Former GM gives Russell Wilson a cold-hearted reality check on future

Mike Tannenbaum sees this year as a prove-it season for Russell Wilson as the Denver Broncos’ starting quarterback.

With Sean Payton taking over the Denver Broncos, former NFL general manager Mike Tannenbaum knows that nothing will be handed to Russell Wilson after this season.

Tannenbaum came up as a front office executive with the Bill Parcells era of New York Jets football. Parcells has many impressive proteges, but Payton remains his greatest disciple in the game today. A big key in Parcells being able to turn around every NFL team he ever coached had to do with ending entitlement. This philosophy served Payton when he was with New Orleans Saints.

Here is Tannenbaum giving to Wilson and saying how it is on Get Up over Memorial Day Weekend.

Denver may have made a huge financial commitment to Wilson, but The Walton-Penner Family is calling the shots now. Hashtag blessed with copious amounts of Walmart money, they are in total control here. The big question is if Wilson will play up to his previous hall-of-fame standard from when he was with the Seattle Seahawks, or if he will be like Andruw Jones off the Atlanta Braves?

It is hard to understand why Payton left FOX to saddle up with these Broncos, but he has a plan!

Former NFL GM says it is a make-or-break season for Russell Wilson in Denver

The thought was if Payton were to leave FOX to lead another NFL team, it would be for a franchise like the Los Angeles Chargers, a team with a loaded roster and a superstar quarterback on the rise like Justin Herbert. Well, Brandon Staley gets to stay for one more year… Shockingly, Payton took the Broncos job, a franchise that has lost its way that plays in arguably the toughest NFL division.

Then again, when he left Parcells’ Dallas Cowboys to take over in New Orleans, the Saints could not have been in a worse spot. Against all odds, he became a hall-of-fame coach and turned Drew Brees into a hall-of-fame quarterback in his second act. It was all about him buying into ownership. The Bensons did him well, so maybe he sees similar things with the Walton-Penners?

Where it lands for me, I’m good with Payton and the new Broncos ownership. The problem I have is George Paton may not be a good general manager and Wilson may be the most washed quarterback out there. Apparently, the Seattle Seahawks had reasons why they didn’t let Russ cook. Denver gave him some meat and a frying pan, and he turned that thing into a grease fire.

Is Wilson going to lose his job this season? Probably not, but he could be kicked to the curb by the end of it. If Denver stinks like it did a year ago, the Broncos could be in a position to replace Wilson. Fortunately for the Broncos, 2024 looks to be a deep draft for quarterbacks, whether that be USC’s Caleb Williams, UNC’s Drake Maye, Washington’s Michael Penix Jr. or Texas’ Quinn Ewers.

The NFL is a what have you done for me lately league. Wilson may have had a strong start to his NFL career in Seattle, but the last two years for him have been brutal, to downright painful, to watch. However, keep in mind that his archetype coming out was Brees. Payton was Brees’ former head coach. If Wilson can’t play like Brees did for Payton in his mid-30s, then we have a problem.

Denver doesn’t have to make the playoffs, but Wilson can’t be merely a top-30 quarterback again.

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