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Broncos releasing QB Russell Wilson, team announces, making expected move official after disappointing two-year run

Parker Gabriel, The Denver Post on

Published in Football

DENVER — The Russell Wilson era in Denver is officially over after just two seasons.

In a result expected since the veteran quarterback was benched Week 17, the Broncos intend to release Wilson when the 2024 league year begins next week, the team announced.

The 2024 league year begins officially March 13. Had Wilson remained on the Broncos’ roster past March 17, his $37 million in base salary for the 2025 season would have become guaranteed.

“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. “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.”

In an extended note on social media, Wilson took time to thank many of his teammates over the past two years in Denver along with memories of their times together. He also thanked several Broncos staffers including film room attendants, cafeteria workers and vice president of player development Ray Jackson.

 

He had a message, too, for Broncos fans.

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

The Broncos will designate Wilson a post-June 1 release, sources said, meaning they can account for $85 million in “dead” salary cap charges over the next two seasons. It is a move without precedent in NFL history. The previous record for dead cap absorbed for a single player was $40.525 million by Atlanta when it traded quarterback Matt Ryan to Indianapolis in 2022.

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