At league minimum salary, it makes sense to talk to Russell Wilson

Why meet with Russell Wilson? If he’s truly willing to take the league minimum of only $1.21 million for 2024, why not?

It’s a bargain-basement price, at any position on a depth chart. And while he surely prefers to be given the starting job (who wouldn’t?), he needs to be prepared to have to compete for whatever spot he gets.

However it plays out, he’s getting $39 million in 2024, thanks to his soon-to-be-terminated contract in Denver.

As one league source put it today, former Steelers backup Mitch Trubisky is getting $2.5 million this year from Buffalo, plus available incentives. Wilson has won a Super Bowl. Wilson has done enough to be traded for multiple first-round picks with no one shouting from the rooftops, “What in the hell are the Broncos doing?”

At $1.21 million, it’s worth finding out what he’s looking for. If he wants a fair chance to compete and no guarantees or commitments, why not add him to a depth chart that might not be set in stone?

Could he out-perform Daniel Jones? The 2022 version, probably not. The 2023 version, probably.

Could he beat out Kenny Pickett? At his best, it shouldn’t take much more effort than it did to easily win a competition with Matt Flynn in 2012.

Despite the potential flaws (specifically, in pre-snap communications and adjustments), Wilson can still play at a high level. He has a big arm, and he can make plays when the play that’s called goes sideways. For a team like the Giants, which doesn’t have a high-end offensive line, that can be a great skill.

There’s another reason for Wilson to be lining up a bunch of teams that will offer him only $1.21 million. If he eventually chooses not to play at all, the most the Broncos could ever argue should be withheld from his $39 million would be $1.21 million.

Long before analytics became a device for telling coaches to go for it on fourth down in their own territory, it was used in personnel acquisition. How much are we paying, how many are we getting? At $1.21 million for Russell Wilson, you’re buying low — and potentially flying high.

Any team without a clear-cut, obvious answer at quarterback (i.e., everyone other than the Bills, Dolphins, Jets, Bengals, Ravens, Texans, Jaguars, Colts, Chiefs, Chargers, Cowboys, Eagles, Packers, Lions, Saints, Panthers, Cardinals, Rams, and 49ers) should at least be thinking about it. And, if he’s willing to visit, talking to him about it.

It’s $1.21 million for a guy who seemed to be on track for the Hall of Fame, and who now needs to make the past two seasons a Kurt Warner-style donut hole in order to cement his credentials. That part will make him want to go to a place where he’ll be handed the starting job. Unless Kirk Cousins leaves the Vikings or Baker Mayfield leaves the Bucs, that doesn’t seem to be happening.

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