Wilson agreed to terms on a five-year, $245 million extension with the Denver Broncos, including $165 million guaranteed, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Thursday, per sources.
The quarterback had two seasons remaining on his deal signed in Seattle, so the extension ties him to Denver for the next seven years.
After shelling out players and draft picks to acquire Wilson from the Seattle Seahawks in March, the plan was always to extend Wilson. Sides waited for the new Walton-Penner ownership group to be approved and weigh in before striking the long-term contract.
The $49 million per year in new money on the five-year extension puts Wilson right behind back-to-back MVP Aaron Rodgers ($50.3 million) and ahead of Kyler Murray($46.1 million). But the $165 million guaranteed falls short of Deshaun Watson’s fully guaranteed $230 million deal.
After a decade in Seattle under Pete Carroll’s ground-first approach, Wilson now takes over in Denver under former Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett. Expectations have soared a Mile High in Denver since acquiring Wilson, who helped generate 10-plus wins in eight of his 10 seasons in Seattle.
As the prettiest deep-ball thrower in the NFL, Wilson will help open up a restricted Broncos offense, and it’s his opportunity to prove he can win while cooking.
With two years left on Wilson’s deal, the Broncos could have hedged and let the 2022 season play out before determining if a big extension made sense. Instead, they backed up their all-in play and their belief that the 33-year-old is the missing piece to their playoff puzzle.
Wilson returns to Seattle in Week 1 with a new team and a new whopper of a contract.
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Russell Wilson, Denver Broncos agree to 5-year extension worth $245 million, including $165 million guaranteed, sources say
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — From the moment the Denver Broncos landed Russell Wilson in a franchise-altering trade this past March, general manager George Paton insisted that the team’s goal was to sign the star quarterback to a long-term extension.
Paton and the Broncos achieved that goal Thursday, agreeing with Wilson on a five-year, $245 million extension that includes $165 million in guaranteed money, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
The megadeal is the third-most lucrative contract in NFL history in terms of guaranteed money, behind only Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson’s $230 million and Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray’s $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 remaining on his previous deal signed with the Seahawks, an average salary of $49 million. He is set to make $24 million this season and $27 million next year before the extension kicks in.
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, hopefully the rest of my career.”
The Broncos traded five draft picks, including two first-round and two second-round selections, and three players to the Seahawks to acquire Wilson in March — seeking stability and stardom at quarterback, a problem spot since Peyton Manning’s retirement in 2016.
The formal arrival of the franchise’s new ownership group — the Walton-Penner group, led by Walmart heir Rob Walton — only enhanced the Broncos’ chances of getting the deal done with Wilson. The group’s $4.65 billion purchase of the Broncos was formally approved Aug. 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 — is the wealthiest ownership group in the NFL.
Penner, now the Broncos’ CEO, recently said it was “critical to have a great quarterback in this league, and coming in this organization with Russell in place is a tremendous benefit for us.”
Wilson, who has said that he intends to play 10 to 15 more years, said the ownership group excited him for the team’s future because of its “energy” and “commitment to winning.”
Wilson’s 292 career touchdown passes are the second most in league history for a quarterback in his first 10 NFL seasons, behind only Manning’s 306. Tom Brady (324) and Aaron Rodgers (317) are the only two players with more touchdown passes than Wilson over the past 10 years.
Wilson, who quarterbacked the Seahawks to their only Super Bowl title in franchise history — beating the Broncos after the 2014 season in Super Bowl XLVIII — also has been a consistent winner in his NFL career. His 113 wins as a starting quarterback (regular season and postseason combined) are the most for any NFL player in his first 10 seasons.
Wilson’s Broncos debut will be a homecoming on Sept. 12, when Denver visits Seattle on Monday Night Football.
The Broncos have not been to the playoffs since their Super Bowl 50 win and have had a turnstile behind center, with 10 different starting quarterbacks over the past six seasons. An 11th player — running back Phillip Lindsay — started a game in 2020 when the Broncos were without three quarterbacks, including then-starter Drew Lock, because of COVID-19 protocol violations.
Miami Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa voted team captain for first time
MIAMI — The Dolphins announced their team captains Thursday, with quarterback Tua Tagovailoa heading the list.
Tagovailoa was named a captain for the first time in his NFL career after a player-led voting process. Coach Mike McDaniel said the third-year quarterback was the “resounding highest point winner,” which spoke to the level of confidence his teammates have in him.
“I think it says everything. I think that’s incredibly important when it’s done with the right reasons and the right intent,” McDaniel said. “The only thing that I gave to the players was, ‘who do you want representing you each and every game, who do you want to wear the C and understand what that C means on your Jersey?’
“I think it speaks volumes on where he’s at with the team and their belief in him.”
Alongside Tagovailoa as Miami’s team captains are safety Jevon Holland, wide receiver Tyreek Hill, left tackle Terron Armstead, linebacker Elandon Roberts, defensive lineman Christian Wilkins and cornerback Xavien Howard.
Holland, in particular, has impressed McDaniel entering his second season. The 22-year-old second-round pick was a standout throughout training camp and feels like he has improved in every aspect.
“I don’t think I hit my ceiling yet,” Holland said in August. “As a competitor, as a high-level competitor, I hold myself to a high standard. So every day, I’m trying to get one percent better than I was yesterday.”
Hill and Armstead were Miami’s key additions this offseason and immediately established themselves as leaders among their position groups. McDaniel previously applauded Hill for helping set the standard in the Dolphins’ locker room, in terms of his accountability on and off the field.
Howard is a three-time Pro Bowler and the NFL’s leader in interceptions since entering the league in 2016, while the former first-round pick Wilkins tied with Pittsburgh’s Cam Heyward to lead all defensive linemen in tackles last season.