Russell Wilson’s Landing Spots: Betting Odds Place Pittsburgh Steelers, Denver Broncos, and Atlanta Falcons Among Top Options

With Russell Wilson potentially on the move in 2024, what is his most likely landing spot based on current odds, and is there any value to be found?

After just two years with the Denver Broncos, Russell Wilson could be on the move again this offseason. Given the price the Broncos paid to acquire Wilson, that seems somewhat surprising. However, with Wilson being benched for the final games of the 2023 season, the end appeared to be nigh.

In certain states, DraftKings Sportsbook is offering odds on where Wilson will take his first snap of the 2024 season, and the Broncos do not top that list as of the middle of February. Let’s take a look at the current situation and how the NFL betting odds shape up in terms of where Wilson could be playing in the upcoming season.

What Are the Top Landing Spots for Russell Wilson This Offseason?

There is no denying that Wilson’s stock is very much on the way down, which, when combined with a hefty contract, makes his future extremely uncertain when we start discussing landing spots.

The hope was that Sean Payton’s arrival could spark a revitalization from a terrible first year with the Broncos. While Wilson saw his touchdown and interception rate bounce back this season, his 204.7 passing yards per game is a career-low.

When you look at ESPN’s Total Quarterback Rating (QBR), the last three years have been the worst of Wilson’s career. Only once in his first nine seasons did his QBR drop below 60. It has been below 55 in each of the last three seasons.

There were moments where we saw the old Wilson, but overall, it was still a major disappointment compared to what the Broncos thought they were getting.

Entering 2024, Wilson’s contract still has five years to run, and the prices involved are not small. He is set to account for $35.4 million against the Broncos’ salary cap this season, with $17 million of that salary for this season. Additionally, if Wilson is on the roster on March 17, 2024, his $37 million base salary for 2025 becomes guaranteed, which would give a $55.4 million salary cap number.

Even if the Broncos trade Wilson today, they would have to eat $68 million in dead cap space. Wilson still has three years of prorated money from his signing bonus and $16 million in prorated money remaining from his option bonus in 2023.

There is another $22 million option bonus due on March 17, which appears locked into the Broncos according to Over the Cap and Spotrac but potentially could travel with him to the new team. At the very least, any team acquiring Wilson would be taking on the $17 million salary this year and the fully guaranteed $37 million for 2025. That $22 million option bonus remains a little up in the air over who will pay it.

With all of that in mind, let’s take a look at the current odds for Wilson’s potential landing spots and see if there is any value to be found.

Pittsburgh Steelers (-110)

DraftKings tweeted on Feb. 16 that the odds for Wilson to the Steelers had dropped from +1400 to -110. There has not been any concrete reporting from a reliable source, so this could just be DraftKings reacting to a flurry of money or a rumor they have heard. On the surface, it feels like a strange fit.

For as good as Wilson has been, he does not seem to be that quarterback anymore. Is he a big enough upgrade over Kenny Pickett or Mason Rudolph to be worth taking on $54 million or more over two years? Will Wilson be the piece to get the Steelers over the hump and back to the Super Bowl? The answer to both questions feels like a “No” right now.

At +1400, the Steelers were a fun outside bet to put a few dollars on. It wasn’t entirely a logical fit, but Pittsburgh got to the playoffs without a recognized QB under center, so they could be tempted into making the move. Financially, that $54 million or $76 million can be moved around by restructuring Wilson’s contract, so that is no big deal. The bigger issue is that it would signal giving up on Pickett after two years.

At the current odds, there is no value in betting on the Steelers as Wilson’s landing spot. Unless you know something we do not, then really, you are paying for rumor and speculation at this point. There is every chance that in 24 hours or so the odds could move out to +500 or longer if a different report comes out about Wilson or the Steelers.

Denver Broncos (+320)

Wilson remaining in Denver with a renegotiated deal still feels like the most likely outcome.

The Broncos are a little bit hamstrung given they have already got options and signing bonus proration complicating things. Maybe they can get Wilson to take a pay cut in return for loading the contract in such a way that he can be a free agent in 2026 after the guaranteed money ends.

The Broncos are already in trouble with cap space, and moving Wilson is adding at least $8.6 million to their salary cap in 2024 and potentially as much as $32.6 million. That is a tough pill to swallow with a head coach they are paying a lot of money to make them a Super Bowl challenger as soon as possible.

I kind of like the value here, but there is so much of Wilson’s future tied up in personal feelings. After being benched last year, will he be open to helping the Broncos and Payton? It is hard to say for sure, but money talks in the NFL, and the Broncos are going to have to eat a lot of cap space and potentially draft picks to get Wilson off their books.

Atlanta Falcons and New England Patriots (+450)

This part of the odds feels like the “Insert QB-needy team here” section. Both the Atlanta Falcons and New England Patriots need to get better at the position, and Wilson would likely be viewed as an upgrade over their current situations. The biggest question is whether either team would be willing to make such a bold move with new head coaches in place.

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Of the two, the Falcons feel like the better fit. Their roster was closer to being competitive in 2023 than the Patriots’, and they could make the case they are just a QB away from challenging in the NFC. For New England, burdening themselves with Wilson’s contract on an incomplete roster feels like an odd move.

Las Vegas Raiders (+600)

Between the Jimmy Garoppolo situation and the less-than-convincing play of Aidan O’Connell at times, a move within the AFC West could be on the cards for Wilson. The Las Vegas Raiders love a splashy acquisition, and Wilson would certainly be that. Normally we wouldn’t expect a trade of this magnitude within the division, but if the Broncos are that desperate, beggars cannot be choosers.

In principle, the landing spot makes sense, and the value is solid. There is just something there that makes me think we could see Wilson in silver and black in 2024. Then again, Mark Davis can be pretty careful with his cash, so would he want to commit $50+ million to a player on the downside of his career?

Minnesota Vikings (+1000)

The Minnesota Vikings could be in the market for a QB if Kirk Cousins leaves. Despite all their turmoil last year, the Vikings were pretty frisky and could be a QB away from challenging in the NFC. If Cousins is set to leave, Wilson could be a plug-and-play starter from Week 1.

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Of the teams we have discussed here, the value and fit make the most sense. Financially, they could easily make Wilson’s contract work, and it might well calm the nerves of any stars questioning whether they should be in Minnesota for 2024 and beyond. If I was going to put a few dollars into any of these landing spots, the Vikings would be the one for me.

Full Odds for Wilson’s First Snap in 2024

  • Pittsburgh Steelers -110
  • Denver Broncos +320
  • Atlanta Falcons +450
  • New England Patriots +450
  • Las Vegas Raiders +600
  • Minnesota Vikings +1000
  • Washington Commanders +2000
  • Tennessee Titans +3000
  • New York Giants +3500
  • Carolina Panthers +4000
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers +4000

Teams not listed have odds of +5000 or longer. Odds are correct as of Feb. 16, are only available in certain markets, and are subject to change.

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