The situation between Russell Wilson and the Denver Broncos continues to deteriorate.
Just this week, multiple reports confirmed that Wilson would be effectively benched for the rest of the Broncos season. And on Friday, he also confirmed that it was their decision, with the team demanding that he void much of the guaranteed money in his contract.
Wilson said that the Broncos approached him during the bye week, and told him he had to change a specific clause in his contract or be benched. The same $245 million contract extension that he signed just last year.
The disagreement between Wilson and the team revolves around a $37 million 2025 vesting option that is set to come into effect in March.
“They came up to me during the bye week and beginning of the bye week, Monday or Tuesday, they told me if I didn’t change my contract, my injury guarantee, that I’d be benched the rest of the year,” he said.
“I was definitely disappointed about it,” Wilson told the media. “It was a process for the whole bye week. We had just come off beating the Chiefs. I was excited for us fighting for the playoffs and getting on a hot streak. The NFLPA and NFL got involved or whatever at some point.”
Not a good look for the Broncos franchise or head coach Sean Payton.
Russell Wilson Shows How Easily NFL Contracts Can Be Manipulated
If the Broncos didn’t fully want to commit to Wilson, they shouldn’t have signed him to a five-year contract. But they did. And now they’re looking for a way out.
“It definitely hurt. It was a low blow for a bit,” Wilson said in describing the team’s request. “At the end of the day, I just want to keep my head down and try to do what I can do each play, each game, each moment.”
After a disastrously poor 1-5 start to the season, Denver’s gone 6-3, with Wilson putting up generally solid numbers, especially towards the middle half of the season. But Payton clearly wants to move on, despite the team technically still having a shot at making the playoffs. And it’s leading to an awkward, poorly conducted situation between them and one of the league’s most recognizable veterans.
If you’re debating which sport to put your kids into, maybe direct them towards baseball, where these kinds of contract shenanigans are essentially impossible.