Russell Wilson's ride with the Denver Broncos may be over.
Multiple league sources confirmed Wednesday that the Broncos will start quarterback and Jared Stid for their final two games. Denver (7-8) hosts the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday and visits the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 18. Wilson will be No. 2 at quarterback, a team source said.
Wilson expects Cut in Marchfor one AthleticDiana Rusini. A nine-time Pro Bowler with the Seahawks two years after the Broncos traded two first-round picks, two second-round picks, three players and more to Seattle for the quarterback.
The Broncos' trade for Russell Wilson was a disaster, but the offense moved past the QB.
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 remains an issue. Wilson is guaranteed $39 million through 2024. He has $37 million in injury guarantees if he is still on the roster on the fifth day of the 2024 league year, which begins in March.
What does this mean for Wilson in 2024? If the Broncos cut him, who would need and be interested? We've identified four teams — the Raiders, Minnesota Vikings, New England Patriots and Washington Commanders — for Wilson, who turned 35 last month and is about to finish his 12th season in the NFL.
AthleticBeat writers for those teams weighed in on why Wilson might fit and why he might not.
Las Vegas Raiders
Why Wilson might be a good fit: Only if Wilson is released will it make any sense to the Raiders. They need to find a way to move on from their own expensive backup, Jimmy Garoppolo. That being said, Wilson has been solid this year: He's 10th in completion percentage, 16th in passing yards, 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 on the cheap and the Raiders can't build their future, they could sign him to compete with Aidan O'Connell for the starting job.
Why he can't: The Raiders really, really, really want to draft their quarterback of the future this offseason. After moving on from Derek Carr and soon doing the same with Garoppolo, they need to get their aging veteran quarterback off the treadmill and reset their timeline. O'Connell has done a good job since taking over for Garoppolo given the circumstances, but it doesn't look like he should be a long-term option. The best path for the Raiders to find that player is through the draft, not adding a declining veteran quarterback. — Dashan Reid, Rider's Beat Writer
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Why Wilson might be a good fit: It feels like a Hail Mary of sorts, which seems fitting considering Wilson is the subject. The Vikings' quarterback plans for 2024 are uncertain, as Kirk Cousins' contract expires at the end of the season and he likely has several suitors. If Cousins signs elsewhere, the Vikings could go after a high-end talent in the draft. In that scenario, they could sign a bridge quarterback to allow the youngster to develop. If he's released, Wilson fits in that category with other mid-to-lower tier options.
Why he can't: Returning relatives will immediately end this discussion. But even if he does leave, it's fair to wonder if Wilson's asking price will make sense. Garoppolo, for example, signed a three-year, $72.5 million contract with the Raiders in March. Wilson is old, but he is very talented. He wanted a two-year, $40 million deal. The Vikings, without Cousins, are unlikely to pay that kind of money for a short-term answer that will draft a QB. Also, Vikings coach Kevin O'Connell accurately assesses the middle of the field and big-field vision in his QBs. Even though Wilson has produced statistically this season, those qualities are in question, which is why the Broncos drafted him in the first place. — Alec Lewis, author of Vikings beat
New England Patriots
Why Wilson might be a good fit: The short answer is that the Patriots need a quarterback in 2024 after the Mack Jones era ends. It's still unclear who will make the key decisions for the team this offseason, but Bill Belichick praised Wilson before the Patriots' win last weekend. If Belichick is still around, he might be interested in a quick-fix plan rather than a rebuild, which would make Wilson an option in New England.
Why he might not be: If the Patriots end up with a top-two pick, there's plenty of reason to capitalize on it and sign a new 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 decisions going forward. — Chad Graff, Patriots beat writer
Why Wilson might be a good fit: Jacoby Brissett will become Washington's 36th starting quarterback since 1993 on Sunday. That sad story means all options must be considered. For the right price – i.e. salary; Washington isn't looking at trade options – Wilson could be seen as a viable option if the franchise is looking for a quick turnaround and a marquee player.
Why he can't: More proof that time is a flat circle: Coach Ron Rivera tried to trade for Wilson in 2022, but Wilson had zero interest in joining the Commanders' circus under owner Dan Snyder. Now that Snyder is out — and Rivera could be out after this season — will Russ want to cook in the nation's capital? Even if it does, the commanders are unlikely to be interested. The new decision-makers will determine the depth of any rebuild, but it's clear Washington's holes go beyond the quarterback. Commanders draft no. 3 If they retain the choice, they can choose the most popular option. Brissett, a 2024 free agent, could make a cleanup addition to a draft pick or Sam Howell. — Ben Standick
(Photo: Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
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