Sean Payton denies Russell Wilson’s PTO request with latest culture wake-up call

Russell Wilson, Denver Broncos. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)
Russell Wilson, Denver Broncos. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images) /

Unlike last year, Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson won’t be taking the preseason off under new head coach Sean Payton.

Last year, the Denver Broncos had so much hype surrounding them after they acquired quarterback Russell Wilson from the Seattle Seahawks. But, as NFL fans know now, the 2022 campaign was an abject disaster for the Broncos, as they finished the year 5-12 and first-time head coach Nathaniel Hackett was fired 15 games into the season. As for Wilson, his play took a massive fall, with talk entering the offseason being if Wilson is finished being a top quarterback in the league.

So, the Broncos brought in Sean Payton as their head coach not only to turn the team around but to also get the most out of Wilson.

To start his tenure, Payton announced on Saturday that Wilson and other starters will be participating in the team’s preseason opener against the Arizona Cardinals on Friday, Aug. 11.

Sean Payton having Russell Wilson and other starters play in the preseason

This is vastly different for Wilson as opposed to last year. Under Hackett, Wilson didn’t play in a single preseason game. Neither did most of the other starters. That strategy looked even worse considering the season the team had.

Wilson’s play was off during the season and the offense as a whole looked lost. It was a bad look, considering Hackett was a renowned offensive coordinator throughout his time in the NFL.

In 15 games played, Wilson threw for 3,524 yards, 16 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions while completing 60.5 percent of his passes. Wilson also ran for 277 yards and three touchdowns on 55 carries.

Payton is looking to change the culture of the Broncos, and one way he’s doing so is to have his starters play in the preseason, the opposite of what Hackett did last year. As for how much time Wilson and other starters will play against the Cardinals, that remains to be seen.

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