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Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson accomplished a lot: Super Bowl title, Pro Bowls and the Seattle Seahawks all-time passing records. However, Wilson has undeniably lacked respect of certain teammates and players around the league, and a lot of it has been self-inflicted.
Wilson won his Super Bowl early in his career, almost 10 years ago, a 43-8 triumph of the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl 48. The Broncos were led by Peyton Manning’s record-setting offense, and Wilson was aided by an historically great defense. The “Legion of Boom” included future All-Pros Bobby Wagner, Kam Chancellor, Richard Sherman and Earl Thomas. Wilson didn’t need to do much, passing for just over 200 yards in a game where the Broncos didn’t score a point until the second half when the game was already decided.
Context of Russell Wilson’s contribution to the title compared to the rest of the team didn’t stop him from ascending the NFL quarterback ranks in the eyes of the media. Wilson certainly improved as a player but not before he received a lot of unearned praise.
The season that followed that Super Bowl victory also ended on the NFL’s biggest stage. In Super Bowl 49, Wilson and the Seahawks faced the best quarterback in league history, Tom Brady. Wilson had the game on his shoulders after Brady led a 10-point, fourth-quarter comeback to take the lead late. With the pressure on, Wilson threw a goal-line pick to end the game and Seattle’s dreams of a repeat.
Wilson and the Seahawks never returned to the Super Bowl again. He is 1-3 in the playoffs without that all time defense. Following a public conflict with the team, which included Wilson listing which teams he would like to be traded to while he was still under contract in Seattle, Russell was dealt to the Denver Broncos during the 2022 offseason.
Russell Wilson Lacks Understanding, Awareness
It would be one thing if Mr. Lets Ride were to remain humble and share credit with the rest of his teammates, as most quarterbacks tend to do. But during the Broncos Kickoff Luncheon last week, Russell said that one of the reasons he agreed to join the Broncos is because he “didn’t have to carry the team on his shoulders alone.”
Based on his comments, Russell Wilson either shows complete lack of understanding of his role on the team; or worse, he downright deliberately attempts to re-write history in hopes people forget he won his title with majority help from an all-time defense. (Worth noting: After publication, a Broncos representative reached out to OutKick to say Wilson’s comment was in reference to other teams he was considering, not Seattle.)
On Thursday, Denver signed its new star quarterback to a 5-year, $245 million contract extension that includes $165 million guaranteed. It makes Wilson the second-highest paid QB in the NFL.
Less than 10 minutes following the news breaking about his contract, Wilson awkwardly tweeted an ad.
The timing was weird, and he was mocked on social media for it.
During the press conference to celebrate his massive new contract, Wilson said:
For me, it wasn’t really about how much [money], necessarily. It was about how many Super Bowls we can win. That’s really the focus.
On a day in which he wraps up a contract that in total is worth nearly $300 million, Russell Wilson once again shows no self-awareness. Paying Wilson $49 million a year limits the Broncos’ ability to put the best roster around Wilson as they chase Super Bowls.
Time will tell if Russell Wilson will be worth the investment for the Broncos just gave him. But even as he enters his 11th season in the NFL, Russell clearly still hasn’t earned the respect of everyone around the league.