Russell Wilson gets five-year, $245M extension from Broncos

Aug 31, 2022, 6:35 PM | Updated: Sep 3, 2022, 3:05 am

Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson, center, is joined by team officials, his family and agen...

Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson, center, is joined by team officials, his family and agent for a photograph after a news conference to announce that Wilson had signed a five-year-contract extension worth $245 million, at the NFL football team's headquarters Thursday, Sept. 1, 2022, in Centennial, Colo. With Wilson are, from left, Broncos coach Nathaniel Hackett, Wilson's son Win, wife and rap star Ciara, stepson Future, daughter Sienna, agent Mark Rodgers and Broncos general manager George Paton. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

(AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — Russell Wilson’s five-year, $245 million extension includes a $50 million singing bonus, $77 million in the first eight months and a whopping $165 million in guarantees — all before he takes his first snap for the Denver Broncos.

Wilson left money on the table, however, declining to reset the NFL’s stratospheric quarterback market.

“For me, it wasn’t really about how much, necessarily,” Wilson said Thursday. “It was about how many — how many Super Bowls we win. And that was really the focus.”

Wilson didn’t want to handicap general manager George Paton as he builds his roster around him. So, he took $49 million on average in new money, $1 million less than Aaron Rodgers did with his four-year, $200 million deal earlier this year to stay in Green Bay.

In terms of the all-important guaranteed portion of his contract, Wilson comes in with the third-most lucrative deal in the NFL, behind Deshaun Waton’s fully guaranteed $230 million deal with Cleveland and the $189.5 million in guarantees that Kyler Murray received in his five-year, $230.5 million deal with Arizona.

Wilson’s decision to take less will presumably affect Lamar Jackson’s negotiations with the Baltimore Ravens on a contract extension and could have ripple effects when rising stars Justin Herbert and Joe Burrow come up for new deals in the years ahead.

“I had such an amazing first decade of my career, and the next decade I’m really excited about,” Wilson said. “To me, what it was really about was being able to win championships and being able to have enough space in the salary cap so George can make his magic …

“We want to make this a destination location. We have an amazing tradition, amazing football team, we have a lot of amazing new faces” in the owner’s suites and front office. “These are world class visionaries and world class executors and winners. At the end of the day, you want to be surrounded by that. And what’s important, too, is making sure you surround yourself with amazing players.”

The extension keeps Wilson, 33, under contract in Denver through the 2028 season for $296 million. It’s the biggest contract in Broncos history and one of the largest ever in the NFL.

Wilson’s new deal comes three weeks after the league approved the $4.65 billion sale of the team to the Walton-Penner ownership group that represented the largest amount ever paid for a professional sports franchise anywhere in the world.

Led by Walmart heir Rob Walton, his daughter, Carrie Walton Penner, and son-in-law Greg Penner, it’s by far the wealthiest ownership group in the NFL.

“I’ve worked closely on this over the last three weeks,” Paton said. “And Greg rolled up his sleeves and he was a big help: his support, his communication, his responsiveness and, of course, the resources were instrumental into us getting this deal done.”

Penner called Wilson “a dynamic leader whose positive impact is felt throughout our entire team and community. Our organization is fully committed to winning and competing for Super Bowls with Russell as a Bronco for many years to come.”

Wilson had two years and $51 million left on his deal when the Broncos acquired him from Seattle for five draft picks and three players in a franchise-changing trade six months ago. That $51 million has been restructured.

Penner said last month that Paton’s trade for Wilson in the spring made the Broncos an even more attractive asset.

“It’s critical to have a great quarterback in this league and coming in this organization with Russell in place is a tremendous benefit for us,” Penner said.

“On our first diligence trip in May here, one of the first people we ran into the hallway when Rob, Carrie and I were here was Russell,” Penner added. “Right away, we got a sense of how positive he is as a leader. He is just such a dynamic individual. I can’t wait to see him on the field.”

Wilson will make his Denver debut on Sept. 12 when the Broncos open the season at Seattle, where Wilson played for a decade, leading the Seahawks to two Super Bowl appearances and one championship.

Wilson’s 113 victories, including one in Super Bowl 48 over the Broncos, are the most for a quarterback in his first 10 NFL seasons. He’s made the Pro Bowl eight times and he missed the playoffs just twice in his first decade in the league.

Star safety Justin Simmons said when he heard of Wilson’s new deal, “the first thing I thought of was: well deserved. He’s a proven quarterback in this league, a Hall of Famer, and I’m happy for him — he’ll have to take me to dinner or something, a very expensive one.”


More AP NFL coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Associated Press

Ex-Packer Guion gets 1 year for domestic violence assault

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Former Green Bay Packers defensive tackle Letroy Guion was sentenced to one year in jail after pleading no contest in a domestic violence assault at his home last fall. Brown County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Walsh also ordered Guion on Tuesday to serve three years’ probation and complete a domestic […]

1 year ago

Joe Jarzynka...

Associated Press

Durant eager for Suns debut vs. Hornets after knee injury

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Kevin Durant has been through quite a bit during his 15-year NBA career — but joining a new team midway through the season is a new one for the 13-time All-Star. The 34-year-old Durant doesn’t seem all that worried. Durant makes his highly anticipated Phoenix Suns debut on Wednesday night against […]

1 year ago

FILE - Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores stands on the sideline during the second half of an N...

Associated Press

Judge: NFL coach can press discrimination claims in court

NEW YORK (AP) — NFL Coach Brian Flores can pursue some of his discrimination claims against the league and its teams in court rather than through arbitration, a judge ruled Wednesday. The written decision by Judge Valerie Caproni in Manhattan was issued months after lawyers for the league tried to get the lawsuit moved to […]

1 year ago

Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Alex Stalock cools off in the first period during an NHL hockey game ...

Associated Press

Kane trade reinforces hard reality of Blackhawks rebuild

CHICAGO (AP) — After days of speculation, the harsh reality of the Chicago Blackhawks’ situation was reinforced by one move in a flurry of transactions ahead of the NHL trade deadline. Showtime is over, at least in Chicago, and a seemingly bright future is, well, way off in the distance. The reverberations of Chicago’s decision […]

1 year ago

FILE -  Yves Jean-Bart, president of the Haitian Football Federation, wearing a protective face mas...

Associated Press

Disgraced ex-Haitian soccer president announces he’s back

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Haiti’s former soccer federation president whose lifetime ban from sport over sexual abuse allegations was overturned last month announced Wednesday that he is reclaiming his position. Yves Jean-Bart’s defiant announcement could lead to a standoff with FIFA, which already has appointed an emergency management committee to lead the Haitian Football Association […]

1 year ago

FILE - Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers walks off the field after an NFL football game against the ...

Associated Press

Rodgers says decision on future will come ‘soon enough’

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Aaron Rodgers says he will make a decision on his future “soon enough” as the four-time MVP quarterback ponders whether to play next season and if his future remains with the Green Bay Packers. Rodgers, 39, discussed his future while speaking on an episode of the “Aubrey Marcus Podcast” that […]

1 year ago

Russell Wilson gets five-year, $245M extension from Broncos