” QB

Feb 27, 2024, 9:27 AM

Denver Broncos head coach Sean Payton met the media at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis on Tuesday.

And Payton provided the most firm timeline yet for a decision on the future of Broncos QB Russell Wilson, while accidentally slipping up and talking about the “next one.”

It seems more clear than ever Wilson has played his last down in a Denver uniform. Take a listen for yourself thanks to Troy Renck from Denver 7.

“I think we’re going to know fairly quickly. I said it at the Super Bowl, but I think more specifically, somewhere in the neighborhood of next week,” Payton said of when a Wilson decision will come. “I would anticipate it being within the next two weeks.”

And while Payton said next week, or within the next two weeks, that might just be semantics. The Broncos will have more than $80 million in dead salary cap money once they inevitably move on, something Payton touched on while speaking about the future at the position.

“We better,” Payton said when asked if the Broncos need to get this right. “In this league, which is obviously very competitive, in our division, I think it’s vital.”

And while that would’ve been a sufficient answer, Payton kept going.

“I saw this humorous meme the other day and there’s a Bronco fan with a shirt on and there was like eight quarterbacks names with a cross through it,” Payton said. “Our job is to make sure that this next one doesn’t have a line through it.”

It’s an extremely telling quote and the clearest sign yet that Payton intends to release Wilson and do it soon. When you’re talking about the “next” guy not having a line through his name, that means Payton knows he must get the future quarterback of the Broncos correct.

Whether that be in the draft or free agency remains to be seen, but it’s not going to be Wilson.


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