Whatever faults one may find with Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson, it’s inarguable that the man has been both a consistent winner (with a career winning percentage of .614) and a complete professional during his NFL career.
Wilson has generally avoided controversy, all while being the consummate teammate and playing one of the most demanding positions in sports.
Given all that, and the fact that Denver overcame a slow start this year to get back into playoff contention, there was some mild surprise when it was announced this week that the Broncos would be benching their very pricey signal caller.
Wilson had been playing perfectly fine this year, even outperforming a number of his more lauded peers, and very much looked like a starting NFL quarterback.
One bad loss hardly felt like reason enough to bench him, and yet that’s exactly what appeared to happen after the lowly New England Patriots beat the playoff-seeking Broncos 26-23 on Christmas Eve.
Only, it turned out there was far more to the situation than meets the eye, as laid out by The Athletic’s senior NFL insider, Dianna Russini.
On Wednesday, Russini noted some of the more bizarre details about how the Broncos were treating Wilson — who, by the way, signed a mammoth five-year, $245 million contract extension with Denver last year that doesn’t even go into effect until 2025.
“Russell Wilson is expecting to be cut by the Denver Broncos in March, per league sources. For almost two months, the quarterback has been starting knowing the organization was most likely going to move on him from after this season,” Russini posted to X.
“The Broncos reached out to Wilson’s representatives in late October and explained that Wilson would lose the starting job and be made inactive for the rest of the season if he did not defer the injury guarantee trigger date that he has for 2025.”
The Broncos reached out to Wilson’s representatives in late October and explained that Wilson would lose the starting job and be made inactive for the rest of the season if he did not defer the injury guarantee trigger date that he has for 2025, per multiple league sources.
— Dianna Russini (@DMRussini) December 28, 2023
Russini continued, “Wilson has $37 million in injury guarantees for 2025 that will become guaranteed on the fifth day of the 2024 league year in March. Lawyers, including some with the [NFL Players Association], were involved, and no changes were made to the contract.”
The NFL insider concluded with one last note about how Denver levied this threatening non-threat at the veteran QB.
“The Broncos never told Wilson if or when they would bench him this season, he just played until he was told this morning he was no longer starting,” Russini said.
It was explained, the Broncos never told Wilson if or when they would bench him this season, he just played until he was told this morning he was no longer starting.
— Dianna Russini (@DMRussini) December 28, 2023
So, to recap: Russell Wilson (who is top 10 in virtually every meaningful quarterbacking statistic this year) helped the Broncos win six of nine games after a 1-5 start, thrusting the team back into playoff contention.
As a reward, the team allegedly threatened Wilson over a clause in the lavish contract they offered him. Meanwhile, Wilson was reportedly working his tail off for the Broncos with the sword of Damocles hanging over him.
It would be real easy to be bitter about all this, and there’s a non-zero chance Wilson is apoplectic behind the scenes.
But publicly? The star quarterback shared a powerful message about why he’s not worried.
“God’s got me,” Wilson said in an X post. “Looking forward to what’s next.”
God’s got me.
Looking forward to what’s next.
— Russell Wilson (@DangeRussWilson) December 28, 2023
It’s the perfect response that also highlights another important aspect of this story — Wilson’s unwavering faith, something he’s never, ever been shy about.
If Wilson were some malcontent thug who allegedly broke a little boy’s arm (see: supremely talented but supremely troubled Miami Dolphins star Tyreek Hill), this type of treatment from the front office would probably be seen as harsh, but necessary.
But Wilson has only ever conducted himself as a class act and a man of faith.
It’s not clear what — if anything — he has done to necessitate a benching in favor of Jarrett Stidham, a career backup who couldn’t carry Wilson’s bags on his best day.
Hopefully Stidham doesn’t get hurt when he suits up against the Los Angeles Chargers or Las Vegas Raiders, because this writer can’t even begin to fathom the awkwardness of the Broncos having to return to Wilson with their tail tucked between their legs, asking him to play again.
One final note and proof that God has a wonderfully ironic sense of humor:
Multiple oddsmakers have pegged the Patriots — you know, the team that sort of sparked all this drama by beating Wilson and the Broncos on Sunday — as the favorites to acquire Wilson if/when he is released by Denver.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
The post NFL Star Has Perfect Response After Career Turned Upside Down in Ugly Debacle: ‘God’s Got Me’ appeared first on The Gateway Pundit.