Tom Pelissero spoke with DNVR Broncos recently and definitely had some interesting things to say about Russell Wilson and his future with the Broncos. When Russell Wilson was benched late in the 2023 NFL Season, I think most of us just assumed that his Broncos career would come to an end during this offseason.
However, there is also the other side of that coin-- the Broncos may have benched Russell Wilson to avoid paying any part of his 2025 salary. The move could very easily be viewed as a financial one, since his performance was not living up to the massive contract. In speaking with DNVR Broncos recently, NFL Insider Tom Pelissero did not rule out Wilson returning to the team in 2024:
Pelissero indicates that Wilson could "survey the landscape" and might recognize that the best possible situation for him at this point in his career might be to remain with the Broncos. Fellow Broncos X (Twitter) user Jason Bishop summarized what Pelissero had to say:
I do think there was some to like about what Wilson and the offense did in 2023. The deep passing game was there. The QB definitely still has some juice in his legs, and the Broncos offense, while not that efficient, did show some grit with late-game heroics. I don't think it's impossible to think that there isn't another NFL team who is actively wanting Russell Wilson as their starter.
And if the Super Bowl-winning QB does return, that doesn't mean Denver wouldn't draft a QB. Russell Wilson is entering his age-36 season in 2024, so he is certainly down to the final few years of average QB play. Wilson returning in 2024 does also give the offense a bit more continuity as well. You also have to figure that additions will be made at wide receiver and tight end, so maybe the passing game can improve just on personnel alone.
I am not advocating one way or another for Wilson to return or to play on a new team, but I do think there are active conversations ongoing about the possibility that he does. Statistically, he was solid in 2023. He was responsible for 29 total touchdowns and just eight interceptions. If he hadn't gotten benched, Wilson would have likely had a shot at the Comeback Player of the Year award.
And remember, this was a team that started 1-5 and were 7-6 at one point, thanks to a five-game winning streak, which Wilson played a huge part of. If the Broncos even started 3-3 instead of 1-5, the team would have likely squeezed their way into the playoffs this year. Sean Payton might see a sliver of hope that this team can make something happen in 2024 with Wilson under center, added talent along the defensive line, and another viable pass-catcher or two on offense.
There is a non-zero possibility that Russell Wilson is back with the Denver Broncos in 2024.