Denver Broncos to release Russell Wilson after 2 seasons

The Denver Broncos have announced they will release Russell Wilson once free agency officially opens this month, according to a team statement released Monday.

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"We met with Russell Wilson today to inform him of his release following the start of the league year," general manager George Paton and head coach Sean Payton said in a joint statement. "On behalf of the Broncos, we thank Russell for his contributions and dedication to our team and community, while we wish him the best as he continues his career."

"We move forward, focused on building the strongest team possible for the 2024 season and beyond. We are excited to improve this offseason and will have the flexibility to improve through the draft and free agency."

The Broncos announced that Wilson will officially be released once he begins the new league year on March 13.

Wilson thanked Broncos fans and his teammates for their support in a separate statement.

"Over these past two years, you have welcomed my family and me with open arms and embraced us as members of the Denver community," he said. "This city will always have a special place in my heart. Our family grew up here, we made countless memories and friendships, and formed relationships that will last a lifetime."

He concluded his statement by saying, “Tough times don't last, but strong people do.

"God's got me. I'm excited for what's next."

The Broncos acquired Wilson in an explosive trade with the Seattle Seahawks before the start of the 2022 season. Denver gave up multiple draft picks along with Noah Fant, Shelby Harris and Drew Lock in the deal.

Wilson was intended to be the quarterback under new head coach Nathaniel Hackett. However, the Broncos stumbled from the start and finished with a 5-12 record.

The Broncos hired Payton to replace Hackett after the 2022 season, but Wilson eventually lost his job to Jarrett Stidham despite having a crucial victory over the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs.

Wilson played in 15 games during the 2023 season. He had 3,070 passing yards, 26 touchdown passes and eight interceptions.

He said on a recent episode of the "I AM ATHLETE" podcast that he wanted to stay with the Broncos.

"I have more fire than ever, honestly, especially over the last two years and what I've been through," the 35-year-old Super Bowl champion said. "Whether it's Denver or somewhere else. I hope it's Denver. I hope I can finish there. I committed there. I want to be there."

He added that he wanted to win at least two more Super Bowls in the next five years.

"For me, it's about winning. In the next five years, I want to win two," Wilson said. "I want to feel the cold of that trophy again. I love the city and everything else, but you also want to be in a place that loves you too. I want to win, that's all that matters to me."

The Super Bowl champion quarterback will be free to find a new team in the offseason.

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