Russell Wilson is “fixable” Broncos GM George Paton says


“Let’s Ride!” became Russell Wilson’s catchphrase.

And, indeed, the Broncos saddled up their new quarterback with the hopes and dreams of a proud franchise and gave him a five-year, $245 million contract extension before he played a down in Denver.

Then he took the field and played the worst football of his career. But with that enormous contract, the Broncos have no choice but to continue to ride with Wilson, despite his dismal performance, the team’s 4-11 record and the firing of first-year head coach Nathaniel Hackett on Monday.

“The decision to have Russell here was a long-term one,” owner/CEO Greg Penner said Tuesday. “This season has not been up to his standards and his expectations. We saw some glimpses of it in the last few weeks. He knows he can play better, we know he can play better, and we know he will do the right work in the offseason to get better for next year.”

It’ll be up to the next Broncos coach to figure out how to get Wilson back on track.

Russell, 34, can’t play much worse than he has this season. In Denver’s blowout loss to the Rams on Sunday that sealed Hackett’s fate, he threw three interceptions. Statistically, he’s having by far the worst season of his 11-year NFL career.

“No. 1, I have to play to the standards that I know how to play to and I’ve been playing to my whole career,” Wilson said after Sunday’s loss.

If the new coaching staff can’t get Wilson’s issues corrected, the Broncos are in a really bad spot due to the money invested in him.

Broncos general manager George Paton on Tuesday put a positive spin on the situation.

“We saw flashes of Russ this year (but) Russ even said he didn’t play up to his standards,” Paton said. “You did see flashes, but he would be the first one to tell you that he didn’t play up to his standard, didn’t play up to our standard. He needs to be better.”

Paton added that the search for the Broncos’ next coach won’t be predicated only upon finding someone to fix Wilson.

“I don’t think we made a coaching move based on Russ,” Paton said. “That wasn’t what it’s all about. That’s not why we are getting a new coach, to turn around Russ. It’s about the entire organization and about the entire football team. It’s not just one player. It’s not about whether Russ is fixable or not. We do believe he is.”








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