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Wilson says Broncos threatened to bench him if he did not alter contract

30 de Diciembre de 2023 a las 11:32

Photo courtesy of Getty Images
Article courtesy of Rory Carroll, Reuters
San Francisco. - Denver quarterback Russell Wilson on Friday said the Broncos asked him to change his contract mid-season and that if he refused he would be benched.
Wilson's remarks were his first since head coach Sean Payton announced that the nine-time Pro Bowl selection would not start in the team's final two games of the season.
"We beat the Chiefs (in Week Seven) and they came up to me during the bye week and told me if I didn't change my contract, my injury guarantee, that I'd be benched for the rest of the year," Wilson told reporters.
"We had nine games left. I was definitely disappointed about it. We had just came off beating the Chiefs, played a pretty good game, so I was excited for us to be fighting for the playoffs and get on the hot streak."
After upsetting the Super Bowl champions on Oct. 29, the Broncos won their next five games with Wilson at quarterback.
Wilson, who came to Denver from Seattle in 2022, has a $37 million injury guarantee for 2025 that takes effect in March and would become unavoidable if he suffered an injury before the end of the season and failed a physical, according to reports.
He said the NFL Players Association and the league "got involved" in the contract dispute.
Payton has said the decision to bench Wilson was an effort to boost offensive production.
Wilson, 35, has completed 66.4% of his passes for 3,070 yards and 26 touchdowns against eight interceptions in 15 starts this season.
The Broncos are 7-8 entering into the final two contests of the season with an outside possibility of making the playoffs.
While it seems unlikely Wilson will return to the Broncos next season, he said he wanted to stay.
"I came here to play here, to win, I knew it was going to be a process," he said.
"I signed a seven-year deal for us to go and to play hard. That's my goal every time that I step in between the white lines is to give everything I have.
"I want to be here, I want to play here, I want to win championships here."