Russell Wilson needs to ‘stop kissing all the kids’


Russell Wilson was given a harsh reality test from Broncos head coach Sean Payton.

In a very candid commentary on the starting quarterback, Payton told Wilson he needed to stop focusing so much on “Russell Inc.”, according to ESPN.

Wilson is often criticized for how much he places emphasis on his image off the field.

“Are you going to stop kissing all the kids? You’re not running for public office,” Payton told Wilson.

It’s no secret that Wilson had his eyes on a bigger prize than those on the field.

While many players have ambitions greater than just winning, achieving success is not usually a problem.

But Wilson had the worst year of his career in 2022 during his senior season in Denver.

Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson, left, walks past head coach Sean Payton.
Denver Post via Getty Images

Wilson’s completion percentage (60.5%), passing touchdowns (16), and passer rating (84.4) were all career lows for a QB.

To make matters worse, Wilson was given a very large amount of freedom in his first year in Denver.

Wilson has been allowed to bring in his personnel separately from the Broncos’ coaching staff, according to a February report by The Athletic.

He was also given a workspace and an office.

In addition, his off-field policies, which previously included going inside a wing with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, angered some.

Wilson’s agent, Mark Rodgers, recalls a particular meeting he had with Wilson in 2010 that related to a career outside of playing football, according to a 2020 ESPN interview.

Wilson with Payton during a Broncos preseason game.
Denver Post via Getty Images

“It was just extraordinary,” Rodgers said. “It wasn’t about football and baseball. It was about legacy. It was about foundation. It was about business. It was about owning a team someday, an NFL team. It was about building an empire.”

In one of his barbs against Wilson, NFL Network’s Kyle Brandt called Wilson “one of the least original characters we have in this league” during an episode of “Good Morning Football” last year.

“You know I’m on the NFL Honors team and[Travis]Kelsey comes in,[Aaron]Rodgers comes in, Russell Wilson comes out with his sunglasses and his wife, and I think they think they’re Jay-Z and Beyoncé.” He said.

And they’ll literally raise their hand and say no, we’re not talking. Why? Because you think you’re that cool, and you’re famous, and everything is fine.

“It doesn’t work in the dressing room unless you’re really good or you’re a really good guy. It just doesn’t work.”

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