Russell Wilson Detailed How The Broncos Threatened To Bench Him If He Didn’t Restructure His Contract During The Bye Week

The Denver Broncos are making a change at quarterback this week, as Jarrett Stidham will step in for Russell Wilson when they host the Chargers on Sunday afternoon.

At 7-8, Denver is in 11th in the AFC, with five teams tied at 8-7 ahead of them in the Wildcard chase (three of which are in the AFC South, meaning one will win the division). That means their playoff chances are effectively over, shifting their attention a bit more towards the future. While the team insists it was a football decision to bench Wilson (he has not performed well in recent weeks), there is an obvious financial component to the move, as Wilson has an injury guarantee that would put the Broncos on the hook for $37 million in 2025 if he were to suffer a serious injury late this season.

Making the optics worse for the Broncos is that they apparently tried threatening Wilson with being benched much earlier this season if he didn’t restructure his contract to remove that injury guarantee. On Friday, Wilson spoke with the media for the first time since being made the backup in Denver, and he detailed those conversations with the team during the bye week in Week 9 of the season and how the league and NFLPA eventually stepped in.

Wilson, unsurprisingly, takes a diplomatic approach to his benching and makes clear that he’s going to continue doing what he can to help the Broncos, while also saying he still wants to be with the team long term. It’s pretty obvious that feeling is not shared by Sean Payton and the Broncos, but it’s the right thing to say for Wilson, who can’t come off disgruntled as he is going to be seeking a new job next year when he’s inevitably cut by Denver.