Speaking in an interview during the Pro Bowl, Matt Ryan chimed in on the relationship between Russell Wilson and Sean Payton, saying that he believes that the two are reaching a point of no return.
“Just from the decision that (the Denver Broncos) made towards the end of the season, I think it’s a hard relationship to repair between (Russell Wilson and Sean Payton),” said Ryan, via Andrew Mason. “The level of trust will just never be the same if they decide to keep him.”
If what the 2016 NFL MVP said is true, then the Denver Broncos will face a huge conundrum regarding Russell Wilson’s (and even Sean Payton’s) long-term future with the club.
How did Matt Ryan come up with this conclusion between Russell Wilson and Sean Payton?
In his first year with CBS as their football analyst, Matt Ryan managed to cover three Denver Broncos games. Russell Wilson and co. won against the Chicago Bears and New York Jets in Weeks 4 and 5, while they lost to the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 14.
At the time, Matt Ryan felt that Russell Wilson and Sean Payton were on good terms, at least during the pre-game production meetings that they had.
“The times we had them, it seemed like the relationship was good, at least in the discussions we had,” shared Ryan. “In the conversations we had and the times we called it, it didn’t seem as though it was headed in that direction.”
However, everything changed for the two when Sean Payton benched Russell Wilson for Jarrett Stidham in Week 17. Given his experience in the NFL, Matt Ryan knows the importance of the relationship between a coach and his quarterback, and he felt that the benching revealed a telling disconnect between Wilson and Payton.
Does Russell Wilson still have left in his tank?
Compared to last season, Wilson had a better campaign in 2023, as he had 3,070 yards with 26 touchdowns and eight interceptions for a 66.4 completion percentage, which is why Matt Ryan believes that Wilson is still a solid NFL quarterback.
With four years left in his massive deal, Wilson and Payton will have to find a way to work together since cutting the former will complicate their cap situation.