DENVER — Peyton Manning had the luxury of waiting almost a year and a half after becoming a Denver Broncos player when he made an emotional return to Indianapolis. For Russell Wilson, the story will be very different.
The new Broncos quarterback will begin the second chapter of his glorious career in Seattle, where he led the Seahawks to two Super Bowl appearances and a triumph before his relationship with head coach Pete Carroll fell apart.
The duel, which will be presented at prime time on Monday, September 12, will bring together the two teams that concocted the most important transaction of the off-season.
A trade that allowed the Seahawks to get their hands on five draft picks and three players, including Drew Lock, one of the ten starting quarterbacks used by the Broncos over the past six seasons.
Sports commentator Joe Buck says it’s exactly the game he’s been hoping for to kick off the next season of Monday Night Football, where he’ll reunite with analyst Troy Aikman after 20 years together on the airwaves. network fox.
“To have that game from the start, I think it’s fantastic,” Buck said.
Wilson thinks the same.
“I think it’s going to be an exciting time,” said Wilson, who has two seasons left on his contract that will earn him a base salary of $19 million in 2022.
“Seattle has meant more to me than anything for the past 10 years. »
Wilson hasn’t said anything negative about the Seahawks since moving to Denver, where he and his wife, Ciara, purchased a $25 million estate and are immediately became a celebrity couple in town.
It had taken Manning a while to adjust to Denver, where he still lives, after the Colts cut him in 2012 following multiple neck fusion surgeries.
Although Manning had four remarkable years in Denver, he lost three of the four games he played against the Colts, starting with a heartbreaking 39-33 loss at Indianapolis on October 20, 2013, marked by a moving pre-game tribute.
Wilson insists his return to Seattle “will have to come without an overflowing of emotions”, whether he is cheered like Manning was in Indianapolis, or booed like Brett Favre was in 2009 when returned to Green Bay with a purple Minnesota Vikings helmet on his head.
“I’ve always played weight,” Wilson said. “What I really believe in is the ability to exercise restraint in the midst of a storm, in the midst of chaos, in the midst of opportunity, in the midst of good things, good times and difficult times, in order to be able to practice this sport with balance. »
That approach helped Wilson go 113-60-1 in Seattle, including a 9-7 record in playoff games.
Wilson has only missed the playoffs twice: in 2017, when the Seahawks finished the campaign with a 9-7 record, and again last year when he went 6-8 and a finger injury sidelined him for the first time in his career.
With their overall record of 39-58 since their Super Bowl 50 triumph, the Broncos are happy to give Wilson everything he wants: his own passing coach, massage therapist, chef, an office in the team headquarters, a seat at the table as general manager George Paton builds his roster.
“I talk to ‘Russ’ on a daily basis and let him know a bit about our plans, what we’re looking for and what we need,” Paton said before the draft.
“Russ’ is a football fanatic. He will want to know the players we are watching, and I will tell him. He will look at them and give me his opinion. He is an excellent resource. »