Denver Broncos head coach Sean Payton talks with quarterback Russell Wilson Sep 17, 2023; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Broncos head coach Sean Payton talks with quarterback Russell Wilson (3) in the fourth quarter against the Washington Commanders at Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Broncos fell deeper out of the playoff race in the AFC thanks to their Christmas Day upset loss to the New England Patriots. And it now looks like they are preparing for their future, making a somewhat surprising decision on star quarterback Russell Wilson.

Wilson’s tenure in Denver has not gone to plan whatsoever. The former Super Bowl champion famously struggled in his first year with the team last season, only winning four games as the team’s starter. And things have only been marginally better this year.

There is now a lot that needs to go the Broncos’ way at the end of the season for them to potentially sneak into the postseason. And with that in mind, the team has opted to bench Russell Wilson in a move that will ensure some financial flexibility in the future.

According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Jarrett Stidham will be the Broncos starter for their final two games of the regular season.

The reason for this decision is reportedly strictly a financial one. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Wilson would be owed an additional $37 million that would be guaranteed if he weren’t able to pass a physical by March. Sitting him for the rest of the season will ensure that he is healthy and will not receive that fully guaranteed money.

This of course puts some doubt into Wilson’s future in Denver. This could clearly be an indication that the team is trying to move on from Wilson, and his massive contract in the upcoming offseason.

However, if the team is unable to find a trade for Wilson and plans on releasing him, they would need to eat a ton of dead cap space in order to do so.

It seems like the most advantageous course of action for the Broncos if they are ready to move on from Wilson is to attempt to trade him to a quarterback-needy team in the offseason.

Wilson’s individual performance this season actually hasn’t been all that bad. The veteran quarterback ranks inside the top ten in the league in several important passing statistics, including touchdown passes and passer rating.

It seems like the Broncos are more done with Wilson’s contract than his actual play on the field for the team. But regardless, it sure seems like we may be quickly approaching the end of the Russell Wilson era in Denver.

[Ian Rapoport on Twitter/X]

About Reice Shipley

Reice Shipley is a staff writer for Comeback Media that graduated from Ithaca College with a degree in Sports Media. He previously worked at Barrett Sports Media and is a fan of all things Syracuse sports.