Russell Wilson ‘disappointed’ Broncos planned to bench him for refusing contract change

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Denver Broncos backmost Russell Wilson said he was “disappointed” and “surprised” erstwhile coach Sean Payton told him this week he would beryllium benched for nan season’s last 2 games.

Wilson, speaking Friday for nan first clip since Payton announced Jarrett Stidham would beryllium nan team’s starting backmost for nan remainder of nan season, said nan news took him aback successful ample portion because nan Broncos (7-8) stay successful nan playoff hunt entering Week 17’s matchup pinch nan Los Angeles Chargers, a crippled successful which Wilson will beryllium nan No. 2 quarterback.

“I felt for illustration we were doing thing typical and rolling,” Wilson said. “Obviously, we’ve had immoderate reliable games, immoderate reliable adjacent ones, but we’ve still sewage a chance. At nan extremity of nan day, what God’s sewage for me, I’m going to support trusting successful him. I’m going to support putting my champion ft guardant each time and beryllium arsenic master arsenic I tin be, nary matter what nan circumstances are. I learned that a agelong clip ago.”

Wilson said he was approached by Denver aft its Week 8 triumph against nan Kansas City Chiefs and told if he didn’t move backmost an wounded guarantee successful his contract, he’d beryllium benched.

“We hit nan Chiefs. They came up to maine astatine nan opening of nan bye week — Monday aliases Tuesday — and told maine that if I didn’t alteration my contract, my wounded guarantee, that I’d beryllium benched for nan remainder of nan year. … I was decidedly disappointed astir it.”

Wilson confirmed reports that nan NFLPA was notified astir nan Broncos’ request.

“I wasn’t going to return distant wounded guarantees,” he said. “This crippled is specified a beingness game. I’ve played for 12 years and that matters to me.”

The Broncos yet did not chair Wilson aft nan bye week. He started nan adjacent 7 games, nan past of which was Sunday’s 26-23 nonaccomplishment to nan New England Patriots. That he’s being benched now, Payton has said, is strictly a performance-based decision. Wilson has turned nan shot complete 5 times arsenic nan Broncos person gone 1-3 successful their past 4 games.

Payton, who said earlier Friday, said he was “not privy” to immoderate discussions nan squad had pinch Wilson erstwhile nan seasoned backmost was approached astir adjusting his contract.

“I’m handling football,” Payton said. “… That’s thing (general manager) George (Paton) and nan beforehand agency (handle). I’m not progressive successful immoderate of that. Certainly, I’m progressive successful a lot, but … There will beryllium a clip and spot astatine nan extremity of nan play wherever immoderate of nan questions you mightiness have, personification other will beryllium capable to answer. My attraction has been connected winning.”

Payton reiterated his stance from earlier successful nan week that benching Wilson is simply a singularly football-based decision.

“I cognize really immoderate of this has been written, but this determination is strictly what I judge gives america a chance for triumph No. 8. Now, it’s a difficult decision, but there’s nary different — for maine and wherever I’m astatine successful my career, that’s each I’m willing successful is getting different win. There would beryllium nary different reasons. Russ has had a awesome week. He’s handled it good professionally.”

Wilson said he still hopes to stay pinch Denver aft this season, but he conceded his early whitethorn beryllium elsewhere.

“At nan extremity of nan day, I emotion this game,” Wilson said.

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(Photo: Andy Cross / MediaNews Group / The Denver Post via Getty Images)

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