Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson has been benched, leading to a lot of follow-up questions.
Where is he going to play in 2024? Would he possibly come back to Denver? What went wrong between Russ and Sean Payton? Is Sean Payton's offense too difficult? Was Russ doomed from the start? Is this the worst trade in NFL history? How can the Broncos recover financially? Who will be the Broncos' quarterback in 2024?
Among many others, those are some prominent questions as we look to move forward, and the reality is, we should have definitive answers in less than two or three months. The Broncos will likely try to move on from Wilson as quickly as possible, and Wilson will undoubtedly look to land on his feet as quickly as possible. Things have gotten pretty ugly between these two parties as Wilson's camp has aired out some dirty laundry about the Broncos "threatening" to make him inactive if he didn't adjust the injury guarantee in his contract, which could ultimately cost the Broncos $37 million in 2025.
What's really interesting about Russell Wilson's situation right now is the fact that it's so similar to that of Derek Carr's in 2022 when Carr was the quarterback of the Las Vegas Raiders.
Carr was benched late in the season for Jarrett Stidham, and that's exactly what's happening to Wilson. Obviously both teams are in the AFC West and this situation has set them up for an offseason of searching at the QB position. I also think these situations are similar in that the likely landing spot for Wilson could be in the NFC South.
Specifically, I think we could see Wilson wind up with the Atlanta Falcons. NFL Spin Zone site expert Lou Scataglia laid out a few options for Wilson but the Falcons just make a ton of sense right now.
What would make this scenario really bizarre is if the Broncos bring in Jimmy Garoppolo at some point this offseason. There are a handful of ties between Garoppolo and Broncos head coach Sean Payton, including the two sharing an agent (Don Yee). Perhaps one of the most underrated connections between Garoppolo and Sean Payton is the fact that they are both notable alumni of Eastern Illinois. Payton famously helped sign Tony Romo to the Dallas Cowboys when he was coming out of Eastern Illinois, beating out another former EIU alum -- Mike Shanahan with the Denver Broncos.
This would be the final infinity stone in Payton's Eastern Illinois gauntlet.
So you have the obvious connections between Wilson this year and Carr last year. Two guys playing for AFC West teams, unceremoniously benched late in the season for Jarrett Stidham. Both guys then taking to the Twitter-verse to express their side of the story. And just like Carr, I could see Wilson winding up in the NFC South, and just like Carr, I could see Russ being replaced by Jimmy Garoppolo.
Sometimes the sequel is better than the original.