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Russell Wilson Breaks Silence on Ugly Broncos Divorce

Russell Wilson is ready to turn the page but not before making excuses for his failed stint in Denver.

When the Denver Broncos acquired quarterback Russell Wilson via trade back in March 2022, the euphoria was mixed with unbridled optimism, creating a heady cocktail for fans and media alike.

Fast-forward just two years, and the Broncos will be paying Wilson to play for the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2024. After a pair of lackluster seasons in Denver, the Broncos are picking up the tab for the 35-year-old to start under center in the Steel City, paying upwards of $38 million in 2024 to Pittsburgh's $1 million.

Wilson has since broken his silence on his failed stint with the Broncos, producing the ready-made excuse of a lat injury from 2022 to explain why things flamed out so pitifully.

"I think it's all about how you look at it," Wilson said via James Palmer of NFL Network. "In life, a lot of times when things don't go your way, you can look at it as disappointing [or] you can look at it as growth moments. For me, my first year [in Denver] I had my lat. I was playing on it, pushing through it. Should I have done that? You know, you compete every day. You got to do what you got to do. Everything didn't go our way. This past year, I felt like myself again. I felt like myself again, so I can't wait to just put on the cleats and go after it."

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Looking back, Wilson's first year in Denver was a head-scratcher out of the gates. The revelation that he played through a lat injury explains some of his struggles, but certainly not all

Wilson also battled against a long-standing right knee issue, a recurring problem that required surgery to clean things up after his first season in Denver concluded. After healing up, the QB had no such injury cards to play during his patchwork 2023 season. 

Ultimately, Wilson's inconsistency eventually saw him benched by Broncos head coach Sean Payton with only two weeks remaining in the 2023 season. In an ironic twist, the fallout of Wilson refusing to waive his injury guarantees created an atmosphere that bubbled away internally for half the season and made it far easier to follow through with benching him.

As Wilson moves into the back nine of his NFL career, perhaps he should have listened more intensely to what his body was telling him. Already hamstrung by the incompetent coaching provided by failed Broncos head coach Nathaniel Hackett, Wilson stubbornly trying to persevere through the lat injury did his new team or himself no favors.

In the final analysis, Wilson won't be able to redefine his disastrous two-year stay in the Mile High City with side issues surrounding his health. The Wilson circus did offer some comedic relief, including high-stepping his way down airplane aisles across the Atlantic Ocean and his doomed, cringey 'Broncos Country, let's ride' catchphrase.

It didn't move the needle for the team and only created further organizational chaos in Denver, leaving everyone involved with a lingering bad taste. Wilson's redemption story, if there is to be a happy ending, will have to go beyond simply remaining fully fit and healthy.

It's going to boil down to Wilson somehow repairing his tarnished reputation by producing on the field and winning football games. 

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