February 29, 2024

Russell Wilson‘s ride with the Denver Broncos can be over

Several league sources confirmed Wednesday that the Broncos will bank the quarterback for their last two games and starts Jarrett Stidham. Denver (7-8) hosts the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday and visit the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 18. Wilson will be the No. 2 quarterback, a team source said.

Wilson expects to be cut in Marchper The Athleticssaid Dianna Russini. It would be just two years after the Broncos traded two first-round picks, two second-round picks, three players and more to Seattle for the quarterbacka nine-time Pro Bowler with the Seahawks.

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Wilson has thrown for 3,070 yards with 26 touchdowns and eight interceptions this season, his first under head coach Sean Payton, but his contract is an issue. Wilson is guaranteed $39 million for 2024. He has $37 million in injury guarantees that are fully guaranteed if he is still on the roster on the fifth day of the 2024 league year that begins in March.

So what does this mean for Wilson in 2024? If the Broncos do cut him, who might have a need and interest? We have identified four teams – the Raiders, Minnesota Vikings, New England Patriots and Washington commanders — that could potentially be in the mix for Wilson, who turned 35 last month and is about to enter his 12th season in the NFL.

The Athletics‘s beat writers for those teams weighed in on why Wilson might fit, and why he might not.

Las Vegas Raiders

Why Wilson may be a good fit: The only way this would make sense for the Raiders is if Wilson is released. They have to find a way to move on from their own expensive backup quarterbackJimmy Garoppolo — this offseason, they’ll take a significant dead money hit as a result and have no interest in taking on Wilson’s salary. That said, Wilson has been solid this year: He’s 10th in completion percentage, 16th in passing yards, tied for sixth in passing touchdowns and has thrown just eight interceptions in 15 games. He’s no longer a Pro Bowl-level player, but he’s still a starting-caliber quarterback. If he’s willing to sign for cheap and the Raiders are unable to draft their quarterback of the future, he might sign him to compete Aidan O’Connell for the beginning work can make sense.

Why he might not: The Raiders really, really, really need to draft their quarterback of the future this offseason. After proceeding from Derek Carr and soon do the same with Garoppolo, they need to get off the outdated veteran quarterback treadmill and reset their timeline. O’Connell has done a good job since taking over for Garoppolo, considering the circumstances, but it doesn’t look like he should be the long-term option. The best path for the Raiders to find that player is through the draft, not adding a declining veteran quarterback. — Tashan Reed, Raiders beat writer

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Minnesota Vikings

Why Wilson may be a good fit: It feels like a Hail Mary of sorts, which, since Wilson is the subject, seems appropriate. The Vikings’ quarterback plans for 2024 is unsure because Kirk Cousins’ contract expires at the end of the season and he will likely have many suitors. If Cousins ​​signs elsewhere, the Vikings could go after a high-end talent in the draft. In that situation, they will likely sign a bridge quarterback to allow that youngster to develop. If released, Wilson fits in that category along with other mid-to-lower-level options.

Why he might not: Cousins ​​returning would end this discussion immediately. But even if he leaves, it’s fair to wonder if Wilson’s asking price would make sense. Garoppolo, for example, signed a three-year, $72.5 million contract with the Raiders in March. Wilson is older, but he is also more capable. Say he wanted a two-year, $40 million deal. The Vikings, who will likely draft a QB in Cousins’ absence, likely won’t pay that kind of money for a short-term answer. Furthermore, Vikings coach Kevin O’Connell values ​​accuracy over the middle of the field and big-field vision in his QBs. Although Wilson has produced statistically this season, those attributes are in question, which is why the Broncos benched him in the first place. — Alec Lewis, Vikings beat writer

New England Patriots

Why Wilson may be a good fit: The short answer is that the Patriots need a quarterback in 2024 after that the end of the Mac Jones era. It’s not yet clear who will make the key decisions for the team this offseason, but Bill Belichick praised Wilson before their matchup last weekend, which was won by the Patriots. If Belichick is still aroundcould he be interested in a flash plan rather than a rebuild, potentially making Wilson an option in New England.

Why he might not: If the Patriots finish with a top-two choice, there would be plenty of reasons to take advantage of that and have a quarterback on a rookie contract. It’s also worth noting that Wilson is 35 and may not fit the Patriots’ hopes of finding a long-term quarterback this offseason, especially if Belichick doesn’t make the decisions moving forward. — Chad Graff, Patriots beat writer

Washington commanders

Why Wilson may be a good fit: Jacoby Brissett Sunday will be Washington’s 36th starting quarterback since 1993. That sad story means that all options must be considered. For the right price — which means salary; can’t see Washington trade picks – Wilson could be considered a viable option if the franchise is looking for a quick turnaround and a marquee player.

Why he might not: Further proof that time is a flat circle: Coach Ron Rivera made a push to trade Wilson in 2022, but Wilson had no interest in joining the Commanders’ circus under owner Dan Snyder. Now with Snyder out – and Rivera probably going out after this season — would Russ want to cook in the nation’s capital? Even if he did, the commanders are unlikely to be interested. New decision makers will determine the depths of any rebuild, but it’s clear that Washington’s holes go beyond the quarterback. If the commanders the no. 3 pick in the draft, they could potentially select a highly touted prospect. Brissett, a 2024 free agent, makes for a cleaner veteran to use with a draft pick or Sam Howell. — Be Steady

(Photo: Justin Edmonds / Getty Images)


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