ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — The Denver Broncos and quarterback Russell Wilson have agreed on a five-year, $245 million extension that includes $165 million in guarantees, a person with knowledge of the deal confirmed to The Associated Press on Thursday morning.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the extension, first reported by ESPN, had not been confirmed by the team or Wilson’s representatives.
As word of the deal spread, the Broncos tweeted a short clip of Wilson with the team’s signature catchphrase “ Let’s Ride.”
The extension pays Wilson an average salary of $49 million a year and keeps him in Denver through the 2028 season.
It’s just shy of Aaron Rodgers’ $50 million average on the four-year, $200 million deal the Packers QB signed to stay in Green Bay this year.
Wilson’s $165 million in guaranteed money is more than Rodgers ($153 million) and Arizona’s Kyler Murray, whose new five-year, $230.5 million deal includes $160 million in guarantees. But it’s shy of Deshaun Watson’s fully guaranteed $230 million, five-year contract he signed with Cleveland.
Wilson had two years and $51 million left on his contract when the Broncos acquired him from Seattle in March for a package of three players and five draft picks.
Wilson is set to earn $24 million this season and $27 million next year before the extension kicks in.
New co-owner and CEO Greg Penner, whose ownership group paid a record $4.65 billion for the team this summer, said last month that general manager George Paton’s trade for Wilson in the spring made the Broncos an even more attractive asset.
“We couldn’t have been more excited as we were going through the process to see that the organization had made the trade for Russell,” Penner said. “It’s critical to have a great quarterback in this league and coming in this organization with Russell in place is a tremendous benefit for us.
“On our first diligence trip in May here, one of the first people we ran into the hallway when Rob (Walton), Carrie (Walton Penner), and I were here was Russell,” Penner added. “Right away, we got a sense of how positive he is as a leader. He is just such a dynamic individual. I can’t wait to see him on the field.”
Wilson will make his Denver debut on Sept. 12 when the Broncos open the season at Seattle, where Wilson played for a decade, leading the Seahawks to two Super Bowl appearances and one championship.
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