Russell Wilson doesn’t have to be Tom Brady. Or Peyton Manning. But for Year 1 to fly in Broncos country, he has to get Denver back to the playoffs.

Get a room, do you hate Russell Wilson? Preferably one with bold walls.

“The difference with Russell is he’s a lot of maintenance,” an anonymous NFL general manager told The Athletic. In a piece published on Monday.

“(Wilson’s) got the delegation, he needs an office in the facility, extra hotel rooms down the road, all that stuff.”

To hear some people tell it — some in Seattle, in particular — you’d think the Broncos had just handed the keys to the franchise to the Duke of Rothesay instead of Richmond.

“It will be interesting how that dynamic works with a rookie head coach and a rookie offensive coordinator,” the source continued, “how they laugh.”

Translation: Deva. Luggage.

“I think something happened to him. And I’m wondering if a change of location will help. Maybe it will,” Larry Holder of The Athletic. told Las Vegas’ 1140 AM last week. “I’m not completely sold on Denver just because Russell Wilson is there…

“There’s a reason you’re moving on from Russell Wilson. You don’t move on from a guy if you’re not ready to do it.”

Translation: Deva. Luggage.

“There’s been so much hype surrounding Wilson and the Broncos that we failed to notice that Wilson wasn’t his usual self last season,” VSIN’s Michael Lombardi said. Recently commented.

“And until he resurrects his game, Denver won’t be as good as we think it will be … For all the excitement in the Mile High City, he needs to play better. Does he? My guess is yes.” , but based on last year, I’m not 100% confident.”

Translation: Deva. Luggage.

The haters have been pouring out of the peanut galleries since the blockbuster trade last March that sent Big Russ a mile high. The knives are out once again as the preseason begins, as someone in the AFC West who is as full as one of those illegal belly snacks has to finish last.

You can’t be, Russ.

Not this season. Not with this schedule. Not if you want to prove the naysayers wrong.

The Russo era resumes on Tuesday, when the Broncos open preseason camp at the UCHealth Training Center. With the exception of injured pass-rusher Randy Gregory and new right tackle Billy Hunter, all the major chess pieces are standing. According to The Post’s Ryan O’Halloran, Walton-Penner Group could finalize its purchase of the team as soon as August 9.

The financial bar has been set, with Arizona quarterback Kyler Murray reportedly signing a five-year extension with the Cardinals worth $230.5 million, or $46 million annually. And questions about a similar deal for the 33-year-old Wilson, whose four-year, $140 million contract expires after the 2023 season, are only going to pick up steam now that (almost) everyone is back. has gone .

What will be the success of Wilson’s first season, dollars aside? Peyton Manning won 13 games a decade ago, only to drop an absolute crusher to the Ravens in the AFC divisional round. Tom Brady dragged the Bucs to a Super Bowl during Year 1 in Tampa. Matthew Stafford did just that with the Rams this past fall.

The West is much deeper than it was a decade ago, when the Chiefs hit rock bottom on multiple fronts. It could be worse than the 2021 NFC West, which saw three of four squads clinch postseason berths and gave us a 49ers-Rams conference title game.

Have you watched AFC lately? Quarterbacks everywhere. Even if you factor out a division that includes Wilson, Patrick Mahomes (Chiefs), Justin Herbert (Chargers) and Derrick Carr (Raiders), there’s a potential ambush over the hill. The Bengals are riding high with Joe Bro, Baltimore wants to get Lamar Jackson back to the postseason party and the Colts just added Matt Ryan to the mix.

We’ll start the over-under at 9.5 wins. A manageable schedule in terms of health and karma has me leaning between 10 and 11.