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Wilson agrees to 5-Year Extension with Denver Broncos

The Denver Broncos locked up quarterback Russell Wilson for five more seasons on Thursday, adding $245 million of new money to the veteran quarterback’s old deal. Wilson, 33, is now signed through the 2028 season.

The extension, which includes $165 million of guaranteed money, makes Wilson the second-highest-paid quarterback and player in the NFL, in terms of new money. The only player earning more per season is Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers at $50.217 million. Wilson’s extension gets added to the two years, $51 million he was already due, giving the Broncos seven years of team control worth $296 million ($42.3 million average).

Wilson’s deal gives him $15 million more in guarantees than Rodgers. The structuring of Wilson’s new contract is an interesting data point for Lamar Jackson’s contract negotiations with the Baltimore Ravens, says Mike Tannenbaum, former general manager of the Jets and Dolphins and founder of The 33rd Team.

Marc Trestman, former Chicago Bears coach and analyst for The 33rd Team, saw Wilson up close during his recent two-week, seven-team training camp tour, and came away impressed with the quarterback’s command of his new offense, his commitment to getting better and work in the community.

“In operating in a new offense, Wilson used the play-action and drop-back game, while spreading the ball around to multiple receivers,” Trestman wrote. “After practice, Wilson spent at least 20 minutes working with his receivers in the red zone. And following a 2 ½-hour practice and red-zone work, he spent nearly an hour of his time signing autographs in 85-plus-degree heat.”

Now that Wilson is the second-highest-paid quarterback in the league, how does he stack up compared to his peers? According to Sports Info Solutions, he compares pretty well.

  1. In 2021, Wilson finished fifth in Yards Per Attempt with 7.8 (min. 100 attempts)
  2. In 2021, Wilson finished eighth in Independent Quarterback Rating (IQR) at 105.4 (min. 100 attempts)
  3. Since the inception of Total Points in 2016, Wilson has the fifth-most Passer Total Points with 611.
  4. Wilson currently Ranks 10th in SIS’ World’s No. 1 Quarterback Ranking. The World’s No. 1 Quarterback Ranking uses the player value stat Total Points to make a cumulative evaluation of game performance over a three-year period.

In essence, the advanced metrics support extending Wilson. The issue the Broncos will run into is Wilson’s age. At 33 years old, there are some concerns that Wilson could soon be on the decline. SIS tallied up the Top 250 QB ANY/A Seasons of All-Time and Since 2000. The highlighted columns signify the steep drop-off from age 35.

The 11-year veteran out of Wisconsin won a Super Bowl in his second season and narrowly lost one in his third. He is also a nine-time Pro Bowl player and the 2020 Walter Payton Man of the Year Award winner. The Broncos are pushing all of their chips into the table hoping Wilson can recreate his early career postseason success.