Broncos to release Russell Wilson after 2 seasons

Broncos to release Russell Wilson after 2 seasons

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The Denver Broncos will release Russell Wilson once free agency officially opens this month, the team said in a statement Monday.

“We spoke with Russell Wilson today to inform of his release after the start of the league year,” general manager George Paton and head coach Sean Payton said in joint 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.”

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Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson throws the ball in the second quarter against the Cleveland Browns at Empower Field at Mile High in Denver on Nov. 26, 2023. (Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports)

The Broncos said Wilson will officially be cut once the new league year begins on March 13.

Wilson thanked Broncos fans and his teammates for their support in a separate statement.

“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,” he said. “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.”

He ended his statement, saying, “Tough times don’t last, but tough people do.

“God’s got me. I am excited for what’s next.”

The Broncos acquired Wilson in a blockbuster trade from the Seattle Seahawks before the start of the 2022 season. Denver gave up multiple draft picks along with Noah Fant, Shelby Harris and Drew Lock in the deal.

Wilson was set to be the quarterback with new head coach Nathaniel Hackett. However, the Broncos stumbled out of the gate and finished 5-12.

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Russell Wilson vs Patriots

Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson comes off the field after losing to the New England Patriots at Empower Field at Mile High in Denver on Dec. 24, 2023. (Andy Cross/MediaNews Group/Denver Post via Getty Images)

The Broncos hired Payton to replace Hackett after the 2022 season, but Wilson eventually lost his job to Jarrett Stidham despite having a crucial win over the eventual Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs.

Wilson played in 15 games during the 2023 season. He had 3,070 passing yards, 26 touchdown passes and eight interceptions.

He said in a recent episode of the “I AM ATHLETE” podcast that he wanted to stay with the Broncos.

“I’ve got more fire than ever, honestly, especially over the past two years and what I’ve gone through,” the 35-year-old Super Bowl champion said. “Whether it’s in Denver or somewhere else. I hope it’s in Denver. I hope I get to finish there. I committed there. I want to be there.”

He added that he wanted to win at least two more Super Bowls in the next five years.

“For me, it’s about winning. In the next five years, I want to win two,” Wilson said. “I want to feel the chill of that trophy again. I love the city and everything else, but you also want to be in a place that loves you, too. I want to win, that’s all I care about.”

The Super Bowl champion quarterback will be free to find a new team in the offseason.

Russell Wilson tosses the pigskin

Russell Wilson (Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)

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Denver finished 8-9 in 2023 and now must look to see who might be the best fit for the Payton-led offense.

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