Former Wisconsin Badgers quarterback and current Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson has had an up-and-down season. To make this season even more of a roller coaster, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported that the Broncos are benching Russell Wilson for the final two games of the 2023 NFL regular season, preserving financial flexibility for the offseason.
Wilson has a salary in 2025 that vests in March of 2024 and if he were to suffer a serious injury during this two-game stretch, this would complicate matters moving forward. Denver started the season 1-5 and they were in playoff contention with a 7-6 record a couple of weeks ago. The Broncos have lost the last two games, including last Sunday’s 26-23 loss at home against the New England Patriots.
It appears as if head coach Sean Payton and the Broncos organization are going to waive the white flag in 2023 and move forward toward 2024. The Russell Wilson contract is very complicated and Spotrac explains it very well.
There were talks at the start of the season when Denver was struggling that they would move off of him. Could this be another reason why they are potentially not going to play him in the final two games? Could he be trade bait this season and will the Broncos move off of that contract? That is going to be a major storyline this offseason.
Wilson this season completed 66.4% of his passes for 3.070 yards, 26 touchdowns, and eight interceptions. He played better than he did in his first season, but it remains to be seen what his future holds with the Denver Broncos. Russell Wilson is 35 years old and the former Wisconsin Badgers quarterback has been in the league for over a decade.
Jarrett Stidham Will Be the Start The Final Two Games For Former Wisconsin Badgers Quarterback Russell Wilson’s Place and Fans React to the Situation
With Wilson being benched, Jarrett Stidham will start in his place. He has no stats this season for the Broncos. In his career, Jarrett Stidham has completed only 58.8% of his passes for 926 yards, six touchdowns, and seven interceptions.
The Denver Broncos will play AFC West Divisional opponents in the final two games of the 2023 NFL regular season. They will face the Los Angeles Chargers (5-10) at home this week and the Las Vegas Raiders (7-8) on the road the following week.
NFL fans on Twitter also reacted to the news that Russell Wilson is getting benched for Jarrett Stidham in the final two games of the 2023 NFL regular season.
End of an era? 😭pic.twitter.com/ofmdAqB2oj
— Michael McQuaid (@Michael_NFL) December 27, 2023
The #Broncos are benching QB Russell Wilson and will start Jarrett Stidham on Sunday vs. the Chargers.
Wilson has $37M that becomes guaranteed if he can’t pass a physical in the offseason. Denver could try to get out of his contract this offseason — and this could be a step… pic.twitter.com/RciY2SFEy4
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) December 27, 2023
If the Broncos do bench Russell Wilson for the final two games of the season, it would very likely mean the end of the Russell Wilson era in Denver.
— Zac Stevens (@ZacStevensDNVR) December 27, 2023
Stidham is 27 years old and he does not present much of a future for the Denver Broncos. They are mathematically alive for the NFL playoffs, but it is not in their best interest to make it to the postseason this year. They have not made the playoffs since winning Super Bowl L against the Carolina Panthers when Peyton Manning was in his final year as quarterback in the NFL. It will be interesting to see where the former Wisconsin Badgers quarterback Russell Wilson plays next if it is not in Denver, Colorado.