Much was made about Sean Payton potentially moving on from Russell Wilson at the end of the 2023 NFL Season and starting over. But for the long-term future of the team, keeping Wilson for another year or two makes the most sense. The NFL is a quarterback-driven league. Duh. "Thanks, Captain Obvious."
But what makes the NFL extremely special and why it's so hard to win in this league is that there might be 5-7ish players at the position who are truly elite and who can will their teams to victory any given week. Below that tier are the good-not-great quarterbacks that teams can most definitely win with. You know, the Jared Goffs, Deshaun Watsons, and Kyler Murrays of the world.
Well, for Denver Broncos' QB Russell Wilson, he was once that truly elite QB who could will his team to victory at any point. And honestly, we've seen shades of that at times in the 2023 NFL Season. Remember, this is his first year playing in Sean Payton's offense and third different offense in as many years, so it's not like he's been immersed in this playbook for multiple seasons.
Wilson has proven to still have it. Many thought he was washed in 2022, but they were wrong. Wilson has thrown for 16 touchdown passes against just four interceptions this year. His passer rating is over 100 and just a smidge higher than his career rating. It's clear that the QB is still effective. My first question to you all would be: why should the Denver Broncos rush to get rid of Wilson?
He's on pace to throw for 34 touchdown passes and about 9 interceptions. He's been very efficient. He hasn't been perfect by any means, but my goodness, he's thrown half the amount of interceptions that Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen have. Russell Wilson has brought stability to the position, and if the Broncos can scrape together a few more wins, they'll be out of range to land Drake Maye or Caleb Williams.
If that's the case, for the long-term future of the team, it makes a ton of sense to keep Wilson around for another year or two. At this point, we can guarantee that Sean Payton will eventually take a chance on a QB, likely in the first or second rounds of the NFL Draft. That could be next year's draft. That could be in 2025, or even 2026. If that's the case, why would Payton want to move on from Wilson this year? To me, it makes no sense.
I do think it's reasonable to think that the QB can take another step forward in this offense and be even better in 2024. If that's the case, the Broncos would have an even better QB, likely meaning Wilson would be in that top-10 range once again. Also, keeping Wilson around for another year or two allows the Broncos to focus on filling holes on their defense and perhaps building a more consistent stable of skill players on offense.
The quarterback is not the problem for the Denver Broncos; not even close, so Wilson remaining in Denver for another couple of years makes a ton of sense.