Broncos bench Russell Wilson amid dwindling playoff hopes, potential contract implications: reports


Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson will reportedly sit on the bench for the final two weeks of the regular season.

A two-point win over the Green Bay Packers in late October sparked a five-game winning streak, but the team has since dropped three of their last four games. Wilson has shown signs of improvement this season under first-year Broncos coach Sean Payton, although the coach and quarterback duo’s relationship has seemed tense at times. 

Wilson finished the Christmas Eve loss to the New England Patriots with 238 passing yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. However, he largely struggled in the first three quarters before helping the offense generate points late in the game. 

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Russell Wilson, #3 of the Denver Broncos, reacts after his team’s 17-16 loss against the Las Vegas Raiders at Empower Field At Mile High on Sept. 10, 2023 in Denver. (Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)

However, the move to sit Wilson for the remainder of the season is not solely based on the signal caller’s performance. The franchise appears to also be taking some financial factors into consideration. 

According to NFL Network, the Broncos are looking to persevere its financial flexibility for the offseason.

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Russell Wilson throws

Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson, #3, throws during the second half of an NFL football game against the New England Patriots, Sunday, Dec. 24, 2023, in Denver. (AP Photo/Geneva Heffernan)

Wilson has an estimated $37 million in 2025 salary that becomes fully vested this coming March. If the quarterback suffers a significant injury at any point this season, it would complicate the financial situation, NFL Network reported.

Jarrett Stidham will handle the starting quarterback duties for Denver’s Week 17 game against the Los Angeles Chargers.

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The Broncos postseason hopes took a significant hit over the weekend, but the team has not been officially eliminated from contention. 

Denver is currently 7-8 and sits in the No. 12 spot in the AFC standings.

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