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Sports Illustrated
Sports Illustrated
Kristen Wong

Broncos’ Russell Wilson Shares Audacious Career Goal at Age 35

Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson has John Elway-level aspirations entering the twilight years of his NFL career.

Elway won two Super Bowls at the end of his legendary Broncos career in 1997 and ’98 when he was 37 and 38 years old, respectively. 

Wilson apparently has similar ideas for his own trajectory.

The 35-year-old said on the I AM ATHLETE podcast that over the next five years he wants to win two Lombardi Trophies, regardless of what team he ends up on.

“For me, it’s about winning,” Wilson said in an interview with former NFL receiver Brandon Marshall. “Over the next five years, I want to win two [Super Bowls]. I want to feel the chill of that trophy again. … I’ve got more fire than ever, especially over the past two years of what I’ve gone through.”

Wilson added that he hopes to achieve championship glory in Denver, saying that he “committed” and ultimately wants to be there.

Ahead of what could be a tumultuous offseason for the veteran quarterback, Wilson’s comments may not have much effect on the Broncos’ front office.

Wilson, who went 11—19 in two years with the Broncos, was unceremoniously benched toward the end of the 2023 season. If he’s released this offseason, Denver would owe him $39 million in guaranteed money and eat a record-setting $85 million in dead cap.

Nonetheless, Denver is reportedly expected to “rip the band-aid off” and release the nine-time Pro Bowler sometime this year, according to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler.

“[The Broncos] can start new, [Wilson] can go sign somewhere else,” Fowler said on SportsCenter on Sunday. “The feeling is [Wilson] will sign for considerably less, maybe even the league minimum, because he’s got all that money in hand guaranteed. ... The feeling I get from talking to teams and scouts is that he’s still an NFL starter, there will be a job somewhere for him.”

A job seems reasonable enough for a player of Wilson’s caliber. But a Super Bowl title—or two? The odds are already low for any given NFL quarterback, and they’re even lower for quarterbacks age 35 or older; only five quarterbacks in history have won the Super Bowl in those advanced years.

Wilson, a one-time Super Bowl champ with the Seattle Seahawks, will need to find a win-now situation this offseason to accomplish his dreams, lofty as they may be.

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