Broncos QB Russell Wilson says he was asked earlier in season to adjust contract or risk benching

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — Russell Wilson said he was caught off guard by the timing of his benching since the Denver Broncos still have a slim chance of making the playoffs.

A disappointed Wilson spoke to the media Friday after practice for the first time since the quarterback was sent to the sideline by coach Sean Payton. Wilson will back up Jarrett Stidham on Sunday against the Los Angeles Chargers.

It was difficult for Wilson to accept — even if there were warning signs. Wilson said the Broncos approached him soon after a win over Kansas City on Oct. 29 with an ultimatum: Adjust his contract or risk being benched. Wilson signed a five-year, $245 million contract extension last year that kicks in next season.


He didn’t (he cited the risk of injuries Friday). He wasn’t benched, though, and led the team to three straight wins after the bye week before the Broncos dropped three of their last four to fall to 7-8. The Broncos need to win out and have the Chiefs lose their last two games to make the postseason for the first time since winning the Super Bowl following the 2015 season.

“It definitely hurt. It was a low blow for a bit,” Wilson said of the contract ask by the team. “At the end of the day, I just want to keep my head down and try to do what I can do each play, each game, each moment.”

For now, Wilson’s focus is on helping Stidham, not so much on his future with the team.

“Every day you wake up, you realize it’s a gift to play this game,” Wilson said. “I’m grateful for that. I hope that it’s here. And I hope that it’s here for a long time. … If it’s not here, then I’ll be prepared to do that somewhere else. But I hope that it’s here.”

Read the original Associated Press article here.

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