Russell Wilson just signed a new deal, but he won’t be satisfied with it. He wants to put the Denver Broncos back on the map in a major way.
Keep in mind that the Denver Broncos are among the most successful and renowned organizations in NFL history. However, the bloom has faded during the previous six seasons of postseason failure.
That image of mediocrity makes it slightly more difficult to attract talent during free agency. That’s just the cold, honest truth. If this year’s schedule is any indicator, however, then the Broncos’ national stature is increasing again. Remember that the NFL has decided to give Denver no less than five primetime games.
That’s likely due to Wilson’s draw as a big-name QB. If the newly-paid Wilson gets his way, though, Mile High City will get more than primetime TV schedule. He wants Denver to become a “destination spot” for NFL free agents from all over the country.
Russell Wilson via DenverBroncos.com:
“To me, what it was really about was being able to win championships and being able to have enough space in the salary cap so George can make his magic and we can get guys like [OLB] Randy Gregory when he comes on the team or other great players,” Wilson said after inking a five-year, $245 million extension. “We want to make this a destination location. It’s one of those things [where] we have an amazing tradition, amazing football team.”
Broncos, QB Russell Wilson agree to terms on a 5-year, $245M extension which includes $165M guaranteed. (via @rapsheet) pic.twitter.com/Nhun83wMo3
— NFL (@NFL) September 1, 2022
It’s not a new concept at all. Recall that at the height of Peyton Manning’s career in Denver, the Broncos were unquestionably a “destination site” for free agents. DeMarcus Ware, T.J. Ward, Aqib Talib, and Emmanuel Sanders are just a few of the NFL veterans who took a lower salary to join the Broncos.
It paid off for them, too. Every player named above contributed to the Lombardi Trophy being awarded in Super Bowl L.
Without a question, the Broncos ooze tradition. The name still has some cache, even if it has recently lost some of its shine.
Having a franchise quarterback is the first step toward regaining some of that profile. The next step is to actually win football games again.
Wilson set down the gauntlet in the AFC West when he was presented to the Denver media back in March. He made it crystal clear that he wants to complete his career with the Broncos and hang a couple more Lombardi Trophies in the case at UCHealth Training Center.
The nine-time Pro Bowler is also under contract until 2028. He will have plenty of time to complete the task of winning a few more Super Bowls. That’ll be an uphill climb, of course, but don’t count out the winningest starting quarterback in NFL history after his first ten seasons.
Ironically, the Wilson-Denver era begins when the Broncos face the Seattle Seahawks on Monday Night Football. Sparks are sure to fly.