Russell Wilson On Short Leash With Denver Broncos, Sean Payton According To Former NFL GM Mike Tannenbaum

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Russell Wilson’s first season in Denver did not go as planned. The former Super Bowl champion went 4-11 as the starter for the Broncos. Prior to his last season in Seattle, Wilson had never had a losing season in his first nine years. But he’s posted two in back-to-back years. That has ESPN NFL analyst and former GM Mike Tannenbaum saying that new head coach Sean Payton isn’t going to be patient with Wilson.

“I would be shocked if Russell Wilson was the starter for 17 games this season,” Tannenbaum said on Get Up ESPN. He said that Payton’s goal for his first season with the Denver Broncos is to create a culture of accountability and that starts with Wilson.

“He’s going to see Russell Wilson as an opportunity to hold players accountable … If Russell Wilson has the smallest bump in the road, he will be benched.”

ESPN NFL analyst and former GM Mike Tannenbaum says new Denver Broncos head coach Sean Payton isn't afraid to bench Russell Wilson.
ESPN NFL analyst and former GM Mike Tannenbaum says new Denver Broncos head coach Sean Payton isn’t afraid to bench Russell Wilson. (Photo by RJ Sangosti/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

Tannenbaum also alluded to Payton following one of Mike Tomlin’s most important principles: “The standard is the standard.” And, really, nothing is more important than that for any team — or any company for that matter.

Create a standard for all people and stick to it. Few things gain respect for leaders from their followers than that. Not adhering to that is the quickest way to create division within the locker room.

Russell Wilson struggled in his first season in Denver, and new head coach Sean Payton isn’t going to let it happen again

Russell Wilson posted some of the worst numbers of his career last season, including career-worsts in completion percentage, touchdown passes, QB ratings and sacks taken.

The Broncos backup quarterback, should Sean Payton elect to bench Wilson, is former Raiders quarterback Jarrett Stidham. Stidham started — and lost — two games for the Raiders last season. But he showed flashes in limited opportunities.

He’s not the caliber of player of Russell Wilson, obviously, but he’s a solid backup quarterback that team isn’t afraid to turn to if need be.

They signed Stidham to replace last year’s backup Brett Rypien. Clearly, the Broncos wanted to upgrade at backup quarterback. That was most likely due to Russell Wilson starting to suffer injuries for the first time in his career.

But if they need to go that route because of poor play, that’s not off the table, either.

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Written by Dan Zaksheske

Dan began his sports media career at ESPN, where he survived for nearly a decade. Once the Stockholm Syndrome cleared, he made his way to Outkick. He is secure enough in his masculinity to admit he is a cat-enthusiast with three cats, one of which is named “Brady” because his wife wishes she were married to Tom instead of him.

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