We have two big questions with Russell Wilson cut by Broncos

Mar 4, 2024, 4:01 PM

Russell Wilson Denver Broncos Seattle Seahawks...

Broncos QB Russell Wilson reacts during a game against the Carolina Panthers on Nov. 27, 2022. (Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

(Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

Russell Wilson is now a former Denver Broncos quarterback in addition to a former Seattle Seahawks QB.

Done in Denver — Broncos say they’ll cut Russell Wilson

The Broncos announced Monday that they have informed Wilson he will be released when the new NFL league year begins next Wednesday, March 13, not even two years after Denver acquired him from Seattle in a blockbuster trade.

That means Wilson, 35, will now hit free agency for the first time in his career. So what shape exactly is his career in?

As soon as the news broke Monday, Seattle Sports’ Bump and Stacy shared their reactions live on the air. For Seahawks insider Stacy Rost, her focus turned to whether Wilson is still starting quarterback material. For her co-host, former NFL wide receiver and current Seahawks Radio Network analyst Michael Bumpus, his thoughts were more about how Wilson’s availability as a potential starter could impact the upcoming NFL Draft, which has a pretty strong quarterback class.

From Denver Sports: Broncos cook Russell Wilson, cut QB after he burned Denver

Let’s detail the two questions Bump and Stacy were left with after hearing the official news that the Broncos will release Wilson.

Michael Bumpus: How will Russell Wilson as a free agent affect the draft?

“I look at teams and I go, do they see Russell Wilson as a first-round pick? Yes, he is 35 years old. He wants to play until he’s 40, so give him five to six more seasons – we shall see. … I’m just looking at his last two years. These are young, first-round pick type of numbers. … So how do (NFL teams) value Russell Wilson? I feel like a team that has talent and has an early first-round pick can use this as leverage – go and grab Russell Wilson and then flip that first-round pick to get more picks. … We’re gonna see the effect of Russell Wilson and (Bears QB and trade candidate) Justin Fields on this draft. Somebody’s going to pick one of these guys up, then somebody is going to flip one of these top-12 picks into something else. So this just made draft day that much more interesting to me.”

Stacy Rost: Can Russ still be a starting QB?

“You mentioned some potential teams that could make a move for him, and you made the case of why some of those teams should go with Russell Wilson, who has a decade of experience over someone like Justin Fields, who even though he’s younger hasn’t proven much. And I think that ‘hasn’t proven much’ aspect is something we get stuck on with Wilson. Wilson wasn’t this fake thing. I think we look at Russell Wilson in 2013, in 2012 and we go, ‘Oh, that (Seahawks) defense was No. 1 in points for not just those two seasons, but for the following two seasons, and they carried him.’ But Russell Wilson’s best years came more in 2015, ’16, ’17 when this defense was by no means elite. Like, 2015 was the last time that they were even top five… Russell Wilson was real.

“He always, I’m sure, wanted to be seen as an Aaron Rodgers, as the best quarterback in the league, and I think there were a lot of really smart football people that were like ‘pump the brakes.’ … That question of whether he was a top five QB wasn’t widely in doubt through a good portion of his career. I don’t think that that’s just an aberration, I don’t think you can fake that. To me, one of the most fascinating stories will always be that fall from grace and will always be ‘What happened?’ What critical flaw was exposed and basically led to his downfall and hurt his legacy with Denver? It blows my mind, and the more you realize how good Wilson was when he was here, particularly in the first several years of his career, the more you realize just how jarring that drop off is.”

Hear the full conversation in the middle segment of the podcast at this link or in the player near the top of this post. Catch Seattle Sports’ Bump and Stacy live from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. weekdays.

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