Russell Wilson interview likely cements he's leaving Broncos

Russell Wilson's interview with Brandon Marshall likely was the final nail in the coffin

Denver Broncos, Russell Wilson
Denver Broncos, Russell Wilson / Ethan Miller/GettyImages
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At the Super Bowl media week, Denver Broncos head coach Sean Payton said that the decision regarding quarterback Russell Wilson would be made sooner rather than later. Although the Super Bowl wasn't all that long ago, perhaps our definitions of sooner rather than later are different. As of Monday, February 26, there has been no official decision made regarding Wilson's future in Denver.

After listening to Russell Wilson's latest interview with former Broncos wide receiver Brandon Marshall, we're all starting to wonder if there's any future with him in Denver at all.

Wilson's interview with Marshall was a great one for a variety of reasons, highlighting various aspects of Wilson's career and personal life. There are reasons to listen beyond just the snippets you'll see floating around social media regarding his time with the Broncos and his current situation in Denver. But his comments regarding the Broncos and his contract situation are obviously important right now.

There is a lot going on in the interview as a whole, which you can find right here. Among other things in the interview, Wilson does seem to erroneously state the Broncos were told their actions regarding handling Wilson's contract situation were "illegal" by the NFL.

Ultimately, there's not much of a point in determining the "bad guy" in all of this. These comments by Wilson paint the Denver Broncos in a very negative light, and although Wilson states that he would like to continue playing in Denver, other things that he's saying within the interview seem to indicate otherwise. If you were motivated to stick around, why would you be airing all of this out in the open?

And as always, there are two sides to every story. We haven't heard much from the Broncos' side of things other than some clarification about the team approaching Russell Wilson's agent during the bye week last year and moving on after negotiations didn't go anywhere. There was this bit of information from Mike Klis of 9News in Denver as well:

With all of the bad PR the last couple of years, and Wilson taking so much on the chin for that 2022 season with Nathaniel Hackett in Denver, I think he's done the right thing by getting out ahead of this publicly. The narrative is that Wilson wants to stay in Denver, but basically that the Broncos are doing anything and everything to get him out of town. That's the perception pretty much everyone has right now, and that's because that's the way this saga has been portrayed in the media.

And it may also actually be the case. Wilson stated in the podcast interview that he wants to stay in Denver, but that he also wants to be where he's wanted. That statement clearly implied that he doesn't exactly feel wanted in Denver. But at the same time, he made comments about needing to compartmentalize and realizing the business of the NFL, and being able to not be too emotional regarding situations like this.

He certainly would need to compartmentalize if the Broncos were to say, you know what, we're going to keep Russ on the team in 2024. We're already paying him $39 million anyway, and we're not going to foot the bill for him to play for someone else.

Now, that would also come at the cost of $37 million in 2025, which would be a tough pill to swallow. And that $37 million in 2025 is the true point of contention here. The Broncos didn't determine that Russ was playing well enough from 2022 through the 2023 bye week to justify guaranteeing him $37 million for injury in 2025. Given the fact the Broncos were already on the hook for $87 million in fully guaranteed money before that, it's reasonable that they would ask Wilson to move off that injury guarantee.

It's also more than reasonable for Wilson to decline it. As he stated in the podcast, it would have set a bad precedent for other players to move injury guarantees, adding unnecessary risk with virtually no benefit to the player.

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At the end of the day, there are just so many mixed messages being sent. Russell Wilson is saying he loves Denver and he wants to play in Denver, but is it all just posturing? That's for the listeners to decide. It feels like the interview with Marshall has made it clear that the Broncos and Wilson are parting ways this offseason, even with all of the rumors that they could come to some sort of agreement.

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