In an anticipated move on Monday afternoon, the Denver Broncos and quarterback Russell Wilson mutually agreed to part ways, concluding a two-year tenure following a blockbuster trade from the Seattle Seahawks.

Wilson’s departure from the Broncos comes after a tumultuous period. Despite his individual statistical achievements, which include 6,594 yards, 42 touchdowns, and 19 interceptions in 30 games, he failed to guide the team to the playoffs during his tenure. The Broncos finished with a disappointing 11-19 record under his leadership. Remarkably, this exit transpires before the commencement of his anticipated five-year, $242.6 million contract extension.

This marks a significant turning point for both parties involved. Wilson is set to embark on a new chapter elsewhere, while Head Coach Sean Payton faces the formidable task of rebuilding a team amidst financial constraints and without a quarterback. The Broncos find themselves grappling with a staggering $85 million in dead cap, reminiscent of Payton’s own departure from the New Orleans Saints under similar circumstances two years prior.

The primary catalyst behind the Broncos’ decision to release Russell Wilson appears to be his contract and the financial burden it imposed on the team. Wilson’s five-year, $245 million extension, inked shortly after his arrival in Denver, included $165 million guaranteed. By parting ways before the onset of the 2024 league year, the Broncos evaded a $37 million payment due in 2025 but still face $85 million in dead money charges. Performance concerns also factored in; the team registered a 13-19 record during Wilson’s tenure, and he was benched in favour of Jarrett Stidham towards the conclusion of the previous season.

Though the $85 million dead money charge looms large, this move affords the team greater flexibility in reconstructing their roster through the draft and free agency. It underscores a commitment to reshaping the team’s identity and enhancing performance following two underwhelming seasons with Wilson at the helm.

Despite encountering challenges during his stint with the Broncos, Wilson’s wealth of experience and accolades, including a Super Bowl victory, render him an attractive asset for teams seeking quarterback leadership. Three teams, in particular, emerge as potential landing spots for Wilson: the Pittsburgh Steelers, Washington Commanders, and Tennessee Titans. Each presents a distinct opportunity for Wilson to contribute and potentially rejuvenate his career.

Pittsburgh Steelers

The Pittsburgh Steelers are poised to undergo a significant offensive transformation, particularly after a lacklustre performance in the 2023 season, where they ranked 28th in points per game and 25th in yards per game. To address these shortcomings, the Steelers may turn to veteran quarterback Russell Wilson, whose experience and leadership could inject new life into their offence.

Wilson’s proficiency in reading defences, making quick decisions, and executing plays from the pocket presents a compelling case for his fit with the Steelers’ offensive scheme. Moreover, the team’s robust defensive unit and playoff-ready roster provide a promising backdrop for Wilson’s potential contributions.

Looking ahead to the offseason, the Steelers are expected to prioritise quarterback acquisition as they seek to bolster their offensive lineup. With uncertainty surrounding the performances of current quarterbacks Kenny Pickett, Mitch Trubisky, and Mason Rudolph, the addition of Wilson could offer stability and mentorship to the younger players. Additionally, the Steelers’ reported interest in other experienced quarterbacks like Ryan Tannehill and Justin Fields underscores their openness to exploring various options to address their quarterback needs.

However, recent reports have emerged suggesting that the Steelers may not be actively pursuing Wilson. According to Mike DeFabo of The Athletic, there are indications from the Steelers’ coaching staff that they may not be inclined to pursue Wilson. Despite these reports, the situation remains fluid, and the Steelers’ actions in the coming weeks will provide further clarity on their intentions regarding Wilson’s potential acquisition.

Washington Commanders

The Washington Commanders have long been in search of a stable, long-term solution at the quarterback position. Despite boasting a roster teeming with talent, the team has grappled with inconsistency in this crucial role. Russell Wilson’s arrival, with his extensive experience and Super Bowl pedigree, presents a promising opportunity for the Commanders to address this perennial challenge.

His proven ability to lead a team deep into the playoffs could be the missing ingredient that propels Washington into contention. With a youthful and talented roster, particularly on the defensive side led by stalwarts such as Chase Young, Jonathan Allen, and Montez Sweat, alongside offensive weapons like Terry McLaurin and Jahan Dotson, the Commanders are primed for success.

Wilson has leadership qualities and a wealth of experience, not only on the field but also in mentoring younger players could instil a winning culture within the team, elevating them from mere contenders to genuine threats in the NFC.

Tennessee Titans

The Titans’ offence, which ranked 18th in points per game and 20th in yards per game in 2023, could see significant improvement with Wilson’s experience and leadership. Wilson’s adeptness at reading defences, making swift decisions, and executing in the pocket could elevate the Titans’ offensive prowess. Furthermore, the team’s robust running game and the emergence of promising young quarterback Will Levis provide a solid foundation for Wilson to work with.

In light of uncertainties surrounding Ryan Tannehill’s future and the coaching transition, the Titans are likely to focus on addressing their quarterback situation in the offseason. Wilson emerges as a potential solution, offering veteran leadership to stabilise the offence and mentor younger quarterbacks like Levis. The team’s interest in quarterbacks such as Justin Fields indicates a willingness to explore experienced options.

Wilson’s leadership and experience could prove invaluable for the Titans, who have witnessed numerous quarterback changes in recent years. His mentorship of young players and ability to foster a winning culture could significantly benefit the team’s quest to establish itself as a consistent contender.

With running back Derrick Henry anchoring the offence and the emergence of Levis, the Titans boast a talented roster. Wilson’s addition could provide stability and guidance to Levis while enhancing the team’s competitiveness in the short term. His playoff experience, including a Super Bowl victory, could prove crucial for a Titans team aiming to reclaim postseason success.