Denver Broncos releasing QB Russell Wilson

Russell Wilson

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Russell Wilson, who led the Seattle Seahawks to a pair of Super Bowls but has been a disappointment in Denver the past two seasons, will be cut by the Broncos next week.

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The Broncos made the announcement in a joint statement from coach Sean Payton and general manager George Paton on Monday that was also posted on X, formerly known as Twitter. Wilson was benched during Week 17.

The 2024 league year officially begins on March 13, The Denver Post reported. Had Wilson, 35, remained on the Broncos’ roster past March 17, the nine-time Pro Bowl selection’s base salary of $37 million for the 2025 season would have been guaranteed, according to the newspaper.

“We spoke with Russell Wilson today to inform him of his release after the start of the league year,” the Broncos said in their statement. “On behalf of the Broncos, we thank Russell for his contributions and dedication to our team and community while wishing him the best as he continues his career.

“As we move forward, we are focused on building the strongest team possible for the 2024 season and beyond. We are excited to improve this offseason and will have the flexibility to get better through the draft and free agency.”

Wilson came to Denver after spending a decade with Seattle. He threw for 37,059 yards and 292 touchdowns with the Seahawks, according to Pro-Football-Reference.com.

The Seahawks won Super Bowl XLVIII 43-8 against Denver after the 2014 season, but lost the following year when Wilson was intercepted at the goal line by New England’s Malcolm Butler, preserving a 28-24 win for the Patriots. Wilson had thrown two touchdowns and passed for 247 yards before tossing his only interception of the game.

The Broncos signed Wilson to a five-year, $242.6 million deal before the 2022 season, ESPN reported. They sent Seattle five draft picks, including a pair of first-rounder and two second-round picks, along with three players, according to the cable sports network.

But Denver suffered through a 4-11 season in 2022 and were 7-8 in 2023 when the Broncos benched Wilson, according to Pro-Football-Reference.com. He threw for 6,594 yards and 42 touchdowns but had 19 interceptions.

Wilson released a statement thanking the city of Denver, several teammates, the team’s cafeteria workers and vice president of player development, Ray Jackson, according to ESPN.

“Over these last two years, you have welcomed my family and me with open arms and have embraced us as members of the Denver community,” Wilson wrote on Instagram. “This city will always hold a special place in my heart. Our family grew here, we made countless memories and friendships, and formed relationships that will last a lifetime. …

“Tough times don’t last, but tough people do. God’s got me. I’m excited for what’s next.”

The Broncos reportedly will designate Wilson as a post-June 1 release, the Post reported. That means they can account for $85 million in “dead” salary cap charges over the next two seasons.

The previous record for dead cap absorbed for a single player was $40.525 million by the Atlanta Falcons, when they traded quarterback Matt Ryan to Indianapolis in 2022, according to the newspaper.

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