Exploring every option for the Broncos with Russell Wilson
The Denver Broncos are not moving off of Russell Wilson this offseason, but for those who have called for it, here’s how that would look next year. I will literally eat my shoe if the team moves off of him after this year. It won’t happen, but many in the fanbase have already called for the team to cut ties somehow.
It would be a financially incompetent process no matter what path they’d take, but it would not cripple them financially forever, obviously. The most likely scenario is that the team brings in a coaching staff that is likely more qualified and understands how to get the most out of the quarterback.
That process of assembling a list of coaches to interview has likely already started, as I bet the team will very quickly fire Hackett when the season ends and will soon begin their search. However, if the team ultimately decides that Russell Wilson is not worth it anymore, what could their options be?
Denver Broncos’ options with Russell Wilson
The first option with Russell Wilson is to simply keep him on the team with his current contract. The cap number in 2023 is only $22 million, which is pretty low overall. This is what is going to happen and this should not come as a surprise to anyone.
The next option is saying “Screw it, let’s cut our losses” and to cut him. Cutting him with a pre-June 1st designation means the team would have $107 million in dead cap charges in 2023 and would lose $85 million in cap space.
The dead cap falls to $85 million in 2024, $49.6 million in 2025, and goes all the way down to $4.4 million in 2028, where the Broncos would also receive $50 million in cap savings.
The most likely scenario, if the Broncos were to cut him, would be to make it a post-June 1st designation. They would eat $39 million in dead money and lose $17 million on the cap in 2023.
In 2024, the dead cap falls to $35.4 million and the cap savings goes up to $0. By 2025, the cap savings is actually more than the dead cap, so by 2025, you are essentially above water.
The next option here is trading him with a post-June 1st designation. I’m not sure there’s a single team who would trade for him and his current contract, but the Broncos would have $14 million in dead money in 2023 to go with $8 million in cap savings.
Both of those numbers will increase and decrease appropriately until 2028 when the team has $4.4 million in dead money and $50 million in cap savings.
The Broncos could also restructure his contract, which frees up about $5.5 million in 2023, $12.6 million in 2024, and $26.8 million in 2025.
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As we can clearly see, it’s not financially feasible to do much with his contract outside of restructuring it.