George Paton on Russell Wilson extension: I feel like it will hold up

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The first seven games of the Broncos season has led to criticism of several decisions that General Manager George Paton was part of during the offseason and he spent time on Thursday discussing some of them.

Paton led the search process that resulted in hiring head coach Nathaniel Hackett and he said on Thursday that he supports the head coach “100 percent” despite many gaffes during the team’s 2-5 start. The Hackett hiring was followed by the moves to trade for and extend the contract of quarterback Russell Wilson.

While most agreed in the offseason that the move was an upgrade at quarterback, Wilson has not played well and Paton was asked about the call to add five years and $245 million to Wilson’s pact before seeing the quarterback take any regular season snaps in the Denver offense.

“We wanted to get ahead of the contract cycle,” Paton said, via Mike Klis of KUSA. “We had seen how Russ was in the offseason and training camp and we felt really good about Russ. We feel really good about Russ. We wanted to get ahead of it. We didn’t want a lot of distraction during the season. We feel really good about it. I feel good about that deal. I feel like it will hold up. I feel good about Russ.”

Paton’s future in Denver is tied to Hackett and Wilson, so there’s not much for him to do other than back up the decisions while showing faith that they’ll be proven correct at some point down the road. New owners took over control of the team after those decisions were made, however, and their faith in calls made before they got there will ultimately decide the futures of Paton, Hackett and others in Denver.

44 responses to “George Paton on Russell Wilson extension: I feel like it will hold up

  1. I don’t recall ever reading as delusional a series of comments from a GM as those in this story. Talk about living in a dream world. Sam Walton must be rolling in his grave.

  2. What is: What do you say when you know you’ve bought a lemon but have no recourse to get your money back!

  3. He sounds a little nervous about this. I feel good about it being repeated quite a few times. I guess he wont fire himself. One of the worst Free agent signings in NFL history. Russ is washed we can all see it. Big over reach by this guy.

  4. The hot seats get hotter. Sean Payton to Denver feels inevitable at this point. But who will be GM?

  5. “George Paton on Russell Wilson extension: I feel like it will hold up”

    No, Rusty Wilson held YOU up! Stole every dime he could get his hands on and made a clean getaway.

  6. Hackett will be the fall guy for the Wilson trade but Paton set this franchise back at least 5 years with what was evident the past year or two that Russ has hit the cliff as a mobile QB and he has never been a good pocket passer and really should be the first one fired since he also hired Hackett.

  7. He was the Viking assistant GM when they made the foolish Kirk Cousins trade and probably had a lot of input on that decision. Nuf said.

  8. The number of times he says “feels good” makes me think he’s trying to talk himself into it

  9. Paid too much for a QB that isn’t a top 10 player. Now you have to win with that cap situation and no picks. Good luck.

  10. Somewhere, SEattle front office is howling. They knew. Oh and look, 1st place with Geno Smith and no Russ.

  11. If by hold up he means “hold up this franchise from competing for a title for the next 5-7 years”, then yes, absolutely.

  12. Take any qb who stick is mobility and passing on the run, getting out of trouble, and slow that person down by age and that QB will start to show flaws. Wilson is that person. He is not the young wilson of Seattle anymore, so whats the big deal. It is what it is.

  13. Let’s see, Russ performed like crap in the 2nd halves of each of the last 3 seasons and has carried that over into this season. So, what exactly is Paton pointing to in his “holding up” comment?????

  14. ogre4nerds says:
    October 27, 2022 at 10:25 am
    The hot seats get hotter. Sean Payton to Denver feels inevitable at this point. But who will be GM?
    Inevitable? I suppose you think he would automatically want to go to a team with a questionable QB who was recently signed to a large contract extension (so he’d be stuck with Wilson) and does not have a 1st or 2nd round pick.

  15. Russ fooled Paton, no doubt about it. Paton thought he was getting the Russ from 10 years ago and apparently bought into the Russell hype machine – the only explanation as to why Paton gave him that massive contract.
    Unfortunately for Broncos fans, the team will be hamstrung for the next 5 years. This will also play into whatever GM/coach combo they can get considering no big name GM or coach will come to the Broncos given their QB situation. What a mess.

  16. bordercollie says:
    October 27, 2022 at 10:43 am
    He was the Viking assistant GM when they made the foolish Kirk Cousins trade and probably had a lot of input on that decision. Nuf said.
    Remind me what the Vikings traded in return for Cousins? Was it players, picks or both?

  17. The real question is whether Wilson will hold up. He’s already had two mysterious injuries in the first 5 games.

  18. Clear house starting with Elway (who has been an unmitigated disaster since he moved into the head office), Patton, Hackett and kiss your QB money goodbye. If I was on that defence I would be so choked that the offence is so completely inept. The HC is so unprepared and has no awareness of anything going on. What a complete dumpster fire of an organization at this time.

  19. Bordercollie: “He was the Viking assistant GM when they made the foolish Kirk Cousins trade and probably had a lot of input on that decision. Nuf said.”

    Cousins signed with Minnesota as a free agent, it wasn’t a “foolish trade”. Nuf said.

  20. GMs HAVE to have a checks n balances in place , otherwise they are a ONE MAN show that could / will set the franchise back years!!!!

  21. What was he supposed to say, that he made two huge mistakes that will doom Denver to mediocrity for years to come?

  22. “I suppose you think he would automatically want to go to a team” like the Broncos with Wilson and no 1st or 2nd round picks in 2023… Yes, I think Sean Payton would jump at the opportunity in Denver. Not to mention the money Denver would offer, I think Sean Payton can see the head coaching mistakes being made in Denver. And I think Sean Payton can get the most out of Russell Wilson whereas Nathaniel Hackett can’t get the most out of Pringles can.

  23. the Gm should go 1st since he hired the mess of a HC then gave a ridiculous extension to an old QB who everyone knows is not as mobile as he was in the past thus rendering him much less effective. 2nd fire the HC, he is not nfl caliber at all. 3rd, call to Payton and if he returns your call since you have no cap room and no picks then offer him both HC and GM position so he has full control to rebuild the franchise, maybe that would entice him to come to Denver, probably not but maybe. he may also be intrigued to rehabilitate another short QB and try to recreate the magic he had with Breese.

  24. Saying all the right things about the Hackett hire to not try and give him any indication he is on the hot seat is one thing but defending the Wilson is something else. Everyone that watched any Seahawks games the last 2 years could see that Wilson is a QB in decline.

    Thinking you’re hiring Sean McVay and getting Adam Gase instead can be chalked up as a mistake that can be fixed. Hiring a declining player and then resigning him to a huge contract is just being bad at your job.

  25. It was a good trade for the Brincos and the contract extension was warranted. Let’s let it play out. There are still yen games left in the season.

  26. The Broncos got fleeced. George Paton’s job should be in jeopardy, not just the job of Nathaniel Hackett. Paton set that franchise back several years at least.

  27. In a 75-word paragraph, Paton said he feels good about Russ and/or the deal they gave him six times. I kind of get the feeling he doesn’t really believe that.

  28. Wilson will eventually rebound and all of the wishy-washy Broncos fans will jump back on the bandwagon

  29. what’s he supposed to say?!?!? It turns out I traded for a stiff, mortgaged the team’s future for a guy who is no better currently than Brett Rypien?!?!?

    Not much they can do. Prayer. Maybe say to Russ, do whatever you want. I’m already going to get fired because of you. So if you want to run all over the field and throw every ball 60 yards downfield, go for it big buy.

    what’s the worst that’ll happen? They’re already dreadful.

  30. When’ll the front office guys know that using the vocal wing of the sports media as scouts hasn’t and, probably, never will pan out. Your job is not a popularity contest. Likes don’t guarantee wins.

  31. Paton is a bad GM. Gave up the farm for a washed up QB then paid him like he was Mahomes, hired maybe the worst coaching staff in the league, and re-signed Melvin Gordon in 2 consecutive years.

    Arguably a bottom 5 exec in the league with the likes of Steve Keim, Trent Baalke, Jerruh, and Andrew Berry.

  32. Here’s a different take… Maybe Russell Wilson has no desire to play well under Nathaniel Hackett and he’s not playing his best ball on purpose to force this very issue. Giving Russ that contract does appear to give him a safety net that coach and GM currently don’t enjoy. Wilson is not as mobile as he was in his first 3 years. But, that’s nothing new. Seahawks fans who are being honest should be able to tell you that he’s been shifting away from the running-QB style since around the time he got his first contract extension with the Hawks. He WANTS to be a pocket passer. But, he can’t do it the way a taller player could. So, his scramble-style was the next best option. The only thing that hurt his numbers last year was missing time due to injured finger on his throwing hand. He has not been on decline the last few years in Seattle. Even a cursory glance at his stats over his career will show he’s been incredibly consistent other than his rushing yardage. And his rushing yardage was never the secret sauce for the Seahawks. Yes, having Beast Mode and a running QB has obvious advantages, but where Russell Wilson really shines – and has always shined – is his clutch-time big-play potential. Wilson’s only off year from a stats perspective has been this year. So, again, I ask you: What if Wilson is doing this on purpose to get a new Head Coach / GM.

  33. Russ will improve given time. Enough to earn that contract? I doubt it. We’ll see. But many critics seem to believe the way things are right now is the way they will always be. Things change constantly, for better or worse.

    That’s two jobs, Hackett’s and Payton’s, relying on Russell Wilson to save.

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