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#pounditThursday, June 13, 2024

Broncos legend makes bold prediction about Russell Wilson

Russell Wilson with headphones on

Aug 13, 2022; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson (3) before the preseason game against the Dallas Cowboys at Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Russell Wilson has looked better under Sean Payton than he did with Nathaniel Hackett at the helm, but one Denver Broncos legend does not think the improvements will be enough for the quarterback to keep his job.

Ex-Broncos offensive lineman and three-time Super Bowl champion Mark Schlereth discussed the state of his former team during an appearance on “The Herd with Colin Cowherd” Thursday. Schlereth said he believes the Broncos need to rebuild their team from the inside out and will move on from Wilson this offseason.

“I would be shocked if Russell Wilson makes it past this year and if he’s the quarterback of the Denver Broncos next year. I would be shocked,” Schlereth said. “It’s not that Russell Wilson is playing terrible football, Thursday night not withstanding. He was bad Thursday night. It’s not that he’s playing terrible football, but he’s not playing winning football and he’s not elevating the players around him. From that standpoint, I think it’s time to clean house and it’s time to get new players.”

Wilson has 12 touchdown passes through six games. He had just 14 all of last year. The Broncos have had far more issues on defense than offense, but they are 1-5 because they have done very little right. Schlereth believes a poorly constructed roster is the biggest issue.

“At some point don’t you have to point to the players and are our players good enough? We don’t have good enough players,” Schlereth added. “We don’t have guys that are professionals.”

Wilson signed a 5-year, $245 million extension with the Broncos after they acquired him from the Seattle Seahawks last year. He will turn 35 next month. Given how he has looked in Denver, he would likely be almost impossible to trade.

What the Broncos could do is cut Wilson next offseason. If they went that route, they would owe him his entire $39 million salary for 2024 and carry massive dead salary cap hits in 2025 and 2026.

Moving on from Wilson would not be ideal, but the Broncos have a new ownership group that invested a huge sum of money in Payton. Even if things between the coach and quarterback have been fine, there is no sense keeping Wilson around if Payton thinks he can find a better quarterback.

There are still 11 games remaining in the regular season, so a lot could change. But if the Broncos continue to lose, we would not bet against Schlereth’s prediction.

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