Russell Wilson leaving the Broncos could spark one of the biggest QB merry-go-rounds in years

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Russell Wilson’s disastrous two-year stint with the Denver Broncos is almost over.

On Monday, the Broncos informed the Super Bowl-winning quarterback they will release him after the start of the new league year on 13 March.

Wilson leaving the Broncos could spark a wild 2024 offseason

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Wilson leaving the Broncos could spark a wild 2024 offseasonCredit: Getty

Denver will eat $85 million in dead salary cap over the next two years after releasing Wilson – who is guaranteed $39 million next season after signing a five-year, $242.6 million deal in 2022.

It will go down as one of the worst trades in NFL history and could well spark one of the biggest quarterback merry-go-rounds in years.

Wilson is set to become a free agent on 13 March but a new team could pick him up for relative peanuts given Denver will still be paying him next year.

Despite a torrid time in Mile High City, Wilson is still an attractive veteran QB option for teams looking to plug a particular gap.

Several franchises are on the lookout for a new signal caller and Wilson could provide the kind of low risk, high reward solution some teams are searching for.

The Pittsburgh Steelers, New England Patriots, New York Giants, Atlanta Falcons, Las Vegas Raiders and Minnesota Vikings are just some of the potential options reportedly on the table for ‘Mr. Unlimited’.

Wilson’s release could well be the first domino of the 2024 offseason, but where he ultimately lands will have a lot to do with the trades and free agency moves set to take place over the coming weeks and months.

Justin Fields is one of the most interesting story-lines of the offseason so far and is widely expected to be traded by the Bears before they select USC quarterback Caleb Williams with the No.1 overall pick in the draft.

Justin Fields' is likely to be traded by the Bears before they select Caleb Williams with the No.1 overall pick

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Justin Fields’ is likely to be traded by the Bears before they select Caleb Williams with the No.1 overall pickCredit: Getty
Vikings QB Kirk Cousins could also be on the move with the Falcons strongly linked

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Vikings QB Kirk Cousins could also be on the move with the Falcons strongly linkedCredit: AP

The Falcons, Steelers, Raiders, and Vikings are all reportedly on the ‘radar’ for Fields, although other sources suggest the Falcons’ top choice at quarterback is actually Vikings free agent Kirk Cousins.

Cousins may be 36 and coming off a torn Achilles, but he still has an impressive enough track record for teams needing help and looking to make an immediate upgrade under center.

Justin Fields issues Chicago with ultimatum on his future after unfollowing Bears on Instagram

The Vikings could well stick with Cousins, or decide to try and land a franchise first-round QB in the draft with their 11th overall pick.

If they do, and decide against signing Cousins to an extension, he could become Atlanta’s top solution in free agency.

If that were to happen, Minnesota could reportedly turn their attention to Dallas Cowboys quarterback Trey Lance.

The 23-year-old former third overall pick was traded from the San Francisco 49ers to the Cowboys for a fifth round draft pick last year, but has barely played as Mike McCarthy’s third-string QB.

The move makes a ton of sense for Lance, who is a native of Minnesota and no doubt be looking to resurrect his career elsewhere with a more prominent role.

There’s also numerous other unsigned quarterbacks who could all find new teams in free agency.

Trey Lance could return home to Minnesota after failing to make a mark in Dallas

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Trey Lance could return home to Minnesota after failing to make a mark in DallasCredit: Getty
USC star Caleb Williams is the consensus No.1 pick in the draft and likely to end up with the Bears

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USC star Caleb Williams is the consensus No.1 pick in the draft and likely to end up with the BearsCredit: Getty

Baker Mayfield (Buccaneers) Ryan Tannehill (Titans) Gardner Minshew (Colts), Joe Flacco (Browns) and Jameis Winston (Saints), among others, are all likely to look elsewhere for a job next season.

Many will be deemed a stopgap or backup option for most teams but wherever they end up will still have a significant impact on the 2024 offseason merry-go-round.

And then, of course, there’s the 2024 NFL Draft, which features all kinds of interesting quarterback options.

We’ve already seen how Caleb Williams could affect Justin Fields’ situation in Chicago, while North Carolina’s Drake Maye, Washington’s Michael Penix Jr, LSU’s Jayden Daniels, Oregon’s Bo Nix, and Michigan’s J.J. McCarthy could all have a big say on how things pan out.

The Commanders, Bears, Patriots, Raiders, Vikings, Broncos and Falcons are currently the teams most likely to draft a QB, and may find one of the aforementioned college prospects a more attractive proposition than some of the options in free agency.

Ultimately, NFL free agency is always a crazy time of year, but Wilson’s release may just have put the wheels in motion for one of the wildest off-seasons we’ve seen in a while.

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