There is still time for Russell Wilson's career swan song to end on a high note, but the last two years have been simply miserable. The Denver Broncos proved an ability to win with an aging quarterback in Peyton Manning, going to two Super Bowls with him and winning one in 2015. But he had a good defense behind him, something the Broncos have not boasted the two years of the Wilson experiment.
Wilson was benched late last year with the seemingly obvious conclusion being that the Broncos and Wilson were done as a pair. It was more than just speculation, at one point it was reported that Wilson was expected to be cut by the team by The Athletic's Dianna Russini.
Now, it seems like the sides could reconnect?
Broncos could go back tail-between-legs for Russell Wilson
According to the latest NFL rumors, the far-gone conclusion of Wilson being on a new team in 2024 may not be such a guarantee anymore. According to NFL Network's insiders -- Ian Rapoport, Tom Pelissero, and Mike Garafolo -- the Broncos are a possibility to circle back to Wilson and bring him back for next year.
"The Broncos are keeping all options on the table regarding Russell Wilson including the possibility of reopening talks about renegotiating his contract," Pelissero reported alongside his colleagues on Super Bowl morning.
Before we go into just how crazy this is from a perspective of fractured ideologies and culture, let's address the main reason this would make some sense: Money. The Broncos, when they traded for Wilson, signed him to a contract extension shortly after the fact, despite not seeing him play a single game in a Broncos uniform.
A curious choice it was. Even more curious was the fact that they fully guaranteed his mega contract, hitching them to him financially whether there was a future with him or not.
So, since they owe him a bunch of money, sticking with him in 2024 does make some sense. They'll be paying him plus his replacement if they go with another quarterback.
So, if we're looking at this purely as a math equation, yes, it makes sense. But the issues here are with broken relationships, not just dollars and cents. Before he was benched, the Broncos told Wilson's representatives that would be the case if he didn't defer his injury guarantee trigger date for 2025.
Wilson has been told by his employer that he's of no value for them and not in the future. Running back to him and trying to patch it up seems suboptimal.
"It's difficult to imagine Russell Wilson playing another down for the Broncos," Pelissero admitted, "however, if both sides get out there and don't find a better option, the Broncos already owe him all that money anyway, don't rule out that possibility."
So, color me interested to see if they really go nuclear here and walk back to him in a year when there are plenty of workable free agent quarterbacks available who could step into a starting role. Ryan Tannehill is an option, but to me, Jameis Winston feels like the most obvious choice. He worked with Sean Payton in New Orleans and admires the head coach, and desperately wants to start in the NFL again.