Shannon Sharpe claims that the attitude of NFL star Russell Wilson has rubbed his Denver Broncos teammates the wrong way. On Tuesday (Dec. 27), Sharpe, who spent 12 seasons with the Broncos during his Hall of Fame playing career, shared insight into the relationship – or lack thereof – between Wilson and various Broncos players.
During a recent episode of FS1’s Undisputed, which he co-hosts alongside sports analyst Skip Bayless, the three-time Super Bowl champion pointed to Wilson’s perception of being a prima donna as a source of his teammates’ ire. “I said it before, I’ll say it again, and I stand by it: You ticked a lot of people off with your attitude, bro,” the 54-year-old said of Wilson. “You can come out here and talk about how we’re a team and I’m good with my teammates, but deep down inside, they’re seething, and I’m gonna leave it at that.”
The Club Shay Shay creator also pointed to Wilson’s lack of structure and diminished athleticism as the cause for his downward spiral this season. “Let me tell you what the problem is,” Sharpe began. “Russell Wilson has never been a 1-2-3 get rid of the ball [guy]… He was very good at improvisation. He was very good, Skip [Bayless], at getting off-script. Russell has lost athleticism. Russ cannot outrun anybody! So he can’t make those improvisational plays like he could for those first 10 years in Seattle. You [would] never see Russ get dragged down from behind. Now, Russ don’t look like he could outrun me.”
His comments came after Broncos head coach Nathaniel Hackett was fired on Monday (Dec. 26) following the Broncos’ 14-51 road loss against the Los Angeles Rams the day prior. The Georgia native says that whichever coach the owners and front office decide to hire to replace Hackett has to reign in Wilson, both on the field and otherwise.
“I don’t know who the head coach is gonna be, but the first thing you do [is say], ‘Russell Wilson, I’m locking this offense,” Sharpe said, referring to Wilson’s ability to dictate he and the team’s style of play on the field. “‘You will no longer have an offense. All those parking spaces you get [at] the stadium, they’re gone too — because you’re putting yourself in front of the team.’”
Russell Wilson was acquired by Denver from his former team, the Seattle Seahawks, during the NFL offseason in a blockbuster trade. At the time, the 34-year-old was considered among the elite quarterbacks in the league and had won a Super Bowl and been to another during his decade-long tenure with the Seahawks.
Wilson, who had two years left on the four-year, $140 million contract he signed with Seattle in 2019, inked a five-year, $245 million contract extension with the Broncos prior to the season. However, the Broncos, who were expected to be a Super Bowl contender with Wilson under center, have been among the most disappointing teams in the NFL, and are currently 4-11 on the season.
As for replacing Nathaniel Hackett, rumored candidates include former New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton, current University of Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh, and current Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy.