Russell Wilson’s Future with the Denver Broncos: An In-Depth Analysis

In a surprising turn of events, the 2024 NFL free agent class may witness the inclusion of seasoned quarterback Russell Wilson. Reports from The Athletic’s Dianna Russini suggest that Wilson anticipates being cut by the Denver Broncos in March, shedding light on a developing situation that has captured the attention of football enthusiasts.

Broncos’ Decision to Bench Wilson

The decision to bench Wilson surfaced recently when backup Jarrett Stidham assumed the quarterback role, a move that raised eyebrows across the NFL landscape. The Broncos, currently standing at 7-8 and facing slim playoff chances, made this strategic shift in an effort to inject vitality into their offensive gameplay. Head coach Sean Payton emphasized the team’s pursuit of a spark, downplaying any direct link to Wilson’s contract.

“I understand all the speculation,” Payton stated, “but the number one push behind this decision is to get a spark offensively.”

Wilson’s Contract Dilemma

The intricate details of Wilson’s contract further complicate this situation. At 35 years old, Wilson is guaranteed $39 million for the upcoming season, with an additional $37 million in injury guarantees for 2025 if he remains on the roster by March 17, 2024. The Broncos, wary of their financial commitments, reportedly sought a contract adjustment in late October. However, despite involvement from legal representatives, no modifications were made.

Should Denver decide to release Wilson before the critical March 17 date, they face a substantial financial burden. A staggering $85 million in dead cap money for 2024 awaits them, according to Spotrac. Alternatively, a post-June 1 designation would still result in significant dead money—$35.4 million for 2024 and $49.6 million for 2025.

The High Cost of Acquiring Wilson

Denver’s acquisition of Wilson in March 2022 was marked by a hefty price tag, including two first-rounders and two second-rounders. Subsequently, the Broncos committed to a substantial five-year, $245 million extension ahead of the 2022 campaign. However, this all-in gamble has not yielded the expected results. Wilson’s inaugural season with the Broncos resulted in a disappointing 4-11 record, contributing to the team’s overall 5-12 performance.

Hopes Dashed: Wilson’s Struggles in Denver

Optimism surrounded the arrival of Head Coach Sean Payton in the offseason, with expectations that he could reignite Wilson’s Pro Bowl form. While Wilson’s performance has seen improvement compared to his lackluster 2022 season, it has not been sufficient to alleviate Denver’s offensive woes. The team currently ranks 16th in scoring, 20th on third down, 22nd in the red zone, 25th in passing, and 31st in goal-to-go situations, as per ESPN.

Wilson’s Perspective and What Lies Ahead

As this situation unfolds, Wilson remains tight-lipped to the media but hinted at anticipation for the future through a social media post. The looming question is whether the Broncos will indeed part ways with the decorated quarterback, paving the way for Wilson’s entry into the 2024 free agent class.


The dynamics surrounding Russell Wilson’s potential departure from the Denver Broncos add an intriguing layer to the unfolding NFL narrative. The financial implications, coupled with on-field struggles, underscore the complexities faced by both player and team as they navigate a critical juncture in their professional relationship. As March approaches, all eyes will be on Denver to see how this high-stakes decision shapes the landscape of the 2024 NFL free agency.


1. Why did the Broncos bench Russell Wilson?

The Broncos benched Wilson to spark their offense and improve their chances in the remaining games of the season. Head Coach Sean Payton emphasized the need for an offensive spark as the primary motivation for the quarterback change.

2. What are the financial implications if the Broncos release Wilson?

If the Broncos release Wilson before March 17, they face a substantial financial burden, with $85 million in dead cap money for 2024. A post-June 1 designation would still result in significant dead money—$35.4 million for 2024 and $49.6 million for 2025.

3. Did Wilson’s contract negotiations contribute to his benching?

While contract negotiations were in play, Head Coach Sean Payton stated that the decision to bench Wilson was primarily driven by the team’s need for offensive improvement, not directly tied to contract issues.

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