Shannon Sharpe discloses how Bill Belichick ‘forced’ Tom Brady to take a pay cut amid ongoing Russell Wilson- Sean Payton saga

Russell Wilson signed a five-year, $245 million contract extension in September last year.

Shannon Sharpe discloses how Bill Belichick ‘forced’ Tom Brady to take a pay cut amid ongoing Russell Wilson- Sean Payton saga

Shannon Sharpe (L - via YouTube) and Sean Payton and Russell Wilson (R - via Imago)

The Russell Wilson saga in Denver just took an ugly turn when the Denver Broncos’ HC Sean Payton announced on Wednesday that they will be benching their star QB for the remainder of the season. Wilson was having a much better year than his previous campaign with the Broncos, but even in the hunt for a playoff spot, the Broncos decided to bench Wilson and give the quarterbacking duties to backup QB Jarrett Stidham.

There are a lot of financial implications with this move. According to Jeff Legwold, regardless of his team status, Wilson is set to earn $39 million in 2024. However, if he undergoes a failed physical in early March, potentially triggered by injuries in the last two games of the season, an extra $37 million is assured, a payout the Broncos seem eager to prevent.

Former NFL superstar and current ESPN analyst Shannon Sharpe cited the example of Bill BelichickTom Brady while discussing the Wilson-Payton situation. He talked about it on his and Chad Johnson‘s show, Nightcap.

Sharpe said on the show:

The NFL owners have done a great job because they're the only group of people that can convince the common folk that the millionaires are more selfish than the billionaires. What they frame it as is if a millionaire doesn't give a billionaire a pay cut, he's selfish, he doesn't want to win. And the fans jump on it with both feet.
Shannon Sharpe on Nightcap

He further continued:

They don't care about the players, all they care about is the logo. Players come and go, that logo stays the same.
Shannon Sharpe added

He also said that Belichick forced Brady to take a pay cut and that is the reason why the former New England Patriots‘ QB left the team to join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2020.

The Denver Broncos are 7-8 this season. They are still in the race to grab a playoff spot and will hope to do so by winning their final two games. However, benching Wilson might cost them the chance to play in the postseason this year. They will play their next game against the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday.

Russell Wilson clarified that the Broncos approached him about his contract during the bye week

The Denver Broncos’ decision to bench their expensive quarterback Russell Wilson surprised a lot of people. He was having a great season and the Broncos are still in the race to get into the postseason. However, benching Wilson had more to do with his contract and less with his on-field performances. The former Seattle Seahawks‘ QB revealed that the team approached him about his contract during the bye week.

Russell Wilson
Russell Wilson (via Imago)

Wilson told the media on Friday:

Yeah, we beat the Chiefs, they came up to me during the bye week. They told me that if I didn’t change my contract, my injury guarantee, that I’d be benched for the rest of the year. And we had nine games left or so. I was definitely disappointed about it, and it was a process throughout the whole week, for the whole bye week.

Russell Wilson to the media

Wilson this season racked up 3,070 passing yards, 26 touchdowns and 8 interceptions. He has a passer rating of 98 and completed 66.4 percent of his passes this season. It will be interesting to see how this situation unfolds from here on.

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