TRAINING CAMP 2022

It’s time for everyone to be “all in” on Russell Wilson with the Broncos

Aug 1, 2022, 6:17 AM
Russell Wilson...
(Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
(Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

All in. That’s what Broncos Country should be on Russell Wilson.

He’s a future Hall of Fame quarterback, in his prime, who chose Denver as his new home. He’s a player who takes the franchise from irrelevant to a contender instantly.

Yet, some aren’t on board. Some want to “wait and see” before jumping on the bandwagon.

This has come in two forms. Both are examples of apprehension in the Mile High City.

First, attendance during the first week of training camp was lighter than expected. Clearly, the fans are a little hesitant to invest their time in the new-look Broncos. The scars from the last six years still haven’t healed.

Saturday’s practice drew more than 7,000 fans, however. So perhaps people are starting to warm up.

Second, some in the local media don’t think the team should ink the quarterback to a contract extension. With two years left on his current deal, they believe Wilson should have to “prove” that he’s worthy of a five-year, $250-million deal.

The fans have a point. The media folks wanting to pump the brakes are off their rockers.

Since winning Super Bowl 50, the Broncos have suffered through six-straight non-playoff seasons, the worst stretch by any team in NFL history after winning a championship. The last five have been sub-.500 years, the worst run since the franchise joined the NFL.

So if Broncos fans are a little skeptical, it’s understandable. If they want to see that the product is better before the decide to bake in the sun at training camp, that’s fine; they’re guarded for a reason.

But to suggest that the Broncos should wait to sign Wilson to a new contract is ludicrous. Denver needs to get the deal done ASAP. Once the Walton-Penner group officially buy the team from the Bowlen family on August 9, it should be their first priority.

As time goes on, the price tag is only going to go up. Deshaun Watson and Kyler Murray set the bar this offseason at $230 million over five years. When Justin Herbert and Joe Burrow get new deals next year, the number will likely exceed a quarter billion.

So the time to strike is now. It’ll never be cheaper.

That’s because there’s nothing Wilson could do that would cause the Broncos not to sign him to an extension. There’s literally no scenario in which they wouldn’t.

If he plays great, they will want to keep him. If he plays poorly, they won’t have a better option (see Murray getting paid despite a late-season fade and playoff meltdown). And if he gets hurt, it won’t affect his price tag much if any (see Dak Prescott getting a new deal after suffering a devastating leg injury).

So there’s no point in waiting. What is there to see? What is there to debate?

The Broncos committed to Wilson the moment they sent nine assets to the Seahawks to acquire him. To give up that much for only one or two seasons would be general manager malpractice. The franchise has to keep him in Denver for seven-plus seasons for the deal to make sense.

Wilson has elevated the franchise. Anyone who has spent two minutes at training camp can see the difference.

Are his antics a bit much? Sure. Wilson’s attempts to be a social media star come off as cheesy and unauthentic at times.

But that seems like an easy problem to suffer through. It certainly beats the alternatives.

A globetrotting superstar QB is certainly better than Trevor Siemian. A quarterback recording TikTok videos after practice with his family is light years better than Paxton Lynch. Showing up for the season in a monster truck is easier to stomach than Joe Flacco. Or Drew Lock. Or Teddy Bridgewater.

Did the naysayers not watch the last six seasons? Have the memories of bad QB play faded that quickly?

Russell Wilson isn’t perfect. But neither was Peyton Manning. Or John Elway.

They were better than almost every other alternative, however. They gave the Broncos a chance on any given Sunday.

So will Wilson.

That’s why it’s time for everyone to get on board. It’s time to be all in, Broncos Country.

***

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It’s time for everyone to be “all in” on Russell Wilson with the Broncos