Russell Wilson
Broncos QB Russell Wilson | SCREENSHOT: Batemanfl/youtubeCredit: Batemnfl on YouTube

Mike Lombardi, former Browns General Manager, said recently that the Broncos botched everything by giving up so much for failing QB Russell Wilson

Recently, former Cleveland Browns GM Mike Lombardi spoke with TMZ Sports and addressed the situation in Denver surrounding the recent benching of Russell Wilson. And he didn’t exactly sugarcoat how bad he thinks the move to bring the quarterback to The Mile High City has turned out to be.

Ripping the Russel Wilson move
Former Browns GM Mike Lombardi | SCREENSHOT: WKYC Channel 3/YouTubeCredit: WKYC Channel 3 on YouTube

A Franchise Player Flops After A Failed Move

Lombardi, who was Cleveland’s personnel guy from 2013-2014, has worn many hats around the NFL while also serving as a network football analyst. He’s been around the game for a long time, currently hosts a podcast for the Vegas Sports Information Network, and – we can’t stress it enough – he’s been around the game for a long, long time. (Although he is NOT – as is often misconceived – related to legendary Packers coach, Vince Lombardi.)

When talking with TMZ, Michael Lombardi looked at the current situation in Denver and the overall fallout of the 2002 acquisition of former Super Bowl-winning quarterback Russell Wilson. At the time, it was believed that he would bring the right balance on offense, along with Denver’s dominating D, to have the Orange Crush swimming in Super Bowls again.

But it hasn’t panned out. Not even two years later, Russell Wilson is being benched for the remainder of the season. He’s now going to be sent unceremoniously packing at the end of the year. The relationship has fizzled out in short order – but at an incredibly high price for the team.

RELATED: REPORT: Russell Wilson Benched For The Remainder Of The Season, Likely Done In Denver

Mike Lombardi Pans The 2022 Trade for Wilson

In looking back at the blockbuster deal – which sent Russell Wilson and a 2002 fourth-round pick to the Broncos in exchange for QB Drew Lock, DT Shelby Harrison, TE Noah Fant, and Denver’s 2022 first-, second- and fifth-round picks and 2023 first- and second-round picks – Lombardi scoffs.

“When you add the contract and the trade,” Lombardi said, “(The Russell Wilson trade) is the worst of all time.”

“Russell will move from Denver… But his cap problems will remain for two more years.”

Broncos Are Galloping Away From Russell Wilson

Wilson is the 21st-rated passer in the NFL, with a QBR of 50.6, and he’s 18th in passing yards with 3,070. Those are fairly mediocre numbers for a guy who is expected to be your main offensive weapon.

It’s also pretty obvious that he isn’t Sean Payton’s favorite player in the world, either. There have been multiple, animated exchanges between QB and coach during the 2023 campaign.

The Broncos would be hit with an $85 million ‘dead money figure’ under the salary cap if they cut Russell Wilson in March. However, the franchise can designate the QB as a post-June 1st release and spread the hit out over two years. That would help soften some of the blow, as they look to replace the former Pro Bowler in 2024.


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