Sean Payton Hints At Denver Broncos’ Future At Quarterback After Being Criticized For How He Handled Russell Wilson

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Sean Payton Russell Wilson
Sean Payton Russell Wilson

Russell Wilson’s first year with Sean Payton as head football coach of the Denver Broncos was a total disaster. He had one of the worst statistical seasons of his career. He went 7-8 in 15 games.

As the season began to wind down, Sean Payton made the decision to bench Wilson in favor of Jarrett Stidham. It was an embarrassing look for one of the longest-tenured quarterbacks in the league. The relationship between Wilson and Payton appeared to sour. The organization was in disarray.

A lot of criticism was directed toward the 60-year-old head coach. One ESPN analyst said on national television that Payton “behaved like a thug.” Those are some pretty strong words!

Payton addressed the outside narrative during an interview with Adam Schein on radio row at the Super Bowl in Las Vegas earlier this week. He was not surprised by how things played out.

That’s just part of the deal. The one thing I would say is we have a great relationship. There was that element of, ‘That’s not who we wanted.’ Every thing and every ounce of our energy at the start of this was, ‘What are the things we feel like he does best for us offensively.’ Ultimately, we got to a stretch where we felt like, ‘Hey, we wanted to get a look at Jarrett Stidham.’ Honestly, we felt like we needed a spark offensively. We won one game, we lost one game. Nonetheless, it’s part of it today. The noise and criticism, it is what it is.

— Sean Payton via Mad Dog Sports Radio

Although Payton is saying all of the right things publicly, you can read between the lines. The Broncos are likely to make a change at quarterback this offseason. Wilson may end up starting next season, but the team is going to look at all of its options. Denver is going to start by evaluating this year’s NFL Draft class.

Payton told Kay Adams that he wants to “fall in love with a quarterback.”

That, of course, indicates that Payton is not in love with Wilson. Adams did not allow him to dance around the question. She got him to answer.

Now we know! It sounds like Payton and the Broncos are going to draft a quarterback. They have the No. 16 pick in the first round but will not pick again until round three.

With Russell Wilson already on the roster, it will be interesting to see whether Denver decides to pick a new signal-caller on Day 1 or later. This year’s class is deep!