Sean Payton alongside Russell Wilson Dec 24, 2023; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Broncos head coach Sean Payton talks with quarterback Russell Wilson (3) before the game against the New England Patriots at Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The relationship between Denver Broncos head coach Sean Payton and former Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson appeared to be strained from the very beginning. And now that Wilson is gone, Payton has no issue with sending a shot at him on his way out.

The Broncos of course released Wilson this offseason, eating $85 million in dead cap over the next three seasons in the process.

Despite this, when asked in a recent interview whether the decision to release Wilson and eat the dead money was a “difficult” one or not, Payton responded with a firm “no”.

The bluntness of this response from Payton is pretty jarring. It seems pretty clear that Payton at least played a part in the decision to cut Wilson. And now, fans are taking things a step further, suggesting that Payton may even “hate” Russell Wilson.

Payton and Wilson did of course have their fair share of issues together in their tenure in Denver, whether it be Payton throwing Wilson under the bus for his play, or even yelling at each other during games on the sidelines.

Maybe Payton is just eager to start a rebuild with a new quarterback. But based on just the blunt response to this question, it sure seems like there may be a bit of underlying resentment there from Payton.

Regardless, the Russell Wilson era is over in Denver. And Payton will now have the chance to show what he can do with another quarterback at the helm.

The Broncos currently have the likes of Ben Dinucci and Jarrett Stidham in their quarterback room, but are largely expected by most to select a quarterback in the upcoming 2024 NFL Draft.

[Bob Pompeani on Twitter/X]

About Reice Shipley

Reice Shipley is a staff writer for Comeback Media that graduated from Ithaca College with a degree in Sports Media. He previously worked at Barrett Sports Media and is a fan of all things Syracuse sports.