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Russell Wilson: Denver Broncos release quarterback just two years on from acquiring him in blockbuster trade

Denver Broncos take hit of $85m after releasing quarterback Russell Wilson two seasons into five-year, $242.6m deal; Broncos missed out on playoffs in both of Wilson's campaigns with team after giving up five draft picks and three players to trade him from Seattle Seahawks in 2022

Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson
Image: Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson has been released after two years with the team

Denver Broncos will take a dead cap hit of $85m after releasing quarterback Russell Wilson just two years on from his big-money trade from Seattle Seahawks.

Broncos gave up five NFL draft picks and three players in order to acquire Wilson in March 2022 and handed him a five-year, $242.6m contract.

But they won only 11 of the 30 games in which he started and failed to reach the playoffs in either season.

The 35-year-old, a nine-time Pro Bowl quarterback, was benched for the final two games of the 2023 campaign.

Denver will save around $37m in guaranteed money that Wilson would have been due on March 17 but will still take a record dead cap loss after opting to release him.

News of Wilson's departure, which will come into effect on March 13 when the new NFL year begins, was announced on Monday with a Broncos statement reading: "We spoke with Russell Wilson today to inform him of his release after the start of the league year.

"On behalf of the Broncos, we thank Russell for his contributions and dedication to our team while wishing him the best as he continues his career.

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"As we move forward, we are focused in building the strongest team possible for the 2024 season and beyond.

"We are excited to improve this offseason and will have the flexibility to get better through the draft and free agency."

Wilson said in a statement: "Over these last two years, you have welcomed my family and me with open arms and have embraced us as members of the Denver community.

"This city will always hold a special place in my heart. Our family grew here, we made countless memories and friendships, and formed relationships that will last a lifetime."

Wilson, now a free agent for the first time in his career, previously spent 10 seasons at Seahawks, winning the Super Bowl in February 2014 as his side thrashed Broncos 43-8 at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey.

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