Jarrett Stidham to Remain Broncos’ QB1 vs. Raiders over Russell Wilson, Payton Says

Author Avatar

Staff Writer

Joined: Nov 2016

Justin Edmonds/Getty ImagesDenver Broncos head coach Sean Payton confirmed Jarrett Stidham will remain the starting quarterback for Sunday’s game against the Las Vegas Raiders.

Payton told reporters that Russell Wilson will be the second straight week.

Stidham started Denver’s 16-9 win over the Los Angeles Chargers and went 20-of-32 for 224 yards and a touchdown.

The decision to bench Wilson has become a point of contention between the nine-time Pro Bowler and the team.

This was always a possibility after Wilson’s disastrous 2022 season, one that raised major questions about his long-term future in Denver despite signing an extension with the team through 2028.

Wilson’s performance has improved, though. Through 15 games, he had thrown for 3,070 yards, 26 touchdowns and eight interceptions. His completion percentage (66.4) and QBR (50.7) were both up noticeably. The Broncos, meanwhile, were 7-8 with him at the helm.

Maybe the ship had sailed on the 35-year-old taking Denver to a Super Bowl, but he was at least a capable starter.

That’s why it came as a surprise when Payton turned to Stidham.

The coach said the Broncos “need a spark” in explaining the move, but finances rather than football reasons appear to be driving the thinking. Demoting him for the final three games would mean reducing the odds of a $37 vesting option that’s guaranteed for injury getting triggered. That makes it easier for Denver to cut or trade him this coming offseason.

Albert Breer @AlbertBreerThis, pretty clearly, is it for Russell Wilson in Denver. Broncos are on the hook for $39 million in guarantees in 2024. However, hanging on to him into 2024 would mean $37 million vesting for 2025.

So it’s $39 million buyout this offseason or $37 million buyout next offseason. https://t.co/EL9DS4dj9t

Wilson told reporters team officials approached him during a Week 9 bye and said he would get benched if he didn’t amend his contract to remove the injury guarantee:

Zac Stevens @ZacStevensDNVRRussell Wilson talked for the first time since being benched.

He said he was asked to waive his injury guarantees after the Chiefs win. pic.twitter.com/EvrFXAsxel

The Athletic’s Jeff Howe and Nick Kosmider reported Sunday the NFL Players Association wrote a letter to the Broncos in November to say such a threat would be in violation of the collective bargaining agreement.

Troy Renck of Denver7 noted the NFLPA didn’t file a formal grievance on behalf of Wilson, and NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport spoke to a source who said the conversation between Wilson and Denver about his contract is “commonplace.”

Regardless of whether this becomes a bigger issue, Stidham starting again means Wilson may have already played his last game in a Broncos uniform.


0 %

User Score

0 ratings
Rate This