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Broncos to Release Russell Wilson

The Broncos are expected to release Russell Wilson, but what is next for the former Pro Bowl quarterback, and what do the Broncos do next?

It will be official soon enough, but the Denver Broncos will release Russell Wilson once the new league year starts. Wilson was traded to the Broncos in one of the worst trades in NFL history. The Broncos gave up multiple first and second-round picks plus a few players for Wilson’s service. The Broncos also signed Wilson to a five-year $224 million \contract once they acquired him. The team doesn’t seem worried about the money part since they will have a dead cap hit of $85 million, the most in NFL history. Where does that leave Wilson moving forward, and what does the Broncos offense look like now?

What’s Next For The Broncos?

The Broncos will no longer have their All-Pro quarterback, Wilson, so what is left for this quarterback room? The Broncos could go a couple of different directions, starting with Jarrett Stidham as their starting quarterback. Stidham was a guy that Sean Payton did sign once he took over the starting job in Denver. Stidham has taken over as the starting quarterback in his last two seasons(one season with the Raiders). In that four-game span, Stidham averaged 270 passing yards, 1.2 touchdowns, and an interception per game. In that span, he would be 1-3 as a starter.

It seems like Stidham will get that chance in 2024. Stidham has never seen a full action of games outside of the last two seasons. He is an average quarterback who is a game manager who can help manage the game but won’t be your difference-maker at quarterback. Stidham would need more help in that offense, which is mediocre with their talent already. That may work for the Broncos in that Sean Payton wants someone who doesn’t have that ego to need the ball. Similar to the mindset that Drew Brees had back in New Orleans. The Stidham trade market will ramp up, and it could be a great time to sell high on him as a potential starter. You can wait and risk it to see if the Broncos don’t go out in free agency and bring in a name or draft a quarterback.

Free Agency or the Draft

The Broncos could also go in a different direction, with free agency starting in a few weeks. A few players like Ryan Tannehill or Jacoby Brissett will make sense if they want a veteran who will work within the offense. You can be sure the Broncos won’t just have Jarrett Stidham and Ben DeNucci as their only quarterbacks to compete.

That leads me to the NFL draft next, so Sean Payton may want to start very fresh and bring in a young quarterback. Unfortunately, the Broncos pick twelve, so they may be out of the range to select a quarterback. J.J. McCarthy seems like a great pick, but the news is that he is moving up the draft boards so that he may be a top-five pick now. If not, the Broncos could look for Michael Penix Jr. or Bo Nix in that round two or three range. The Broncos cap situation may prevent them from going all-in on a quarterback.

What is Next For Rusell Wilson?

Wilson will be 36 years old during the 2024 season. The situation with the Broncos did not go well for Wilson, as he had some of the worst seasons of his career year. He averaged 3,200 yards, 21 touchdowns, and nine interceptions over two seasons. Wilson’s time in Seattle was more on the pace of 3,700 passing yards, 29 touchdowns, and eight interceptions.

(Photo Courtesy of Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire)

It wasn’t all Wilson’s fault for the failed experience in Denver. You had a terrible coaching regime come in during his first year and was fired before the season was over. You have a head coach now who likes things done a certain way, and Wilson and Payton were never on the same page.

If you look at Wilson’s talent around him over the last few years, it isn’t the level he had back in Seattle. Courtland Sutton is a fine receiver but a better WR2 for an NFL team. Jerry Juedy has never lived up to that potential bring draft in round one four years ago. The team has lost a decent starter in Tim Patrick for the last two years. They drafted Marvin Mims this year and didn’t use him to his full potential as a rookie. The tight end room lacked talent, with Greg Dulcich banged up over the last two seasons. Finally, the run game was inadequate for Denver during Wilson’s tenure.

Potential Landing Spots

Despite Wilson’s struggles in Denver, his game has some value, depending on where he lands now. A few teams could be looking for his service, like the Steelers, Raiders, and Falcons, who desperately need a starting quarterback with a solid offense. The Bucs and Vikings may look to Wilson if their current quarterbacks end up on different teams this offseason.

The likely landing spot for Wilson will be the Steelers or the Raiders. Both have strong backfields and a few weapons in the passing game that can help Wilson. At this point in Wilson’s career, he isn’t leveling up his weapons around him, but his weapons are keeping him to solid play on the field.

Before being released, Wilson was going for a 2024 second-round pick in many trades this offseason. Owners of Wilson may want to wait to sell him until he lands in a situation. Those who are contending may want to attempt to buy Wilson on the low for their team’s QB2/QB3 value. Wilson can still provide mid-range QB2 numbers with a few spike weeks that he finishes as a QB1. Wilson isn’t the same player he was from Seattle, but he can still solidly finish his NFL career.

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