3 reasons why Russell Wilson will not return to Broncos in 2024

3 reasons why QB Russell Wilson will be playing elsewhere in 2024...

Denver Broncos v Las Vegas Raiders
Denver Broncos v Las Vegas Raiders / Ethan Miller/GettyImages
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2. Jarrett Stidham's "spark"

Of the three reasons, this may be the most obvious. For nearly 10 times less the average annual salary of Wilson's, quarterback Jarrett Stidham produced nearly the same production on the field in two starts as Wilson did in 15. Also, with much less NFL experience and zero first-team reps until Week 17, Stidham was able to look like a competent quarterback in the pocket and operate the field at a much higher level than Wilson who has played 12 years in the league.

In the final two games, Stidham completed 40 of 66 passing attempts for 496 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception while converting 19 first downs through the air. While it was a small sample size, Stidham was on pace to throw for over 161 first downs if he had started all 17 games. Through the first 15 games with Wilson as the team's signal-caller, Denver ranked 30th in the NFL with a horrible 135 passing first downs. Wilson converted just 41 third downs through the air in 2023 which ranked 22nd among all quarterbacks. He ranked lower than quarterbacks like Bryce Young, Joshua Dobbs, and Desmond Ridder.

While Denver did emphasize running the football at a high volume midway through the season, it was because of Wilson's inability to put a game on his shoulders when needed -- i.e. Week 13 in Houston. There is just no reasonable justification for Wilson to quarterback the offense as one of the league's highest-paid players to provide the Broncos 'middle of the pack' production if Stidham can provide the exact same play, if not better.