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The Russell Wilson Broncos era timeline: From high hopes to “high knees,” past two years have included more drama than success

A timeline of events during the Russell Wilson Era for the Broncos, starting with the blockbuster deal that brought the quarterback to Denver and ending with his pending release later this month:

March 8, 2022

Broncos acquire Wilson from Seattle for a package of five draft picks and three players, finalizing the deal the same day news broke of an Aaron Rodgers extension with Green Bay.

April 8, 2022

One month after the blockbuster deal, Wilson throws out the first pitch at opening day in LoDo to none other than Kris Bryant, the Rockies’ own superstar offseason addition.

Sept. 1, 2022

The Broncos, having introduced new ownership weeks earlier, agree to a five-year extension with Wilson covering 2024-28 that comes with $124 million guaranteed and is worth up to $245 million.

Sept. 12, 2022

Wilson throws for 340 yards and a TD at Seattle in his first game as a Bronco, but Nathaniel Hackett opts for a 64-yard FG attempt in the final minute rather than putting the game in Wilson’s hands on fourth-and-5.

Oct. 8, 2022

Wilson has an injection in his shoulder for a partially torn lat muscle, the first of three injuries that would plague his first season in Denver. He also injured his hamstring and sustained a concussion.

Oct. 26, 2022

Wilson reveals he did calisthenics and “high knees” in the aisles during the team’s charter flight to London to help recover from the hamstring injury, setting off one of several social media frenzies in his Broncos tenure. Denver beats Jacksonville, 21-17, a few days later to move to 3-5.

Dec. 25, 2022

Wilson is intercepted three times and sacked six times in a 51-14 debacle against the Los Angeles Rams, leading to Hackett’s firing the next day at 4-11. Wilson stops having personal staff at team facility after coaching change.

Feb. 6, 2023

At Sean Payton’s introductory news conference, the new Broncos coach tells reporters that non-team staff will not be tolerated in the building on his watch and that he expects “anonymous donors,” not social media stars.

Feb. 8, 2023

A USA Today investigation finds Wilson’s Why Not You Foundation raised millions of dollars but that less than half of it actually ended up going to charitable causes, raising questions about cost similar to other athletes’ foundations.

Oct. 12, 2023

Wilson completes 13 of 22 passes for 95 yards, one TD and two picks in 19-8 Thursday Night Football loss to the Chiefs, the team’s 16th straight loss to K.C. Wilson’s 46.6 QB rating is the worst in his two years in Denver.

Oct. 31, 2023

After throwing three touchdowns in a win against Kansas City, Wilson is approached by Broncos brass and told the team may consider benching him if he doesn’t move a March 17 date guaranteeing $37 million for 2025.

Nov. 6, 2023

Wilson returns from the bye week unsure of his starting spot, but meets with Payton, whom Wilson said instructed him to pretend as if the contract conversations didn’t happen. Wilson starts at Buffalo a week later as Denver wins four straight to move to 6-5.

Dec. 16, 2023

Two weeks after a goal line failure with the game on the line in Houston, the Broncos break down on the goal line again, this time in Detroit. Payton chews out Wilson on the sideline, a boiling point for frustrations.

Dec. 26, 2023

Payton informs Wilson he’s being benched for the final two games of the season in favor of backup Jarrett Stidham. Wilson serves as the No. 2 quarterback for the first time in his football life.

Dec. 29, 2023

Wilson goes public with the midseason conversations, referring to them as threats and outlining the way in which his agent got the NFLPA and outside legal counsel involved as well as the NFL league office.

March 4, 2024

The Broncos announce their intention to release Wilson, marking a tenure that ended after a shade less than two years and resulted in just 11 wins in games the quarterback started.

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