Broncos to let Wilson talk to teams before release



Before free agency begins next week, the Broncos have given soon-to-be-released quarterback Russell Wilson permission to immediately begin speaking and meeting with other teams in their home cities, sources told ESPN's Adam Schefter on Wednesday.

The Broncos announced Monday that they informed Wilson that he would be released after the 2024 league year begins March 13, a move that will end his tumultuous two-season run with the team.

In a statement released after the Broncos' announcement Monday, Wilson said, "Tough times don't last, but tough people do. God's got me. I am excited for what's next."

The Broncos went 11-19 in Wilson's starts over two seasons and failed to make the playoffs. Coach Sean Payton benched him with two games remaining in 2023, a move that in effect marked the end of the quarterback's career in Denver. He had passed for 3,070 yards with 26 touchdowns and eight interceptions before his benching.

The Broncos signed Wilson to a five-year, $242.6 million deal after his arrival in a blockbuster trade with the Seattle Seahawks in 2022. They will take on an $85 million hit in dead money over the next two seasons because of the release.

The tipping point of the very public divorce was likely the conversation between Wilson, his representatives and the Broncos during the team's Week 9 bye. The Broncos maintain that they wanted to find a "creative way'' for Wilson to waive, or adjust, a $37 million injury guarantee in his contract.

Wilson, 35, said he was told at the time that if he and his representatives didn't play financial ball, he would be pulled as the starter.

The Broncos, including general manager George Paton and owner/CEO Greg Penner, have said the discussions about potential financial or salary cap relief were in "good faith" and common in the league between a team and a player with such a lucrative, long-term deal.

The Broncos went all-in to acquire Wilson from the Seahawks, sending five draft picks, including two first-round and two second-round selections, as well as three players.

Wilson spent the first 10 seasons of his career with the Seahawks, during which he was selected to nine Pro Bowls and won a Super Bowl.

A third-round pick of Seattle in 2012, Wilson has thrown for 43,653 yards with 334 touchdowns and 106 interceptions in his career.

ESPN's Jeff Legwold contributed to this report.

Keywords: Russell Wilson The Denver Broncos 

  Reader Comments

You did not use the site, Click here to remain logged. Timeout: 60 second