Broncos benching QB Russell Wilson for the remainder of the 2023 season to preserve financial flexibility

The Denver Broncos aren't eliminated from playoff contention, but they are making a quarterback change with two weeks to play.

NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported on Wednesday that the Broncos are benching Russell Wilson for the final two games of the regular season, per sources informed of the situation.

Jarrett Stidham will make his first start for the Broncos this Sunday against the Chargers. NFL Network Insider Tom Pelissero added that Wilson will dress for Week 17's game as the No. 2 QB.

One key reason behind the switch is financial, per Rapoport. Wilson has a $37 million injury guarantee for 2025 that becomes fully guaranteed in March. 

Sitting the QB the final two weeks to ensure he doesn't suffer a catastrophic injury provides the Broncos financial flexibility if Sean Payton and Co. 

decide to move on from the 35-year-old quarterback in 2024. It's not a done deal, 

but the late-season benching is a strong indicator Denver will end the Wilson ride after two seasons. Wilson is due $39 million fully guaranteed in 2024.

Payton later confirmed the newest QB depth chart during his Wednesday press conference. 

Look, I can tell you we're desperately trying to win," Payton told reporters, via 

Sure, in our game today there are economics and all those other things, but the number one push behind this -- and it's a decision I'm making is to get a spark offensively.

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