The Russell Wilson experiment in Denver seems to be headed to ruins as the Broncos will likely be searching for a new starting quarterback this offseason. Following back-to-back underwhelming seasons as Denver's acclaimed "new franchise quarterback", the failed working relationships with head coaches Nathaniel Hackett and Sean Payton prove Wilson's declining play and likely exit. The best bet moving forward for the franchise is to rip the band-aid off now rather than digging themselves deeper in the financial hole of Wilson's contract.
However, a few weeks following general manager George Paton's press conference with the media, some have speculated the potential possibility of Wilson returning to Denver in 2024 as the team's starter, even after his benching in Week 17. "The door remains open with Russ", said Paton. Could this be a general manager's slick way of creating misconception that Wilson could be available for trade and not a cut candidate? Or are the Broncos seriously considering mending their relationship with Wilson?
3 reasons why Russell Wilson will NOT return to Denver:
1. Concerning contract
The Broncos are currently scheduled to pay Wilson $39M guaranteed in 2024 and he has made it well known to the public that he will not be pushing back his $37M injury guarantee date in 2025. Therefore, retaining Wilson forces the Broncos organization into an ever deeper hole with his contract making it more difficult to address other positions of need on the roster for years to come. Yes, the $85M dead cap hit will sting, however, a post-June 1st designation will make the situation a bit more feasible to work with from a financial standpoint.
Not to mention, if Wilson is on the roster after the first week of March, an additional $37M in guarantees will be triggered for his 2025 salary. The Broncos simply cannot justify the salary that is curating Russell Wilson.