The Denver Broncos got their quarterback. Now they've made sure he'll be sticking around for the foreseeable future.
Russell Wilson and the Broncos agreed to a five-year, $245 million contract extension Thursday, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. When taking into account his current contract, Wilson is tied to Denver for seven years for a total salary of $296 million.
The Broncos later confirmed the agreement but did not disclose the money involved.
ESPN's Field Yates noted that Wilson becomes the second-highest-paid quarterback in the NFL on an annual basis at $49 million:
The Broncos already made a huge investment in acquiring Wilson, sending the Seattle Seahawks two first-round picks (2022 and 2023), two second-round picks (2022 and 2023), a 2022 fifth-round selection, quarterback Drew Lock, tight end Noah Fant and defensive lineman Shelby Harris in exchange for the veteran quarterback and a 2022 fourth-rounder.
Wilson, 33, made it clear he has plenty more football left in the tank, and he expects big things with the Broncos.
"My goal is to play 10 or 12 more years and hopefully win three, four more Super Bowls, that's the plan," he told reporters. "That's the mindset. That's why I came here, to finish my career here and hopefully finish on top as a champion. And do it multiple times."
Wilson has one title (2013) to his name in what has been an excellent career. The nine-time Pro Bowler has thrown for 37,059 yards, 292 touchdowns and 87 interceptions, going 104-53-1 as Seattle's starter over the past 10 seasons.
His 2021 campaign was a bit rocky, as a finger injury cost him three games and the Seahawks struggled, finishing just 7-10. His 3,113 passing yards were the lowest of his career, while his 25 touchdowns were the fewest he's thrown since 2016.
Still, Wilson is one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, and his acquisition makes Denver a true contender.
But the rest of the AFC improved as well. In the AFC West alone, the Los Angeles Chargers bolstered their defense with the acquisitions of players such as Khalil Mack and J.C. Jackson, the Las Vegas Raiders added star wideout Davante Adams and pass-rusher Chandler Jones, and the Kansas City Chiefs brought aboard wideout JuJu Smith-Schuster, though they also traded Tyreek Hill.
"It's like an arms race," Broncos general manager George Paton told The Athletic's Lindsay Jones in March. "It's a strong division, and obviously that's why we're trying to sign a lot of players so we can do a better job."
"Why would you want it any other way?" Wilson added. "I want to play against the best. I don't fear anything."
The rest of the AFC made moves as well. The Cleveland Browns traded for quarterback Deshaun Watson and receiver Amari Cooper. The Tennessee Titans added wideout Robert Woods, though they traded A.J. Brown. The Buffalo Bills signed Von Miller. The Jacksonville Jaguars went on a borderline unhinged spending spree.
The conference is wide-open. But with Wilson and an impressive collection of young talent on both sides of the ball, the Broncos are in the mix.