Broncos reportedly declining 5th-year option on QB Zach Wilson

The Denver Broncos intend to decline the fifth-year option on quarterback Zach Wilson‘s rookie contract, Chris Tomasson of the Denver Gazette reports.

The deadline to pick up fifth-year options for 2021 first-round picks is Thursday. Wilson would have been due a guaranteed $22.408 million in 2025 with the exercise of his option. Instead he’s scheduled to enter next offseason as a free agent.

Denver’s decision to decline that option arrives as no surprise. It is notable, considering the Jets selected Wilson No. 2 overall in 2021 hoping he would solve their longstanding quarterback woes. Instead, he’s been a historic bust.

Wilson was benched on multiple occasions in his first two seasons, in part prompting the Jets to acquire Aaron Rodgers to play quarterback in 2023. Wilson then replaced Rodgers after Rodgers suffered a torn Achilles tendon on his first possession with the Jets.

The Broncos are reportedly declining the fifth-year option on Zach Wilson’s rookie contract. (Megan Briggs/Getty Images)

Wilson continued to struggle while throwing eight touchdowns and seven interceptions in 12 games in 2023. The Jets went 4-7 in the 11 games that he started. In 34 career games in New York, Wilson completed 57% of his passes for 6.3 yards per attempt and 185.1 yards per game with 23 touchdowns and 25 interceptions. The Jets traded Wilson to the Broncos last week.

The Broncos acquired Wilson for a late-round pick swap and little risk attached. He joined a roster that at the time had career backup Jarrett Stidham at the top of the quarterback depth chart. The Broncos since drafted Oregon quarterback Bo Nix with the 12th pick of the draft on Thursday.

It’s not clear if Nix will be ready to start right away. If he isn’t, Wilson could face a chance to play and improve his stock ahead of his free agency.

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