With a release likely coming, Russell Wilson says he wants to stay in Denver

Quarterback Russell Wilson continues to be under contract with the Broncos. Appearing on the I Am Athlete podcast with Brandon Marshall, Wilson said he wants to stay in Denver.

"I got more fire than ever, honestly," Wilson said. "Especially over the past two years of what I’ve gone through. Whether it’s in Denver or somewhere else. I hope it's in Denver. You know, I hope I get to finish there. I committed there. I wanted to be there. I want to be there."

Marshall went over the betting odds with Wilson regarding his next team, and Marshall then began to ask Wilson about some of them. Wilson short-circuited that discussion.

"I would put Denver one because I’m there right now," Wilson said. "You know, I think you have to have the ability to compartmentalize. I think you have the ability to compartmentalize that, ‘Listen, it's a business.’ Got to be also nonemotional about it too, at the same time. You also have to know that there's ebbs and flows to it, you know? Winning heals all wounds. To me, it's really focusing about being the best version of me, being prepared, and no matter what, you control what you can control. So, my mindset right now, where I am is where I am and I’d love to be there, you know? Love to win. That’s what I came there to do is win more Super Bowls."

While it sounds good, it's not realistic. Wilson's $37 million salary for 2025, which is currently guaranteed for injury, becomes fully guaranteed on March 17. Unless he agrees to delay the vesting of the guarantee until after the 2024 season, the Broncos will cut him before the 2025 salary fully guarantees.

The Broncos haven't said it. They don't need to. They benched Wilson for Jarrett Stidham while they still had a chance to make it to the playoffs. That says it all. Wilson isn't the guy around whom coach Sean Payton wants to build his offense. Payton won't throw $37 million in good money after $39 million in bad.

And to the extent that fences would need to be mended between Wilson and the Broncos, other things he said to Marshall will make that more challenging.

When he says that the Broncos wanted him "to push back my injury guarantee and remove it for that rest of the year so that way if I get injured, they don't have to pay it," the Broncos will cringe a little (or a lot). Because that's not what they wanted to do. They didn't want to take away his injury guarantees. They wanted to delay the date on which his injury guarantees would become full guarantees.

This quote doesn't help get player and team on the same page, either: "I didn't want to set a precedent for players to remove their injury guarantees too as well." Again, the Broncos didn't ask him to waive injury guarantees. Every time Wilson says the Broncos wanted him to remove injury guarantees, the Broncos quietly seethe, at least a little bit.

The Broncos also would take issue with Wilson's claim that the NFL decided it was "illegal" for the Broncos to ask Wilson to delay the vesting of his injury guarantees to full guarantee. The Broncos would say the NFL did no such thing.

So, officially, Wilson wants to stay. Unofficially, he has to know that's not happening. He'll be released. He'll then be available to sign with any other team for the league minimum of $1.21 million, sticking the Broncos with the remaining $37.79 million.

It's just a matter of time before it happens. And it will happen by March 17.