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Russell Wilson Next Team Odds: Patriots & Falcons Top Suitors For Benched Broncos QB

Adam Thompson for Bookies.com

Adam Thompson  | 5 mins

Russell Wilson Next Team Odds: Patriots & Falcons Top Suitors For Benched Broncos QB

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Russell Wilson cooked, but the feast proved too bland for management’s liking.

After two seasons of OK-not-great play from the Super Bowl-winning QB, the Denver Broncos benched Wilson in a financially driven move to prevent a possible injury and avoid a $37 million guarantee that kicks in for March.

Wilson’s contract runs through the 2028 season and it isn’t cheap. But he’s also a nine-time Pro Bowl QB who’s finished in the Top 5 of Player of the Year voting on four occasions. Those types of veterans aren’t often available.

If Wilson is available come March, as many expect, some teams could take the leap. Bookies.com veteran oddsmaker Adam Thompson has created a projected NFL betting market as to where Wilson will be playing under center in Week 1 of the 2024 NFL season.

Russell Wilson Next Team Odds For The 2024 Season

TeamOddsImplied Probability
New England Patriots+40020.0%
Washington Commanders+45018.2%
Atlanta Falcons+42519.1%
Pittsburgh Steelers+57514.8%
Minnesota Vikings+60014.3%
Tampa Bay Buccaneers+10009.1%
Las Vegas Raiders+12007.7%
The Field+50016.7%

These odds are for entertainment purposes only and do not reflect odds that may be available on legal betting apps.

Why Did the Broncos Bench Russell Wilson?

Wilson’s 10 years in Seattle were marked with massive success, including two Super Bowl seasons and one ring to show for it. He compiled a 104-53-1 record as the starting QB. But drama with coaching and management forced a move out of Seattle. The Broncos, desperate for a franchise QB, offered a massive trade and a massive contract to lure Wilson to the Rocky Mountains.

But 2022 was a total flop. The Broncos went 4-11, their first-year coach was fired before mid-season, and Wilson finished with a career-low 16 TDs with a career-high 11 INTs.

After a 1-5 start to this year, the Broncos have bounced back. They won five in a row, and at 7-8 with two games left, Denver is mathematically in the hunt for a postseason berth.

Wilson, himself, had a resurgence as well. His 66.4% completion percentage is nearly six points higher than a year ago. He has 26 TDs to only eight INTs (three of them were in one game) and he leads the NFL in game-winning drives.

So it appears to be purely financial and for the future that the Broncos decided to bench Wilson for the final two games and hand QB duties to Jarrett Stidham.

All indications are Wilson will be released in March – if he’s not traded – and free to sign on with any team. Denver will incur a massive $85 million dead-cap penalty for 2024 if released, and $68 million if traded. Wilson’s no-trade clause makes it unlikely he will get moved before getting cut.&

It seems unlikely another team will look to take on Wilson’s massive current contract. While his numbers have improved greatly this season, the elusiveness that made him a star in Seattle has faded, and arm strength is a major concern at age 35.

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Russell Wilson's Potential Suitors

The Washington Commanders may be looking for a new head coach, and that coach may prefer a wily veteran over the young Sam Howell to lead the way in 2023. The same could be said for the New England Patriots, with Mac Jones struggling to take advantage of his opportunities.

In the same light, but less so, the Atlanta Falcons benched Desmond Ridder in favor of Taylor Heinicke, who isn’t considered a franchise-leading man. If coach Arthur Smith gets one more season to prove himself, he may prefer a been-there, done-that QB to work with.

The same could be said for Mike Tomlin and his Pittsburgh Steelers, who may have seen enough of Kenny Pickett (13 TDs, 13 INTs in 24 starts), and don’t want to ride with Mitch Trubisky or Mason Rudolph into 2024.

Kirk Cousins is an unrestricted free agent in ’24, probably the top QB on the market. That means the Minnesota Vikings, struggling with cap space of late, could be in line for a veteran to throw balls to Justin Jefferson and an elite cast of pass-catchers.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers offered a career-bouncing resurgence for Baker Mayfield. Mayfield’s contract expires. If the two sides can’t find common ground, the Bucs have a roster built to compete now.

It’s not known if Jimmy Garoppolo remains in the plans for the Las Vegas Raiders. He was 3-3 before a season-ending injury, with seven TDs and nine INTs, so there’s reason for Vegas to at least sniff around other options. Jimmy G is signed through 2025.

The Field includes other teams that could seek a change, though it would be surprising given the current situations, financial or otherwise.

That group is led by the New York Giants and Indianapolis Colts. The Field also includes the possibility that no team goes big on Wilson, and he remains a free agent for Week 1.

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About the Author

Adam Thompson for Bookies.com
Adam Thompson
NFL writer and expert Adam Thompson joined Bookies.com in 2019 after a successful run as senior handicapper for SportsLine and CBSSports.com. He's long been established as one of the nation's premier handicappers, specializing in the NFL where he's hit on more than 60% over the past three years. Adam's NBA, PGA and horse racing picks have also produced major winners over the last 12 months. His customized NFL and NBA odds for players and teams have been picked up by hundreds of websites over the past year.