NFL Rumors: CFB coaches who might come to NFL, Broncos received NFLPA legal threats over Russ, Eberflus future

  • Matt Eberflus is expected to stay with Bears in 2024
  • Broncos were threatened with legal actions due handling of Russell Wilson
  • Several CFB coaches are expected to draw NFL interest

Chip Kelly, UCLA Bruins football
Chip Kelly, UCLA Bruins football / Jason Parkhurst-USA TODAY Sports
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NFL Rumors: Broncos threatened with NFLPA legal action over Russell Wilson benching

The Denver Broncos were threatened with legal action from the NLFPA in early November due to the "perceived threat" to bench Russell Wilson if he didn't renegotiate his contract. A letter was reportedly delivered to the Broncos on Nov. 4, shortly after Denver's impressive 24-9 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 8.

Here is an excerpt from the letter obtained by Mark Maske of the Washington Post:

"It has come to our attention that the Denver Broncos recently informed Mr. Wilson and his Certified Contract Advisor that if Mr. Wilson would not renegotiate his Player Contract to relinquish certain salary guarantees, the Broncos would remove him from the starting lineup. If the Broncos follow-through on the Club’s threat, the Club will violate, among other things, the Collective Bargaining Agreement, Mr. Wilson’s Player Contract and New York law. And, we are particularly concerned that the Broncos still intend to commit these violations under the guise of ‘coaching decisions.'"

The Broncos threatened to bench Wilson all the way back in November if he didn't remove injury guarantees from his contract. Denver has the chance to opt out of Wilson's remaining contract in the offseason, but another $37 million would become guaranteed if he gets hurt. The Broncos didn't bench Wilson in November, but now the Broncos are moving on from the 35-year-old in Week 16. Jarrett Stidham will start for Denver on Sunday, despite the Broncos not being mathematically eliminated from postseason contention.

Denver has, in fact, tried to file the decision under the guise of a "coaching decision" despite Wilson's impressive overall season. Much has been made of his decline since leaving the Seattle Seahawks, but Sean Payton did get a lot out of Wilson. In 15 starts, the nine-time Pro Bowl QB completed 66.4 percent of his passes for 3,070 yards, 26 touchdowns, and eight interceptions.

It would appear Wilson is bound for a new home in 2024. The Broncos are operating with their own long-term interest in mind, but it's a bit lame — and perhaps illegal — to bench Wilson to expressly avoid the injury clause in his contract. Wilson held up his end of the bargain on the field in 2023. He is definitely better than Jarrett Stidham. We will see how the league and the players' association handle the matter in the months to come.