Denver Broncos star Russell Wilson may soon be out of a job. The former starting quarterback was benched by Broncos’ head coach Sean Payton after the team lost a must-win game to the New England Patriots on Christmas Eve.
There are reports that Wilson, 35, will be let go during the offseason.
The Broncos new starting quarterback Jarrett Stidham led the team to a scrappy 16-9 win over the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday. But the Broncos were eliminated from playoff contention.
Meanwhile, Wilson complained that the team’s front office threatened to bench him if he refused to renegotiate a portion of his contract last October.
“It has come to our attention that the Denver Broncos recently informed Mr. Wilson and his Certified Contract Advisor that if Mr. Wilson would not renegotiate his Player Contract to relinquish certain salary guarantees, the Broncos would remove him from the starting lineup.
“If the Broncos follow-through on the Club’s threat, the Club will violate, among other things, the Collective Bargaining Agreement, Mr. Wilson’s Player Contract and New York law.”
The NFLPA threatened a lawsuit.
“Accordingly, we write to notify you that the NFLPA and Mr. Wilson ‘reasonably anticipate’ arbitration and/or litigation against the Broncos and the Management Council, triggering your respective obligations to preserve potentially relevant documents.”
Wilson signed a 5-year, $242.6 million contract extension with the Broncos in 2022.
Ex-NFL general manager Michael Lombardi told TMZ Sports that Denver’s trade for Wilson “is going to go down as the all-time worst” trade in NFL history.
The Broncos traded a plethora of draft picks to acquire Wilson from Seattle on the strength of his promise to lead them to the NFL playoffs this season. But that didn’t happen.
Coach Payton insists Wilson’s benching was a “coaching decision” and that he had nothing to do with contract talks.
“I’m not privy to any of those [discussions],” Payton said on Friday. “I understand all the speculation and everything that surrounds a move like that. I can tell you, we’re desperately trying to win.”
The team also insists no threats were made to bench Wilson last year.
According to The Athletic, Wilson is expecting to be let go in March 2024.
This is bad news for pop singer Ciara Wilson whose music career was revived when she married the former Super Bowl champion in 2016.
Ciara and Russell Wilson recently welcomed their third child together, a daughter named Amora Princess Wilson.
They also share a 6-year-old daughter named Sienna Princess Wilson and a son named Win Wilson, age 3.
Ciara, 38, shares a son, Future Zahir, 9, with rapper Future.
Russell and Ciara are set for life, but she has made a career out of being Russell Wilson’s wife. Her fans fear she will become irrelevant without Wilson in the NFL spotlight.