The Broncos’ new ownership group, led by Walmart heir Rob Walton, bought the franchise from the Pat Bowlen Trust for $4.65 billion, the record sale price for an NFL team. The team owners of the league formally ratified the sale last month
Wilson’s extension with the Broncos runs through the 2028 season, during which he will turn 40. He was a nine-time Pro Bowl selection in 10 seasons with the Seahawks, helping them to a Super Bowl title in the 2013 season. The Broncos hope his arrival will reverse the fortunes of a team that has missed the playoffs in six consecutive seasons.
The Broncos traded quarterback Drew Lock, tight end Noah Fant, defensive lineman Shelby Harris and a package of draft picks, including a pair of first-round picks and a pair of second-rounders, to the Seahawks for Wilson and a fourth-round pick. .
There was speculation, before the trade, that the Broncos would pursue a deal for Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Instead, Rodgers stayed in Green Bay, agreeing in March to a three-year contract extension worth just over $150 million.
This was the first in a series of new deals for prominent quarterbacks throughout the league. Deshaun Watson signed a five-year contract with the Cleveland Browns, which traded for him in March, is worth a guaranteed $230 million. In July, Kyler Murray agreed to a five-year, $230.5 million extension with the Arizona Cardinals that included $160 million in guaranteed money.
Then there could be Lamar Jackson, the league’s former MVP, who is negotiating an extension with the Baltimore Ravens. Joe Burrow of the Cincinnati Bengals and Justin Herbert of the Los Angeles Chargers, who were selected in the 2020 NFL draft, become eligible for contract extensions after the 2022 season, under NFL rules.
Watson signed his contract facing allegations of sexual misconduct made by women in more than two dozen civil lawsuits. Watson denied the allegations and was not charged with a crime. But he is serving an 11-game suspension for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy, under a settlement reached between the league and the NFL Players Association. Some NFL team owners were upset that the Browns gave Watson a fully guaranteed contract, especially under such circumstances, several people with knowledge of the league’s inner workings said in recent months.
I think the fully guaranteed contract ship has sailed (at least for now). If Russell Wilson didn’t get one after the Broncos gave up several players and several first-round picks for him with a new owner who is easily the richest in NFL history, good luck to everyone else.
– Joel Corry (@corryjoel) 1 September 2022
But if Jackson, who does not have an agent and is representing himself in negotiations with the Ravens, wants a fully guaranteed contract like Watson’s, he now faces the precedent of the two huge quarterback deals made since then — Murray’s and Wilson’s — not being fully guaranteed
Jackson is entering the final season of his contract after the Ravens exercised his five-year option in his original rookie deal. He is eligible for unrestricted free agency in the spring, although Baltimore could use its franchise tag on him. He implied that he will stop extension negotiations when the regular season begins on September 11th.
“I think the fully guaranteed contract ship has sailed (at least for now),” salary cap expert Joel Corry, a former agent, wrote Thursday on Twitter. “If Russell Wilson didn’t get one after the Broncos gave up several players [and] multiple first-round picks for him with a new owner who is easily the richest in NFL history, good luck to everyone else.”