5 players the Broncos were right to cut ties with after 2023

Which former Denver Broncos may not fare well on their new teams in 2024?
Denver Broncos
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It's been a fascinating offseason for the Denver Broncos in 2024, one which has included some moves nobody could have expected just two short years ago. The Broncos have moved on from a number of prominent veterans, including quarterback Russell Wilson, who was acquired in the biggest trade in franchise history and signed to the richest contract in franchise history months later.

But the Broncos were right to move on from Wilson, along with a number of other prominent players this offseason.

Let's take a look at the thought process behind some of the moves that might leave some sting, but were totally necessary for the Broncos.

1. Russell Wilson, QB, Steelers

The Denver Broncos' decision to cut Russell Wilson in the 2024 offseason was not one taken lightly by the team. This was a decision that almost undoubtedly would have had to be cleared by ownership back around the time Sean Payton was initially hired as the head coach of the team. The decision to hire Sean Payton almost undoubtedly came along with the expectation that Payton would get to decide beyond the 2023 season whether or not Wilson was going to stick around.

When Wilson was benched with two games remaining last year, the writing was on the wall. The Broncos are taking on the biggest dead cap number in franchise history at $85 million over the next two years (including $53 million in 2024) and moving on from the biggest trade in franchise history, a trade that cost them two first-round picks, two second-round picks, and three players.

But there was just no more justifying keeping Wilson, especially with an early trigger to guarantee $39 million in 2025 salary on his contract this offseason. Wilson played better in 2024 under Sean Payton than he did under Nathaniel Hackett in 2022, but he was also mostly healthy this past season. Even with that considered, the offense was held back in the passing game and Payton wanted his own guy.

And he got him. The Broncos selected Oregon Ducks star Bo Nix with the 12th pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. It's a new era for the Broncos, and with Russell Wilson already 35 going on 36 this year, it was time for the team to make a drastic decision like this.