Every NFL season, we see players lose their starting spots. That's simply the nature of the business.
And while it might take more for a starting quarterback to lose his job than every other position, it obviously does happen. Not a single NFL season goes by without at least one signal-caller getting yanked by his head coach.
We haven't yet seen that happen during this current 2023 campaign, but it's coming. The question is this: Who will be the first?
Given the performances we've seen through three weeks, Jets QB Zach Wilson seems to be a prime candidate. But Robert Saleh maintains that the No. 2 overall pick from the 2021 draft is his guy.
Justin Fields' name has come up in this conversation as well. But the Chicago Bears seem content on giving him one more season to prove himself.
So if Wilson and Fields are out, who does that leave? Well, according to ESPN's Jeremy Fowler, it'll be a highly-paid nine-time Pro Bowler who also happens to have a Super Bowl ring.
ESPN's Jeremy Fowler believes Broncos QB Russell Wilson may be the first NFL signal-caller benched this season
When specifically asked who he thought would be the first NFL quarterback benched in 2023, Fowler pointed to this Sunday's Week 4 matchup between the Chicago Bears and Denver Broncos, both of whom are 0-3.
And while he mentioned Fields as a possibility, Fowler went the other way.
"I will go with Russell Wilson," Fowler stated. "Which seems wild -- and it might be. It's not that Wilson has played terribly. He has improved upon last season and ranks a respectable 13th in QBR (59.4) with back-to-back 300-yard games. But Sean Payton doesn't purport to be a patient coach -- especially an 0-4 coach, should Denver lose to the Bears."
He went on to point out how the Broncos paid backup Jarrett Stidham "real money" this past offseason, signing the 27-year-old to a two-year/$10 million deal.
Naturally, Fowler also brought up Russell Wilson's lucrative five-year/$242.5 million contract, pointing out the "daunting" dead money salary cap hit Denver would take by releasing him after this season.
Dan Graziano agreed that Wilson may be benched at some point but brought Titans QB Ryan Tannehill into the conversation, noting that the one-time Pro Bowler ranks 32nd in QBR (27.9) and that Tennessee could easily give Will Levis his shot sooner rather than later.
So what do you think, FanSiders? Will Russell Wilson be the first quarterback benched this season?