Broncos to accept $85M cap hit, inform QB Russell Wilson of imminent release

Quarterback Russell Wilson will be released next week at the start of the new league year on March 13, ending a dramatic two-year run in Denver with the Broncos absorbing a record dead-cap hit of $85 million.

Wilson was informed by the Broncos on Monday the team plans to cut him, moving on before his contract called for $37 million in salary guarantees for the 2025 season.

“We spoke with Russell Wilson today to inform him of his release after the start of the league year,” general manager George Paton and head coach Sean Payton said in a joint statement Monday. “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’s $39 million salary for 2024 was already guaranteed.

Wilson issued his own statement and a thank you to Broncos fans, several teammates and staff members. He ended by saying “Tough times don’t last, but tough people do. God’s got me. I am excited for what’s next.”

Wilson, a nine-time Pro Bowl pick, was acquired from the Seattle Seahawks prior to the 2022 season for three players and five draft choices. The Broncos then gave him a five-year, $242.5 million contract extension before playing a down for the team.

Benched for the final two games of the 2023 season to avoid an injury that would trigger guarantees in his contract, Wilson posted an 11-19 record in 30 starts with the Broncos.

Wilson had 16 touchdown passes against 11 interceptions in 2022. In his first season with Payton as head coach after Nathaniel Hackett was fired, he put up good numbers — 26 touchdowns, eight interceptions — but the Broncos opted to move in another direction.

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