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The NFL Players Association believes that Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson was "mistreated" by the team. Executive Director Lloyd Howell told The Washington Post, "We believe that [Wilson] was in the right and was being mistreated. And so whether it's coming from Jeffrey [Kessler, an NFLPA attorney] or other efforts that may not have been as visible, we support our player and how they should be treated, be it financially or in any other manner."

Wilson was deposed as the Broncos' starting quarterback in December, following reports that Denver threatened to bench him earlier in 2023 if he didn't adjust an injury guarantee in his contract. The NFLPA also came to Wilson's defense back in November, according to the Post, accusing the Broncos of violating the NFL's collective bargaining agreement with their actions.

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A Nov. 4 letter issued by the NFLPA to both the Broncos and the league office -- and republished by the Post -- reiterates claims from Wilson's camp that team brass "informed Mr. Wilson and his (agent) that if Mr. Wilson would not renegotiate his (contract) to relinquish certain salary guarantees, the Broncos would remove him from the starting lineup." The letter continued by arguing that if the Broncos followed through with their threat, the team would be in violation of the CBA, Wilson's contract and New York law.

The NFLPA also argued in the letter that it anticipated Denver would still "commit these violations under the guise of 'coaching decisions,'" suggesting arbitration and/or litigation could soon follow against the Broncos.

Broncos coach Sean Payton said at the time that Wilson's benching was primarily football-related, aiming for an offensive "spark" with backup Jarrett Stidham following a 1-3 stretch in December. But Wilson told reporters the threat to be demoted did, in fact, first arise during Denver's bye week in November. All signs still point to the two sides breaking up in the offseason, when the Broncos can outright release Wilson to avoid an additional $37 million commitment to the QB beyond 2023.