Russell Wilson with the Broncos. Nov 27, 2022; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson (3) watches as the closing seconds tick away during the second half against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

On Wednesday, the Denver Broncos made the surprising move of benching quarterback Russell Wilson for Jarrett Stidham despite still being in (theoretical) playoff contention. That move drew a lot of attention, including discussion from some NFL insiders (including Ian Rapoport, Adam Schefter, and Jordan Schultz) of how it seemed to be financially motivated (with Wilson set to get a $37 million guarantee for 2025 if he is injured now and unable to pass a physical in March). And Wilson seems to subscribe to that theory himself, at least as seen through his Twitter likes:

It’s not really that surprising that Wilson would like tweets presenting a story favorable to him. That story, of course, is that his benching for Stidham is solely about financial implications rather than on-field play (at least in terms of who gives the team the best chance to win this year). And it makes sense for him to try and promote that side of this, with Broncos’ head coach Sean Payton later claiming “The number one push behind this—and it’s a decision I’m making—is to get a spark offensively,” and with Rapoport trying to walk back some of his early financially-focused tweets with “This was a football decision.”

From the outside, this does appear to be financially-motivated rather than performance-based. That’s at least in terms of this season. The Broncos can make the football decision they may want to move on from Wilson after this season with a lower cap hit and bench him accordingly, but that’s still a financial decision, even if motivated by a future football decision.

It’s hard to argue that Stidham is better for the Broncos in terms of trying to win this year. Of course, you never know; many quarterbacks have surprised this season. But the available evidence does suggest that Wilson is the better option this year, and that the move to bench him is financially motivated. And it’s notable to see Wilson seemingly endorse the pushback on the “football decision” claims from Payton and the team, at least through social media likes.

[Yahoo Sports NFL and Andrew Mason on Twitter]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.