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Six years after Peyton Manning retired, Broncos finally have a quarterback in Russell Wilson

The Denver Broncos have an opportunity to lock in Russell Wilson as their next long-term quarterback if they handle his contract extension the correct way.

Since Peyton Manning retired from the Broncos after winning Super Bowl 50, Denver has been a disaster area at quarterback. Which is why the Broncos were eager to do whatever it took to change that this year.

Yesterday’s trade in which the Broncos traded two first-round picks, two second-round picks, Drew Lock, Noah Fant and Shelby Harris to the Seahawks for Russell Wilson was the culmination of the franchise’s longstanding attempts to find a quarterback who could have the kind of success in Denver that Manning had.

Manning retired six years ago. And it’s been ugly for the Broncos since Manning left.

In 2017 Denver started Trevor Siemian, Brock Osweiler and Paxton Lynch at quarterback. In 2018 they signed Case Keenum, who lasted one year. In 2019 it was Joe Flacco, Drew Lock and Brandon Allen. In 2020 Lock was back, Jeff Driskel and Brett Rypien each started a game, and in the ultimate quarterbacking disaster of the COVID-19 era, they even had wide receiver Kendall Hinton at quarterback for one game. In 2021 they brought in Teddy Bridgewater, and Lock started again when Bridgwater was hurt.

Through it all, nothing worked, and since Super Bowl 50 the Broncos have still not been to the playoffs. With Wilson, it’s finally realistic to think the Broncos could have a quarterback who can lead them there.