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While Russell Wilson's departure from Denver appears likely, Sean Payton isn't closing the door on Wilson's time with the team just yet. The Broncos head coach said the team has not yet made a decision regarding Wilson's future. 

"That final decision has not been made," Payton said, via the Denver Gazette. 

Payton acknowledged Tuesday that there is a scenario where Wilson is still with the team in 2024. Wilson recently stated that he was benched for the regular season's final two weeks after the Broncos gave him an ultimatum of either reworking his contract or being replaced by Jarrett Stidham

If Denver did indeed give Wilson an ultimatum, it is a terrible look for the Broncos and more specifically Payton. From the outside, it appears the former Super Bowl-winning coach failed to cultivate a functional working relationship with Wilson. Payton was seen screaming at Wilson on the sideline several times during the season before ultimately benching him prior to Week 17. 

Payton said at the time of Wilson's benching that it was based solely on trying to win games. Denver did defeat the Chargers in Week 17 but lost to the Raiders in Week 18. The offense performed poorly in both games, scoring 16 and 14 points, respectively. With Wilson watching from the bench, the Broncos finished with an 8-9 record while missing the playoffs for an eighth straight season. 

Wilson was benched despite having a nice bounce back season after having the worst year of his career. In 15 games, Wilson threw more than three times as many touchdown passes (26) than interceptions (eight) while completing 66.4% of his passes. 

Russell Wilson
PIT • QB • #3
CMP%66.4
YDs3070
TD26
INT8
YD/Att6.87
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Financially, it makes sense for the Broncos to bring Wilson back. He's only two years into a massive five-year, $242.59 million contract that includes a potential out after the 2025 season. For his part, Wilson said last month that he would like to continue his career in Denver. But given what has transpired over the past month, it's clear something has to change between Payton and Wilson for the relationship to be a successful one moving forward.