During the Denver Broncos Week 14 beatdown of the Los Angeles Chargers, cameras captured a wholesome sideline interaction between Russell Wilson and Sean Payton. Before the season began and after Payton took the Broncos head coaching job, many people within Broncos Country were wondering if this marriage between coach and QB would work.
I even saw a lot of people within the NFL circle saying that Payton doesn't really want to "work" with Russell Wilson and is just going to cut him at the end of the year and bring his own QB in. Well, if you dig into some of Payton's offseason comments about his QB, you'll see that he was very complimentary of him.
Wilson has largely been solid this year. He's been efficient. He's got really good numbers, and when you look across the NFL at all the bad QB play, the Broncos having Russell Wilson under center is a huge advantage. Well, Wilson had perhaps his worst game of the year in Week 13 versus the Houston Texans, and Broncos Country overreacted.
People were then saying things like, "Oh, there's no way that Payton will bring Wilson back in 2024" and that could be correct. Wilson has a nearly $40 million guaranteed amount for 2025 that kicks in during the beginning of this coming free agency period, so Denver is going to have to decide on Wilson's fate beyond 2024 at the end of the season, but when you see interactions like this, it's hard to envision Payton cutting ties with his QB:
You can clearly see Sean Payton smiling ear to ear as Wilson comes over to embrace his coach after the team's late touchdown on a beautifully designed play that left TE Adam Trautman wide open. Payton even gave Wilson one of those loving-type of pushes at the end. It's clear that the two have a solid working relationship and it's clear that Wilson has fully bought into what Payton is doing.
And the Denver Broncos are 6-1 in their last seven games, which is the best record in the NFL over that span. I truly do find it hard to believe that the Denver Broncos are going to cut ties with Russell Wilson at the end of the season, especially if the team were to win 10 or 11 games and make the playoffs. It'd be a different discussion if the Broncos had a promising rookie QB waiting in the wings.
Then don't right now, and I think that could be a huge reason why Wilson sticks around for year two with Sean Payton. There doesn't seem to be an appreciable upgrade available for QB over Wilson, so why would the Broncos cut ties with DangeRuss?