The Denver Broncos and nine-time Pro Bowl quarterback Russell Wilson agreed on a contract extension, the team announced Thursday. The new deal is worth $245 million over five years, including $165 million in guarantees, according to Ian Rapoport.
As CBS Sports NFL Insider Jonathan Jones noted, "the Walton-Penner group took over on Aug. 9 and got this deal done within the first 4 weeks of ownership."
"In just a few short months with the Broncos, Russell has already had a dramatic effect on this organization both on and off the field," Broncos general manager George Paton said in a statement. "His leadership, work-ethic and championship mentality have helped elevate our team in partnership with Coach Hackett, his teammates and the staff. I'd like to thank Greg Penner and our entire ownership group for the support and resources to get this long-term extension done. I also appreciate the collaboration and communication with Russell's agent, Mark Rodgers, along with Rich Hurtado on our staff. We will continue to focus on building and maintaining a championship roster with Russell as our quarterback well into the future."
Wilson, 33, is entering his first season with the Broncos since being acquired from the Seahawks in March. Broncos head coach Nathaniel Hackett has always been known to develop the game plan around his quarterback rather than making that quarterback adhere to his game plan. The partnership in the Rocky Mountains sounds like it is off to a great start.
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"He is truly a 24/7 kind of guy. He wants to be great. He wants to know everything. No small thing is less important than another thing," Hackett said in an interview with SiriusXM NFL Radio. "All of those rumors that I have heard are so true is just watching him in how he works, how he studies. It is year round for him. It is not just during the season. That is something that he has just continually shown."
One would assume fans are waiting anxiously to learn whether or not the 'Let Russ Cook' phrase has followed him to the AFC West or if it's a thing of the past.
Wilson's contract ranks third highest in total guarantees behind Cleveland's Deshaun Watson ($230 million) and Arizona's Kyler Murray ($189.5 million).
Despite suffering a broken finger in Week 5 of the 2021 regular season against the Rams, the Wisconsin product missed just three games. Those were the first games he missed in his career, ending a streak of 149 consecutive games started by an NFL quarterback, which is sixth all-time. He completed 64.8% of his pass attempts for 3,113 yards, 25 touchdowns and six interceptions in 14 games.
DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett remained in the Pacific Northwest following the trade but the talent pool is not shallow in Denver either. KJ Hamler and former first-round selection Jerry Jeudy complement ball-winner Courtland Sutton. Tight end Albert Okwuegbunam steps in for Noah Fant, who was dealt to Seattle as part of the Wilson trade.
If healthy for the duration of the upcoming season, Wilson is expected to eclipse 40,000 career passing yards -- a feat only 22 other NFL quarterbacks have accomplished. He currently ranks sixth among active quarterbacks (37,059) behind Joe Flacco (41,269), Matthew Stafford (49,995), Aaron Rodgers (55,360), Matt Ryan (59,735) and Tom Brady (84,520).
"This is an exciting day for the Broncos and our fans as we announce a long-term commitment to Russell Wilson as our franchise quarterback," Penner said in a statement. "I want to commend George Paton and his staff for their hard work and diligence in reaching this agreement, which has been a top priority for our organization. In addition to being a terrific quarterback and winner, Russell is 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."