Since the end of the 2023 season is near, we're already starting to get a feeling of which teams will be looking to cut or trade significant players on their roster in the offseason. Most of what's been rumored already has been quarterbacks, with the Broncos' alleged decision to move on from quarterback Russell Wilson revealed on Wednesday night.
The Super Bowl XLVIII winner has had quite a bumpy road since he arrived in Denver, with most of the drama seeming behind him this year. But that didn't last too long, as the latest chatter coming out of the Mile High City suggests Sean Payton has decided to bench Wilson after losing three of their last four games.
The straw that broke the camel's back seems to be losing to the 3-11 Patriots on Sunday Night Football. Although Wilson didn't play all that poorly, he is receiving the most blame for the loss, which makes the decision to sideline him for Jarrett Stidham more intriguing.
It's been alleged that higher-ups in Denver wanted him to restructure his contract, specifically the injury clause. Because he seemingly refused, Wilson has flared some tempers within the staff, which is what some believe has brought him to the point of being benched.
Now Diana Russini of The Athletic is reporting the team wants to cut ties with the quarterback permanently in March, making him available for trade or to be signed if they outright release him. Despite the heavy dead cap implications of either scenario, the team is rumored to be ready to move on from one of the worst trades in recent history, which they happen to be on the worst end of.
Because Wilson could be available, several teams are named to be in the mix to make the trade or sign him when free agency begins. Surprisingly, but not really, the Patriots are said to be one of the most likely landing spots, given their need for a new quarterback.
Nate Davis of USA Today believes acquiring Wilson would make sense for New England, but says it would be more like giving him a starting opportunity somewhere rather than aimlessly wandering around the league waiting for someone to show interest in him.
"Mac Jones, a first-rounder in 2021, doesn’t seem to be the answer. Bailey Zappe? Also unlikely. And HC Bill Belichick’s job status is a major unknown at the moment … even while it appears he's busily trying to pilot the Pats out of a top-five pick in what projects to be a strong quarterback draft. All of which is to say … who knows? But this certainly looks like the tenuous kind of environment that could eventually at least afford Wilson the starting opportunity he’d doubtless seek if he winds up on the unemployment line."
Plenty of Patriots fans are ready for a new quarterback, but it seems fair to assume most of them would not be even the slightest interested in bringing in a guy like Wilson at this point.
It would be another experimental situation, hoping to turn a formerly productive quarterback into a formidable piece of the offense. He would essentially be another bridge quarterback since he will be 36 years old and hasn't been elite in a handful of years.
Whether it will be Bill Belichick or another general manager, bringing in Wilson would simply be putting a Band-Aid on a gaping wound that has been needing tending to for a while, which doesn't seem like something Robert Kraft would be all too thrilled with either.
The smartest thing to do would be to draft a quarterback this year, mainly because they have their highest draft pick in decades and need a player they can develop. It would be a much cheaper option than paying Wilson, who is in no hurry to adjust his current contract to benefit the team, so why would he with a new one?
Hopefully, the Patriots will only be a team connected to Wilson due to speculation and nothing more. The last thing they need is another unfavorable quarterback situation they can't escape easily.
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