Skip to main content

How a Russell Wilson contract extension with the Denver Broncos might look like

Vincent Frank

A Russell Wilson contract extension has not been in the cards since the Denver Broncos pulled off the earth-shattering blockbuster trade for the Super Bowl quarterback.

Jeff Howe of The Athletic reported on Tuesday that the two sides have not discussed an extension in the weeks following the trade.

“The two sides still haven’t begun negotiations on a new contract, according to sources. They plan to get there eventually, but there’s no timetable for the inevitable discourse.”

Jeff Howe on Russell Wilson contract talks

At some point, it’s inevitable that these talks are going to take place between the two sides. It should happen before Week 1 of the 2022 NFL season.

Denver didn’t exhaust two first-round picks and two second-round picks as well as three players on Wilson to have the future Hall of Famer as a mere short-term option.

Related: Winners and losers from Russell Wilson blockbuster trade

Russell Wilson contract situation right now

russell wilson contract
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Wilson signed a four-year, $140 million extension with his former Seattle Seahawks team back in April of 2019 after prolonged negotiations between the two sides.

At that point, he was the highest-paid quarterback in the NFL. However, said market has naturally increased big time since Wilson’s extension was signed. On a per-year basis, Wilson is playing under a below-market contract.

Related: Russell Wilson contract and how it compares to others

What do all of these deals have in common outside of Wilson’s contract? Well, they were all signed within the past calendar year.

Wilson being mentioned in the same breath as Kirk Cousins is all but laughable. And that’s not a knock on Captain Kirk. It’s just that Wilson has been among the best quarterbacks in modern NFL history.

Those are some absolutely ridiculous numbers. Despite a somewhat down 2021 season, Wilson was still able to put up 25 passing touchdowns against six interceptions in 14 starts for a bad Seahawks team.

Related: 5 blockbuster NFL trades we’d still love to see

Predicting Russell Wilson contract extension

Rob Schumacher/The Republic / USA TODAY NETWORK

This gets us to the primary point of the article. Denver is going to want to get this done during the 2022 offseason before the likes of Joe Burrow and Justin Herbert are eligible for extensions following next season.

Given Watson’s fully-guaranteed contract and how it will impact the NFL QB market, that has to be a focal point for Broncos general manager George Paton. Heck, other NFL big wigs have discussed the new-found market following Watson’s eye-opening extension with the Browns.

“I don’t know that he should’ve been the first guy to get a fully guaranteed contract. To me, that’s something that is groundbreaking, and it’ll make negotiations harder with others. But it doesn’t necessarily mean that we have to play that game, you know? We shall see.”

Baltimore Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti speaking about Deshaun Watson’s new contract

Bisciotti and his Ravens have to deal with the changing dynamics, too. Former NFL MVP Lamar Jackson is elgible for an extension and is set to hit his contract season. If Jackson’s new deal is signed before Wilson’s, it will obviously have an impact on the latter.

Noticing a theme here? Time is of the utmost concern for Denver. It needs to get something done here soon.

Financially, the current Russell Wilson contract calls for a cap hit of $24 million in 2022 and $27 million in 2023. For their part, the Broncos currently find themselves $16.48 million under the cap after their plethora of moves.

Is Tom Brady the greatest of all time or a cheater?

Without a first-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, their rookie salary cap pool is going to be lower than initially imagined. This leads us to believe that a Russell Wilson contract extension could include a higher cap hit in 2022 to help the Broncos’ situation moving forward.

There’s also a chance that Denver backloads large cap hits to take into account increased salary cap figures moving forward due to the record-breaking NFL television contracts. Either way, Wilson is looking at a massive pay day.

  • Russell Wilson contract prediction: 5 years, $250 million w/ $200 million fully guaranteed

Yes, this is what we’d call a massive new deal for Wilson. It also wouldn’t come without risk for Denver given he’s 33 years old. However, the team paid out of its back end to acquire Wilson from the Seahawks. Money is just a figure, as the unnamed new Broncos owner will soon find out once a new Russell Wilson contract becomes reality.