ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — From the time Denver Broncos landed Russell Wilson in a franchise-changing trade last March, general manager George Paton insisted the team’s goal was to sign the star quarterback to a long-term extension.
Paton and the Broncos achieved that goal on Thursday, agreeing with Wilson to a five-year, $245 million extension that includes $165 million in guaranteed money, ESPN’s Adam Schefter said.
The megadeal is the third most lucrative contract in NFL history by guaranteed money, behind only Browns strategist Deshaun Watsonis $230 million and Cardinals strategist Kyler Murrayis $189.5 million.
Wilson, 33, is now under contract with the Broncos through the 2028 season for $296 million. The extension pays Wilson, who has two years left on his previous deal signed with the sea hawks, an average salary of $49 million. He is expected to earn $24 million this season and $27 million next year before the extension begins.
Wilson, entering his 11th NFL season, previously echoed Paton’s hopes for a long-term deal with Denver, saying at the start of training camp that he wanted to be with the Broncos “for a long, long time. , I hope the rest of my career.”
The Broncos traded five draft picks, including two first-round picks and two second-round picks, and three players to the Seahawks to acquire Wilson last March – seeking stability and stardom at quarterback, who is a problem since Peyton. Manning’s retirement in 2016.
The official arrival of the franchise’s newest ownership group — the Walton-Penner Group, led by Walmart heir Rob Walton — has only increased the Broncos’ chances of closing the deal with Wilson. The group’s purchase of the Broncos for $4.65 billion was officially approved on August 9 by the NFL owners.
The group which includes Walton’s daughter, Carrie Walton Penner, son-in-law Greg Penner, Mellody Hobson, Condoleezza Rice and Lewis Hamilton, gives the Broncos the wealthiest ownership group in the NFL.
Penner, now CEO of the Broncos, recently said having a great quarterback is “critical in this league, and coming to this organization with Russell in place is a huge plus for us.”
Wilson, who said he intended to play for another 10 to 15 years, said the ownership group excited him for the team’s future because of his “energy” and “commitment. to win”.
Wilson’s 292 career touchdown passes are the second in league history for a quarterback in his first 10 NFL seasons, behind only Manning (306). Tom Brady (324) and Aaron Rodgers (317) are the only two players with more touchdown passes than Wilson in the last 10 years.
Wilson, who led the Seahawks to the only Super Bowl title in franchise history — beating the Broncos after the 2014 Super Bowl XLVIII season — was also a consistent winner in his NFL career. His 113 wins as a starting quarterback (regular season and playoffs combined) are the most for an NFL player in his first 10 seasons.
Wilson’s debut for the Broncos will be something of a homecoming on Sept. 12 when Denver visits Seattle on Monday Night Football.
The Broncos haven’t made the playoffs since winning Super Bowl 50 and have had a spin behind center, with 10 different starting quarterbacks over the past six seasons. An 11th player – running back Philip Lindsay – started a game in 2020 when the Broncos were without three quarterbacks, including the then-starter Drew Lockdue to violations of the COVID-19 protocol.