The Broncos need to make amends with Russell Wilson

Russell Wilson deserves one more year in Denver.

Denver Broncos v Las Vegas Raiders
Denver Broncos v Las Vegas Raiders / Candice Ward/GettyImages

The Broncos and Russell Wilson ended the 2024 season on the tone of a messy high school breakup. One side felt like they did everything right and were wronged, the other side felt like they were just doing what was inevitable, and everyone had an opinion on what happened.

After a playoff push that ended just short, the Broncos very publicly benched Wilson for Jarrett Stidham, and the team went on to finish 8-9 and outside of the AFC playoff picture. Wilson played relatively well through his second season in Denver, and it felt as though for a couple of weeks he would be the man to take Denver back to the playoffs.

As Denver fell short in a critical home game against the horrible New England Patriots, it started to feel as though Wilson's tenure in Denver had fallen short. Shortly after, it was reported that Wilson will be benched and that the Broncos intend to cut him this spring. However, the Broncos need to learn an easy lesson that they should remember from their immediate days post-Payton Manning: the grass isn't always greener.

The Broncos need to keep that in mind when looking into their situation with Russell Wilson. No one is arguing that Wilson was a top-tier quarterback in the NFL last year, but Wilson carried his weight for the Broncos. Wilson limited the turnovers for the Broncos, helped propel Courtland Sutton to one of the more effective receiving seasons in the NFL last season, and was the NFL's best quarterback in the redzone.

The Broncos offense definitely had its struggles, but it is fair to ask how much of that actually falls on Wilson. The Broncos boasted the NFL's 17th-ranked rushing attack in terms of yards, but their production did not equate to what the Broncos were putting into their run game. The Broncos ran the ball the 17th most in the NFL, which was a clear shortcoming of their goal. The Broncos also struggled with playmaking on the outside, at tight end, and in the backfield.

Ultimately, the Broncos need to ask themselves if another year in the gutter with an $85 million dead cap from releasing Wilson is worth moving on. It might make more sense for the Broncos to hold out until after 2024 to release Wilson, and run it back with him for one more year. Worst case, if the 2024 Broncos fall short again and Russell Wilson is another reason why, then move on.

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But the Broncos are likely jumping the gun, and Sean Payton should keep Wilson around for one more year.