Russell Wilson appears likely to be on a new team in 2024. The Broncos’ quarterback was recently benched in favor of Jarrett Stidham for the team’s final two games.
Head coach Sean Payton insists the moves was made to “get a spark.”
Sean Payton, on benching Russell Wilson:
“We’re desperately trying to win. Sure, in our game today, there are economics and other things.”
“But the number one thing…is to get a spark offensively.”
— Andrew Siciliano (@AndrewSiciliano) December 27, 2023
However, reports have since come out that the Broncos have a financial incentive to bench Wilson. Reportedly, the team wanted Wilson to remove his injury guarantees and threatened to bench him if he did not agree.
Regardless, it seems increasingly unlikely that Wilson ever suits up for the Broncos again. With that in mind, let’s identify some realistic destinations for the disgruntled signal-caller.
This one makes the most sense to me. The Falcons have some interesting weapons on offense and have a sneakily-good defense in 2023. The Falcons likely won’t have a high enough pick to land a top QB in the draft, so Wilson would be a perfect solution.
Bijan Robinson, Drake London, and Kyle Pitts would give Wilson an enviable trio of weapons. Additionally, the team projects to have plenty of cap space in 2024 so even more weapons could be added.
The Falcons also have the luxury of playing in the NFC South, which is a division that currently does not have any elite teams. Quarterback play is seemingly the one thing holding the Falcons back. With a solid veteran QB, the Falcons would likely be the favorites to win the division in 2024.
The Washington Commanders have a new ownership group and will likely have a new coaching staff in 2024. Current Commanders’ QB Sam Howell has been benched multiple times this season, and it now seems obvious that the team no longer views him as a viable long-term option.
The Commanders are in the running for a top 3 pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. However, the team could choose to upgrade the offensive line or even trade down instead of taking a QB. Adding Wilson gives the team more options for that top pick.
Wilson could be intrigued by a (likely) new head coach, weapons like Terry McLaurin and Brian Robinson, and an owner that is willing to pay up. Wilson also went to high school in nearby Richmond, VA, making this a homecoming of sorts.
The Commanders also are projected to have the most cap space in the league in 2024, so there would be no problem facillitating Wilson’s contract.
New England Patriots
The Patriots are another team that will have plenty of cap space in 2024. Assuming Bill Belichick decides to hang around, the team could gear up for one more run this offseason.
The QB position has been a black hole for the Patriots lately. Mac Jones and Bailey Zappe have both rotated in, with neither inspiring much confidence. It’s clear the team will need to address the position this offseason. Like the Commanders, the Pats will likely have a top 5 pick.
Could the Pats pass on a QB and instead upgrade around a veteran like Wilson? It’s certainly possible. The team has plenty of money to add weapons, and the allure of playing for one of the greatest coaches ever could be enough to get Wilson on board.