Insider Reveals Concerning Update on Broncos QB Zach Wilson

The Denver Broncos' quarterback competition might be down to a two-man race.
May 23, 2024; Englewood, CO, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Zach Wilson (4) during organized team activities at Centura Health Training Center.
May 23, 2024; Englewood, CO, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Zach Wilson (4) during organized team activities at Centura Health Training Center. / Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Sean Payton and the Denver Broncos had their eye on quarterback Zach Wilson. Perhaps it was last season's humiliating 31-24 loss to the New York Jets in Week 5 that put Wilson on Payton's map, although, he only passed for 199 yards with an interception.

So, even though the Broncos had their eye on Bo Nix and the 2024 quarterback class, there was no way of guaranteeing they'd get their guy. So Denver acquired Wilson from the Jets for a song to serve, ostensibly, as competition to incumbent Jarrett Stidham, and offer some veteran competition at quarterback.

Although Wilson's three-year NFL resume makes it difficult to imagine Payton labeling him as a "fail-safe," he was an experienced option, at least, and could compete with Stidham if the Broncos fell short of getting a quarterback in the draft. Wilson arrived about a week ahead of the draft, and on April 25, the Broncos made Nix the No. 12 overall pick, setting the table for a three-way open competition at quarterback.

With the entirety of the Broncos' offseason training program in the books, we've heard much on where things stand with Stidham and Nix, but what about Wilson? The Athletic's Nick Kosmider dropped his take on the Wilson subject earlier this week.

"After 12 practices — 10 OTAs and a pair of minicamp sessions — it is difficult to see how Zach Wilson fits in at quarterback for the Broncos. The fourth-year quarterback has unique arm talent in a QB room that also includes rookie Bo Nix and veteran Jarrett Stidham. But Wilson looks like someone who may need more time to adjust to Denver’s offense, even more so than Nix. Perhaps training camp could alter the equation, but at this point, it’s hard to envision Wilson starting for Denver in Week 1. And he has ground to make up if he’s going to win the backup job," Kosmider wrote.

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The Broncos inherited the prerogative to exercise Wilson's fifth-year option by virtue of the Jets trade, but Payton and company declined. Toward the end of the offseason training program, reports surfaced that Denver's focus was on repairing Wilson's confidence, which implies that he's a bit further behind in the pecking order than his former No. 2 overall draft pedigree would assume.

According to 9NEWS' Mike Klis, Stidham was the best Broncos quarterback this offseason, and others in the media have agreed. That would make some sense, considering he's in Year 2 of the Payton system.

Meanwhile, Nix has received nothing but praise from Payton, the coaches, his teammates, and media observers. Wilson, outside of his obvious arm talent, hasn't garnered much shine at all since arriving in Denver.

I'd have to concur with Kosmider's read on the situation; the Broncos could end up keeping all three quarterbacks on the roster, especially if Wilson makes up some ground in training camp and preseason action, but if Nix fulfills the expectation, ultimately, of winning the starting job, there's little upside in holding onto another veteran quarterback to back up the guy you signed as a free agent to be your No. 2.

Stidham was signed to be an actual fail-safe. And that fits his skill set. Nix, though, has the makings of a true franchise quarterback — the ilk known for being the tide that raises all ships.

Don't be shocked if Wilson finds himself without a seat at the table when the music finally stops at the Broncos' final roster cut-downs.

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Chad Jensen


Chad Jensen is the Founder of Mile High Huddle and creator of the wildly popular Mile High Huddle Podcast. Chad has been on the Denver Broncos beat since 2012 and is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America.