In the ever-evolving world of NFL, Russell Wilson's role as the Denver Broncos' starting quarterback is under scrutiny. The prolific quarterback, who had previously carved a niche for himself with the Seattle Seahawks, was traded to the Broncos in the last season. Many had hoped that this move would mark a turning point for the Broncos, revitalizing their performance on the field. However, the season has witnessed a series of disappointing performances, bringing Wilson's capabilities into question.
With the Broncos currently standing at a dismal 1-4 for the 2023 season, following a recent loss to the New York Jets, criticism has been quick to follow. Shannon Sharpe, the outspoken former NFL player and now a popular podcast host, did not mince words on his Nightcap podcast. He commented, "The Broncos fall once again to the Jets. There was a noticeable tension between Sean Payton and Russ on the sidelines. Is this partnership nearing its end? The Broncos might as well start looking at options like Caleb Williams for the future."
Sharpe Doubts Wilson's Worth
Delving deeper, Sharpe continued, "Analyzing the Broncos' performance with Russ, it's evident that he's not the player he once was. Even my two or three-year-old kids could probably catch him if they chased him. This is not the Russell Wilson everyone anticipated." He further added, "With investments like three first-round picks, three second-round picks, a fifth-round pick, and not forgetting Russell's whopping five-year $245 million contract and Sean Payton's five-year $100 million deal, is a 1-4 score justifiable? Someone's got to answer for this."
The focus is now on Russell Wilson's mammoth contract with the Broncos. After his trade from the Seahawks in March 2022, Wilson inked a five-year deal worth $245 million, set to keep him with the Broncos until the 2028 NFL season, with $165 million guaranteed. Given the existing two years on his original contract, the extension essentially binds him for seven seasons with Denver. Yet, there's a twist. Data from Spotrac suggests that the Broncos have the option to terminate the contract in 2026. If exercised, Denver would incur a $31,200,000 cap hit, but it would also pave the way to explore other quarterback options.
Currently, for the season, Wilson's stats stand at 109-for-163 for 1,210 yards, with 11 touchdowns and two interceptions. Only time will determine if Wilson can recalibrate and lead the Broncos to former glories.