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Broncos to Ditch Russell Wilson, Leaving Team with Largest Dead Cap Hit Ever

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The Denver Broncos announced Monday that the team is releasing quarterback Russell Wilson to become a free agent.

The nine-time Pro Bowler came to the Broncos from the Seattle Seahawks in 2022 on a five-year, $242.6 million deal.

The team’s decision to release him will come with an NFL record $85 million dead cap, which is the amount of money the team must pay by contract with Wilson after releasing him from the roster, according to Bleacher Report.

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The previous high was for quarterback Matt Ryan at $40.53 million, when the Atlanta Falcons traded him to the Indianapolis Colts, CBS Sports reported.

Former Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers came in not far behind at $40.31 million when he was traded to the New York Jets in 2023.

The Broncos said in a statement, “We spoke with Russell Wilson today to inform him of his release after the start of the league year. On behalf of the Broncos, we thank Russell for his contributions and dedication to our team and community while wishing him the best as he continues his career.”

“As we move forward, we are focused on building the strongest team possible for the 2024 season and beyond. We are excited to improve this offseason and will have the flexibility to get better through the draft and free agency,” the team added.

Wilson had two disappointing seasons with the Broncos, who finished the 2023 season 8-9, and failed to make the playoffs.

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That had been an improvement from the 2022 when the team went 5-12, last in the AFC West, as Bleacher Report noted.

In his last season with the Broncos, Wilson threw 26 touchdown passes and eight interceptions. His pass completion rate was 66 percent, making the 35-year-old’s overall stats similar to his time with the Seahawks.

However, the Broncos benched him for the last two games of the season, replacing him with Jarrett Stidham.

Head coach Sean Payton told reporters on December 27 that his team needed to “get a spark offensively.”

In 2014, Wilson led the Seahawks to victory in the Super Bow with a win over the Broncos.

The Seahawks returned to the big game the following year, but lost narrowly to the New England Patriots.

Wilson posted a statement on X on Monday, saying, “Broncos Country, Thank you!”

Wilson wrote that he thanks Jesus “for breath in the good times and the bad times. He always gets the glory!”

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“Tough times don’t last, but tough people do,” he wrote. “God’s got me. I’m excited for what’s next.”

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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