Broncos Out on Trade for $35 Million Former Top 3 Pick, Rival Insider Says - Sport News

Broncos Out on Trade for $35 Million Former Top 3 Pick, Rival Insider Says

The Denver Broncos can take many paths at quarterback this offseason.

They have Russell Wilson under contract for five years and $242.6 million. And, even if he is released as expected, they still have Jarrett Stidham. Head Coach Sean Payton believes Stidham can be a starter. The possibility they draft a rookie also exists.

George Paton, Denver Broncos

Denver could even look to swing a trade for a quarterback. They will abstain from the path that includes New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson, though.

“The Broncos might pursue a young quarterback, either in the draft, or trade,” The Athletic’s Zack Rosenblatt wrote on February 29, “but the impression I got at the combine is Wilson won’t be on their list of targets.”

The Jets gave Wilson, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2021 draft, permission to seek a trade.

Jets general manager Joe Douglas confirmed as much during his press conference at the scouting combine on February 28.

Wilson, 24, completed a career-high 60.1% of his passes for 2,271 yards, eight touchdowns, and seven interceptions. He has yet to pass for 3,000 yards or double-digit touchdowns or start a full slate of games in his young career.

He was a late riser ahead of the 2021 draft.

Wilson began that season outside of the first round in ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay’s preseason mock. He found his way to the second overall pick just before the draft.

Broncos Could Avoid Trade, Wait Out Jets on Zach Wilson

Zach Wilson, Denver Broncos

Just because the Broncos are unlikely to trade for Wilson, that doesn’t mean they could still pursue and ultimately land him. The 6-foot-2 passer is going into the final season of his four-year, $35.1 million contract.

But the Broncos could do just as teams figure to act with them and Russell Wilson. They could simply wait out the Jets’ decision on Zach Wilson.

“Unless the Jets will be picking up most of Wilson’s fully-guaranteed compensation package for 2024, the Jets will be stuck with him,” Pro Football Talk’s NFL insider Mike Florio wrote on February 29. “They’ll have to eventually cut him or keep him — and pay him more than $5.4 million in 2024.”

Wilson carries an $11.1 million cap hit in 2024.

“[The Jets’] best-case scenario would be to release him and hope for the offset, if/when he signs a one-year minimum deal with another team,” Florio wrote.

Zach Wilson Might Not Fit Sean Payton Offense

Sean Payton, Russell Wilson, Denver Broncos

Much of the talk around Wilson has been about his poor fit in Payton’s scheme. It requires quarterbacks to be accurate and on time with the football a la Drew Brees. That has never been Wilson’s game.

“Ascending quarterback prospect who possesses the swagger and arm talent to create explosive plays inside and outside the pocket,” NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein wrote in 2021. “Too much of Wilson’s work comes off-schedule due to inconsistent anticipation and a desire to hit the big play.

“Wilson’s sophomore year tape shows troubling decision-making.

“He’s put in a lot of work to get to this point and has the potential to become a good pro. However, he might need to play with a more disciplined approach to reach his ceiling.”

In that sense, landing with Payton could seem like the best option for Wilson. But, is he the right quarterback for Payton? As was the case with Russell Wilson this past season, the idea of that union can vary greatly from the reality.

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