Russell Wilson’s next team? Vikings, Patriots among early favorites

Field Level Media

December 28, 2023 at 11:56 pm.

Hours after being officially benched by the Denver Broncos, Russell Wilson took to social media to share that he’s “looking forward to what’s next.”

But it remains to be seen what the market will be for a 35-year-old quarterback who has gone to nine Pro Bowls and won a Super Bowl. Wilson will no doubt want to land at a destination where he is viewed as a starter for a team with a competitive roster.

However, what Wilson will be seeking in terms of his next team and what his options are might not align. A few early favorites have emerged, with SportsBetting.ag installing the Minnesota Vikings as the 5/1 favorite to be Wilson’s team to begin next season.

The Vikings are still vying for a playoff position despite starting four different quarterbacks this season. The merry-go-round at the position began with the season-ending injury to Kirk Cousins, who will be a free agent after the season.

On paper, Minnesota checks a lot of boxes if it parts ways with Cousins. The Vikings have a highly regarded offensive mind in coach Kevin O’Connell, star wide receiver Justin Jefferson and a strong defense.

Then there’s the New England Patriots, who are being offered at 6-1 by the book. There is widespread speculation that coach Bill Belichick will depart after the season, and the Patriots lack a franchise quarterback. However, they also lack strong skill-position talent and a known direction for the future.

Washington and Las Vegas are each 7/1 to add Wilson this offseason. Both are likely to be searching for new head coaches, with the Raiders already firing Josh McDaniels and the Commanders expected to let Ron Rivera go after the season.

The Raiders benched veteran Jimmy Garoppolo in favor of rookie Aidan O’Connell, while Rivera benched second-year quarterback Sam Howell for journeyman Jacoby Brissett this week. Both franchises could be in the market for a proven veteran quarterback in search of a quick rebound toward being a playoff threat.

The book is offering odds on 13 potential destinations for Wilson, although a reunion with Pete Carroll in Seattle was certainly provided with tongue firmly planted in check by the oddsmakers.

Minnesota Vikings (5/1)
New England Patriots (6/1)
Washington Commanders (7/1)
Las Vegas Raiders (7/1)
Chicago Bears (8/1)
Atlanta Falcons (8/1)
New York Giants (8/1)
Pittsburgh Steelers (8/1)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (10/1)
Arizona Cardinals (10/1)
New Orleans Saints (11/1)
Seattle Seahawks (33/1)
Miami Dolphins (50/1)
*Week 1 of 2024 NFL season.

Of course, many dominoes are yet to fall. Not the least is how and when the Broncos ultimately part with Wilson after two disappointing seasons. He has a $37 million injury guarantee for 2025 that vests in March and would become unavoidable if he suffered an injury before the end of the season and failed a physical.

There are also more coaching changes on the horizon around the league, decisions to be made by other franchises about their quarterbacks and then how various front offices view what appears to be a strong quarterback class for the 2024 draft.

They will all impact potential landing spots for Wilson, who has completed 66.4 percent of his passes for 3,070 yards and 26 touchdowns against eight interceptions in 15 starts this season.

Popular potential suitors among analysts have included the Falcons and Steelers, who are both being offered at 8/1.

The Falcons have remained in playoff position despite toggling between Taylor Heinicke and Desmond Ridder this season. Meanwhile, the Steelers spent a first-round pick on Kenny Pickett in 2022, but the offense scuffled mightily even before Pickett’s injury pushed Pittsburgh to lean on Mitch Trubisky before turning to Mason Rudolph.

Where teams fall in the NFL draft order will also have a significant impact on the quarterback market.

Southern California’s Caleb Williams and North Carolina’s Drake Maye are widely expected to be the top two players selected in April. Other potential first-round quarterbacks include LSU’s Jayden Daniels, Oregon’s Bo Nix and Washington’s Michael Penix Jr. More could certainly join them during the pre-draft process.

Chicago is likely to own the No. 1 overall pick courtesy of last year’s trade with Carolina that sent Bryce Young to the Panthers. What the Bears choose to do with Justin Fields this offseason will also be another factor that could impact Wilson.

(Odds provided are intended for entertainment purposes only. SportsBetting.ag is not a regulated sportsbook in the United States.)