Even before the news broke earlier this week, the Russell Wilson trade was considered one of the worst in NFL history. There may be very little debate left, as it was announced that he’d be released after the season, making Wilson’s time in Denver both wildly unsuccessful and wildly expensive.
Broncos Paid Russell Wilson $142 Million Per Win
Russell Wilson is going to walk from the Broncos with $142 million dollars after delivering 11 wins. He hasn’t been wronged.
— Wildes (@kevinwildes) December 29, 2023
The Seattle Seahawks parted ways with their long-time franchise quarterback during the 2022 off-season, dealing him to the Denver Broncos in exchange for players and draft capital. Wilson then signed a gaudy, 5-year contract worth just shy of a quarter of a billion dollars, a rich deal for a 33-year-old that ended up being the reason for his benching for the final two games of the season and upcoming release.
The performance simply didn’t match the payout, and the Broncos are looking to cut their losses. But that doesn’t mean that Wilson didn’t receive a healthy payout from the team during his short time in Denver.
Russell Wilson will have earned $142 million for two years of his services, a time in which he delivered a total of 11 wins. That comes out to just shy of $13 million per victory.
Where Does Denver Look For A QB?
Denver is expected to release him. pic.twitter.com/pjThKYtx1v
— JPAFootball (@jasrifootball) December 30, 2023
Where do both sides go from here? Thanks to their mid-season hot streak, the Broncos have played themselves out of contention for one of the top picks in the upcoming draft, and they don’t have much in the way of tradable picks in order to move up. They could target one of the second-tier QBs later in the first round, or select a project with their 3rd rounder.
Or they could hit the free agent market, though the current options are thin. Kirk Cousins will likely be available, but the next best projected quarterbacks are guys like Ryan Tannehill, Baker Mayfield, and Sam Darnold.
Of course, Wilson will be a free agent as well. There are betting odds available for where he might land, and the Vikings and Patriots currently lead the pack. But there will be interest from plenty of quarterback-hungry franchises, though none that will be willing to give him anywhere near the money he got with the Broncos.
Jarrett Stidham will start the final two games for Denver. He has started two games in his four-year career, both in 2022 with the Las Vegas Raiders.