Should the Broncos extend Russell Wilson’s contract now, or later?

Denver Broncos works out during organized team activities
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When Deshaun Watson was traded to the Browns, he had four years left on his contract. The Browns ripped it up and gave him a massive, fully-guaranteed, five-year deal.

When Russell Wilson was traded to the Broncos, he had two years left on his contract. He still does.

Wilson makes a paltry (in comparison to the rest of the NFL’s franchise quarterback), $24 million this year. Next year, he’s on the books for $27 million.

He’ll surely have a new contract to replace the 2023 compensation package. Should he get one now, to replace the $24 million?

He seems to be in no rush, possibly because he knows that time is on his side. The price will go up, not down, as more deals are done and as the cap increases. However, waiting will require Wilson to play for $24 million this year, roughly half of Watson’s pre-suspension wages.

So should the Broncos do it now, or should they wait? Given the investment made in Wilson via trade assets, they’ll eventually have to give Wilson a market-level deal. If they do it now, it undoubtedly will be cheaper than if they wait until after the season.

This approach entails some risk for both sides. If Wilson is spectacular as the centerpiece of the Denver offense, the price goes up. If Wilson struggles, it becomes harder for his agent, Mark Rodgers, to advocate to make Wilson the highest-paid player in league history.

Hovering over the entire situation is the fact that the team soon will have a new owner. The easiest course for the Pat Bowlen trust would be to let the next owner figure it all out.

The next owner possibly would prefer to walk through the door with the situation resolved especially. After all, the best-case scenario for 2023 would be that Wilson plays as well as expected and becomes the highest-paid player in the league. The worst-case scenario for 2023 would be that Wilson falls short of the high bar and sets the stage for a potentially contentious negotiation as to his value as he enters the final year of his contract.

46 responses to “Should the Broncos extend Russell Wilson’s contract now, or later?

  1. He’s 33 years old and while Seattle feigned wanting to keep him; it’s clear to everyone that they’re relieved to have moved on from him for a lot of reasons. I think Denver was already fleeced in the trade. They should give this a year before throwing more good money after bad. No new deal.

  2. The Broncos should so whatever works best for their cap situation. Russell Wilson seems glad to be there. Just how the team will fare in the ultra competitive AFC West remains to be seen. but those twelve games could set viewership records.

  3. The problem is that the Seahawks have been off the mainstream grid for the last few seasons with early playoff exits.. If they think they’re getting the shifty, nimble and fast Wilson of 5 years ago they haven’t been paying attention. His best years are well behind him and getting him off the books was an imperative.

  4. One of Wilsons greatest elements in his earlier game was his speed and escapability, allowing him to find his shorter range and secondary targets. Either tnhrbbu injury or age, that element has eroded substantially, allowing for him and everyoe else to blame the offensive line…his deep ball has always been great and is today but…Broncos should tread lightly before committing too much before seeing for themselves.

  5. Russell Wilson’s legacy will always include the boneheaded play in the Super Bowl. That was the play that caused his team teammates, especially those on defense, to lose trust and respect for him.

    The Seahawks has never recovered from Wilson’s bad decision to throw the ball from the one yard line when Beast Mode was running the ball at will against the Patriot’s defense. I would never trust him in a big game.

    I would not extend his contact. Let him prove himself this upcoming season.

  6. Economics. Sign him now and the current ownership trust has to pay the signing bonus. The trustees will let the new owner fund the contract.

  7. Being the highest paid QB in the league for anyone other than myself? They must be dreaming. Yeah! I know there are one or two who may occasionally get that to happen, but they don’t get to hold that title for long. My ego will never let that happen. All I have to do is throw a tantrum and threaten to retire, and my fans and team will do whatever it will take to appease me.

  8. If he’s worth the money he’s worth the money, so wait until you see he’s worth it. Also, you generally don’t sign any major deals on a team up for sale. The next owner might not want Russell, so having the extension worked out in advance would not be a good thing in that case.

  9. Considering everything the Bronco’s gave up in trade to get Russell,… Heck ya I’d extend him,… the sooner the better. It isn’t going to get any less expensive by waiting. He’s only 33,… so you know he’s got at least 5 more years in that arm.

  10. Definitely rip up that contract and give him a Deshaun type deal. This will cripple their cap and put the Justin Herbert-led Chargers into the driver’s seat of that division along with Patrick You-know-who. Wilson is 33 and he isn’t all that. Cripple that cap.

  11. Pretty sure the new owner would want to be in place so they can have their say in the negotiations. So don’t be surprised if it happens fairly quickly after the new owner is in place.

  12. Seahawks always got rid of guys a year at least before other teams would. In Wilson’s case it was harder to do that, and probably 2 years or more.

    Problem is Wilson thinks he knows more than anyone, and wants full control of the offense, something he had limited success with when he was given the chance and then got OCs fired for when his plans went south, and, wants to chime in regarding personell decisions.

    He will do the same in Denver, sure with a golly fee smile on his face for the camera, but stubbon behind the scenes and really doesn’t engratiate himself to his teammates, only a select few.

    There weren’t a lot of tears from his teammates or former teammates when he left.

  13. Wilson should wait as long as possible. Right now the entire society is dealing with 8% inflation. That means 25 mill now will only be worth 23 mil in a year. Each year thereafter will get worse until inflation is cut in half.

  14. A lot of people will call out Russ’ age. And while that’s fair, the reality is age isn’t the real concern – it’s mobility and quickness.

    QB’s need 5 primary things to be able to succeed.

    1.) High Football IQ: This is the ability to audible, read defenses and coverage schemes, look off defenders, know what the best possible play is for every play – even if that’s a sack.

    2.) Extend Plays: Plays break down and the best QB’s (and OL’s) can buy time or pick up yardage.

    3.) Pass: You have to be able to hit any target anywhere on the field.

    4.) Running Game: Without a feared, or at least effective running game, defenses have you pinned on the pass.

    5.) Mobile Threat: This is just as much about extending plays as it is keeping defenses honest. Lamar is a master at this. He has to be accounted for. Russ used to be this way as well. This is the one area age may actually be a factor.

    If Russ is or has all 5 of these components available, he’s worth it. Unfortunately, we have game tape from the last few seasons and he simply doesn’t have #5 anymore. He’s not feared. He can extend plays and run for his life behind the line of scrimmage, but he’s not feared to break off 25 yards if LB’s blitz, forcing them to use spies or staying in coverage until the play is determined.

    Russ has tools. He can throw. He’s smart. He can extend plays. Will Gordon et al, instill fear in the defenses when they run? IDK. They better. Will Russ break off first downs with his feet as a designed RPO? No.

  15. This is where Bronco’s will start to realize the true cost of RW. $50+M and then decide who else you can keep.

  16. claudesq says:
    June 5, 2022 at 10:43 am
    Russell Wilson’s legacy will always include the boneheaded play in the Super Bowl. That was the play that caused his team teammates, especially those on defense, to lose trust and respect for him


    Or it was simply a really great defensive play

  17. Best starting Quarterbacks in the AFC West:

    1.Patrick Mahommes
    2.Justin Herbert
    3.Derrick Carr
    4.Russell Wilson

    In that order

  18. nhpats2011 says:
    June 5, 2022 at 3:23 pm
    claudesq says:
    June 5, 2022 at 10:43 am
    Russell Wilson’s legacy will always include the boneheaded play in the Super Bowl. That was the play that caused his team teammates, especially those on defense, to lose trust and respect for him


    Or it was simply a really great defensive play


    If Brandon Browner doesn’t jam the WR at the line of scrimmage then it would have been a touchdown……so it was really a great defensive play for both Browner and Butler.

  19. The worst case scenario is they sign Wilson to a high $$$ contract now and he ends up being as bad/mediocre as he has looked the last 2 years and the new owner is saddled with him for the next 5 years. Wait a year and see if his decline is on Carroll or Wilson. I am betting on Wilson. Let’s see what Russ “cooks” in Denver. I hear it takes 3 times as long to make beans at mile high altitudes…

  20. When Denver made that specific trade they were committing themselves to negotiate a long term, highly elite, market value contract during this season. It wouldn’t make any sense to not get a long term deal done, right now. Sooner is better for cap space management. Expect it before the end of this current season.

  21. Russel Wilson is getting old, that’s why the Seahawks were like ok were gonna trade him now. Your not getting the best of him and not sure how he will age. I would see how he looks this year but honestly your not trading for 25 year old Russ.

  22. You guys who continue to say the Broncos got “fleeced” are crazy. Denver gave up a failed QB (Lock) an ok TE and a decent D Lineman and draft picks for a few “unknowns”. The draft is always a crap shoot. In return they get a proven franchise QB. Try getting through a few seasons with average to worse QB play and then let me know who got fleeced.

  23. Seahawks fan since day one in 1976, and boy, you can sure say the Seahawks got value for Russell. We went to back to back Super Bowl when he was on his rookie contract.

    From this trade we got a 1st round QB, a good TE and pass rush help. Also got two 1st round picks and two 2nd round picks. The clincher, is the cap space relief we get starting next season.

    Go Hawks! The Broncos can now deal with this diva. Its Moneyball and the Seahawks won!

    I’m super excited for this team!

  24. Lock is a failed (so far) 2nd round pick, but I agree with the rest of what you said. especially investing all that money on a QB that did all his best work on his Rookie contract. Meaning his best work is waaay behind him.

  25. Should Peyton Manning sign a one-day contract with the Colts so he can retire as a Colt? Maybe even some day Russell Wilson will sign a one-day contract so he can retire as a Seahawk. When the day comes that a guy like Fitzpatrick is doing the HOFer/superbowl winner thing, I’ll know the world has changed.

  26. realitycheckbaby says:
    June 5, 2022 at 10:55 am
    It’s fun not being in the middle of it.

    Go Hawks…..

  27. Later. I don’t think he’s the answer for Denver. PLUS THE trust should NOT be signing anyone to big contracts with new ownership being announced in the next 3 months. Let THEM make the decision.

  28. It would be epic for Wilson to receive a cap killing extension and then finish in last in the AFC West. Chiefs won’t miss Tyreek, Herbert is a stud, and Carr is better than Wilson. Broncos will finish last.

  29. Not all situations are the sam ebut I remeber some. People in Washington were so excited to aquire Donovan McNabb for two 2nd rounders, total disaster. He was never the same agin and even in MInn, he sucked. Philly knew he was done. Look how excited the Broncos were to be able to get Flacco, Elway was pumping his fists. once agin, this time Baltimore knew he was done. Who gets rid of franchise QBS? Detroit did it cause thye got a haul and were no where close to contending.Falcosn did it cause Ryan is washed, Colts will find out, they alreayd know, sign Foles too.Let Wilson have a year under his current contract.

  30. I would not sign him. Let see how he play this season. He is not the player, he’s more like show biz guy(LOOK AT ME BLAH-BLAH-BLAH LOOK AT ME)!

  31. Sign him now. Broncos gave up too much for a QB that only had a couple of teams on his no trade clause. Seattle gets a bonafide cornerstone LT in Cross, a pass rusher in Boye Mafe, Fant who is a quality pass catching TE, Miller who is a disruptive DT, Lock who has talent that needs refining, Denver’s 1st and 2nd rd picks in 2023 for a QB that wants $50mm / season, is a cap hazard and doesn’t have his houdini skills.

    Broncos could easily finish 10-7 and not make the playoffs while Seattle could surprise with 2 new book end tackles, the best RB in the draft in Walker, DK, Lockett, Fant with a new 3-4 D scheme.

    Oh the irony if Seattle makes the playoffs and rebuilds overnight due to this trade while the Broncos stumble and struggle with the toughest division in the NFL, the AFCW. Then be in cap hell with a $50mm QB. Bronco’s went all in with a pair of aces but will lose to the 2 pair that Seattle holds.

  32. The Seahawks has never recovered from Wilson’s bad decision to throw the ball from the one yard line when Beast Mode was running the ball at will against the Patriot’s defense. I would never trust him in a big game.

    It wasn’t Wilsons decision. Not his best throw.. but hardly his call.

    The Seahawks could have let that galvanize them, like the Falcons loss in 2012. Instead, it tore them apart. Again, not entirely on Russ. He didn’t poison anyone. Guys like Earl, Bennett and Sherm poisoned themselves.

    Whatever mistakes Russ did make, he more than made up for them. They had 6 more winning seasons and 5 Playoff trips AFTER that horrific loss. Mostly on the back of the offense.

  33. Bronco fans just a couple months ago were losing their minds like they just landed the best player in the history of sports. Now they’re saying, let him prove himself before giving him a new contract.

    What happened? Did you finally go back and watch game tape from the past couple years?

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