Broncos, Russell Wilson beat the clock for a new deal, barely



USA TODAY Sports

Late Wednesday night, the Broncos and quarterback Russell Wilson reached an agreement that will keep Wilson in Denver for seven years. It almost didn’t happen.

The two sides had a September 1 midnight deadline to close a deal in 2022, PFT has learned.

GM George Paton hinted at just how close the contract car would turn to a pumpkin, at least until after the end of the 2022 season.

“It got to the wire last night,” Paton told reporters. “We had a deadline. I thought we’d work it out, but you never know. We’ve never made a deal together. [Agent] Marking [Rodgers] is difficult. [Vice President of Football Administration] Empire [Hurtado] is difficult. You think, ‘How is this going to work?’ . . . I went home last night. It was like 11:30 [p.m.] and I had heard nothing. . . . I fell asleep and then the phone rang. I don’t know what time – maybe 11:45. It was a FaceTime. It was Russ and Ciara. I couldn’t figure out the phone so I lost them. I was like, ‘Are they going to ask for more money? What are they doing?’ They called again and I answered, and it was one of the best calls I’ve ever received. Ciara, Russ and even Mark were on the phone. It was pretty cool stuff and I’ll remember that. That’s the best I’ve felt after a deal.”

It’s not the first time Wilson has used an artificial deadline to land a new contract. In 2019, he made it clear to the Seahawks that a new deal had to be struck before the start of the offseason program. And it happened.

Artificial deadlines can be challenging because they are artificial. Both parties must commit to meeting the deadline – and act accordingly if it is passed without a deal.

For the Broncos and Wilson, the reason was obvious. The season opener against the Seahawks is coming. No one needed the contract to distract attention from the task.

And now it won’t.



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