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Report: Russell Wilson, Broncos Haven't Negotiated Contract Despite Public Comments

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVJuly 29, 2022

Russell Wilson (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

The Denver Broncos and quarterback Russell Wilson reportedly haven't entered formal negotiations about a contract extension despite confirmation from both sides they're hoping for a long-term partnership following his arrival from the Seattle Seahawks.

Jeff Howe of The Athletic reported Friday the "general acknowledgment" of interest from both Wilson and the Broncos is the extent of the situation so far, though the discussions could heat up after the team's ownership change is approved, which is expected in August.

"We want him here a long time," Broncos general manager George Paton said. "We didn't give up all we gave up for him to be here for two years, that's for sure. Any contract talks with any of our players, we just keep in-house."

Wilson added: "I'm excited to be here for a long time, and I think that will definitely happen so we'll see where it goes."

The nine-time Pro Bowl selection is under contract through 2023 as part of a four-year, $140 million deal he signed with Seattle.

Denver posted a 7-10 record last season despite having the NFL's eighth-ranked defense (326.1 yards allowed per game) and a rushing attack that was tied for seventh in yards per carry (4.5).

The team's passing game simply didn't deliver enough game-changing plays to supplement those strengths as Teddy Bridgewater and Drew Lock, who was sent to the Hawks in the Wilson trade, combined to throw just 20 touchdowns in 17 games.

That's why the Broncos made an all-in move to acquire Wilson in March, giving up Lock, tight end Noah Fant, defensive end Shelby Harris and five draft picks, including a pair of first-rounders.

Wilson should have MVP potential as he throws to a group of pass-catchers that includes Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy and Tim Patrick.

If the aerial attack sees the expected boost and the other phases remain as strong as they were in 2021, the Broncos could emerge as a Super Bowl contender.

Meanwhile, the contract situation isn't overly time-sensitive since the 33-year-old has two full seasons left on his previous deal.

Quarterback deals have exploded since the Ohio native signed the contract with Seattle. Its average value ($35 million) has dropped to ninth at the position, per Spotrac.

Based on that trend, the Broncos would probably be wise to work toward an extension in the near future since the contract values are only going to continue rising.

That said, the main focus right now is trying to make the playoffs for the first time since winning a Super Bowl in 2015, when the offense was led by Peyton Manning.

Denver opens the regular season Sept. 12 with a Monday Night Football road trip to face Wilson's old team, the Seahawks.

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