Broncos Head Coach Sean Payton Shares Thoughts on Decision to Release Russell Wilson - Sport News

Broncos Head Coach Sean Payton Shares Thoughts on Decision to Release Russell Wilson

Sean Payton and the Denver Broncos released Russell Wilson earlier this month in a move that everyone knew was coming.

At the NFL’s Annual League Meeting on Monday, Payton spoke about cutting Wilson and on the team’s quarterback situation moving forward.

Sean Payton, Denver Broncos

“We felt it was in the best interest of our team,” Payton said, via Kevin Patra of NFL media. “Now as we go forward, obviously we are in the middle of free agency, we’re preparing for the draft. We’ll look at both of those avenues to not only address quarterback but to fill other spots on the team. I think the draft is one element, and we’re kind of in that phase now, and yet there’s still a few possibilities relative to guys who are currently in this league or have played in this league. I think that we’ve got a pretty good plan in place. We understand what we’re doing and we’re going to be smart about it.”

The Broncos initially acquired Wilson in a blockbuster trade with the Seattle Seahawks back in March 2022. Payton was not in Denver at the time, as Nathaniel Hackett was the club’s head coach.

Wilson was expected to bring the Broncos back to prominence, but instead, he trudged through the worst season of his career during his debut campaign with the club, throwing 16 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.

The 35-year-old was considerably better this past year, throwing for 3,070 yards, 26 touchdowns and eight picks while completing 66.4 percent of his passer and posting a passer rating of 98, but Denver no longer wanted anything to do with the massive $243 million contract extension it handed him and decided to release him. It was also abundantly clear that Payton and Wilson did not see eye to eye.

As a matter of fact, the Broncos benched Wilson for the final two games of 2023 after the nine-time Pro Bowler declined to defer his injury guarantee.

Russell Wilson has gone on to sign with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Now, Denver will have to find a signal-caller elsewhere. The Broncos own the 12th overall pick in the NFL Draft next month, and Payton says that trading up is certainly on the table.

We’ll see what Sean Payton and Co. decide to do in the coming weeks.

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