The Denver Broncos have been eliminated from the playoffs with one week remaining in the 2023 season. The team moved on from Russell Wilson after last week's deflating loss at home against the New England Patriots, and Jarrett Stidham took his place in a Week 17 win over the hapless Los Angeles Chargers.
But Russell Wilson was benched rather unceremoniously. The relationship between Wilson and the Broncos has seemingly dissolved in many ways with Wilson's camp alleging that the Broncos threatened to make him inactive if he didn't eliminate an injury clause in his contract which would guarantee him $37 million for 2025.
It appears the Broncos have fought back with some of the league's top insiders getting behind the scenes information about the series of events, telling their side of the story and ultimately driving a wedge further between Russell Wilson and the organization for 2024.
The way the whole situation has been handled has also driven a massive wedge between members of Broncos Country, who seem to feel like they have to go to bat for Russell Wilson or Sean Payton in this whole fiasco. One way or the other, it doesn't look like Wilson is coming back to Denver in 2024, but time will tell.
If he doesn't, there are a handful of ways Russ can really stick it to the Broncos and get revenge if he so chooses.
1. Russell Wilson can make the most of "offset" language in his contract
Regardless if Russell Wilson plays for the Broncos or someone else in 2024, the team owes him $39 million in guaranteed money. The Broncos are on the hook for that amount no matter what, but if they do release Wilson, there's offset language in his contract that will allow him to sign for the veteran minimum elsewhere and stick the Broncos with the rest of the bill.
And the minimum salary for Wilson in 2024 would be somewhere around $1.2 million, so the Broncos would be on the hook for about $37.8 million. Yikes.
Wilson could sign for $15 million next season and that would actually help the Broncos. But why would Wilson help the Broncos in that particular way? I don't think he would. He could sign a two-year deal with someone and keep his base salary at $1.2 million to make sure the Broncos are hit where it hurts, or where Wilson seems to think they are most motivated in this whole situation.