The first 12 weeks of the 2022-23 season have been disastrous for the Denver Broncos, but Sunday seemed to mark a brand new low point.
After acquiring Russell Wilson for a boatload of draft picks this past offseason, it was expected the Broncos would be among the contenders in the AFC with the nine-time Pro Bowl quarterback under center. Instead, they are 3-8 through 12 weeks and seem to be on a track for more change this coming offseason.
In a season full of them, Sunday marked a new low point for Denver as frustrations boiled over live on camera for the world to see. After making a stop on the Carolina Panthers offense, Broncos defensive tackle Mike Purcell was seen walking off the field frustrated, before making his way over to Wilson and sharing some impassioned words.
This moment in particular wasn’t all that special. NFL rosters are full of passionate players who don’t have an issue speaking their mind. This type of thing happens all the time. But, in the case of Wilson, his Broncos teammates and their coaching staff, the moment represented something deeper.
As Wilson was being reemed out by Purcell, head coach Nathaniel Hackett stood just feet away and the camera didn’t catch him saying anything. A rift between Denver’s head coach and quarterback has been something that people have kept an eye on since day one. Following a Week 11 loss, Hackett seemed to throw Wilson under the bus. There’s also the aspect of Wilson’s relationship with his teammates, which has long been under a microscope and has only seemed to worsen over the course of the season. Former teammates have taken digs at him all season, while fans have noticed his current teammates seemingly being annoyed by the 33-year-old’s antics.
Consistent winning seasons in Seattle seemed to save Wilson from the public embarrassment, but consistent losses in Denver, including a 27-10 loss to the lowly Carolina Panthers, have done the exact opposite.
As things currently stand, the Seahawks would own the No. 3 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft via the Wilson trade.