A lot was being made yesterday of the April 15th deadline that was imposed by Russell Wilson on the Seahawks. That deadline was basically that he was not going to negotiate after that deadline and some reports were out there that he wasn’t going to negotiate with them at all, let alone the rest of this year or until the season starts. How true those reports are, we likely won’t know for sure. There’s a good chance that sentiment could’ve been leaked by Wilson or his agent to try and put pressure on the Seahawks, but the bottomline is that Russell Wilson did in fact get paid.
He got paid so much that he’s the new highest-paid player in NFL history. The terms of the new contract are four-years, $140 million, with $107 million in guarantees and a signing bonus of $65 million.
The average salary of $35 million is a big number, but it’s not something we shouldn’t have expected to see a quarterback get at some point, especially a quarterback as good as Russell Wilson is.
During his seven seasons in the NFL after being a third-round pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, Wilson has made the Pro Bowl five different times, the Seahawks have always at least been over .500 and they of course won the Super Bowl at the end of the 2013 season.
The numbers for Russell Wilson are just insane. He’s completed 64.2% of his passes during his career, while throwing 196 touchdowns and only 63 interceptions. He has a career quarterback rating of 100.3, including a season in which he lead the league in quarterback rating in 2015, posting a 110.1 quarterback rating.
Seattle is 75-36-1 with Wilson under center and probably the most important stat that you can boast about Wilson out of all of his impressive stats is that he’s never missed a start since being in the league. The fact that he’s never missed a start with some of the offensive lines they’ve put in front of him is pretty crazy because there have been times when he’s been banged up but he’s always been out there playing and giving his team a chance to win and even though he’s been sacked a lot in his career, if it weren’t for his ability to avoid sacks, the numbers for some of his offensive lines would look even worse.
The bad thing about having to give out a contract like this if you’re Seattle is that it will hamstring them in trying to construct the rest of the roster and it will put even more pressure on them than the average NFL team has on them to hit with their picks in the draft, but when you have a guy who I consider a top-five quarterback in the league, you have to pay him if you want to keep him.
With what Wilson has meant to the Seahawks, especially over the past couple of seasons when the Legion of Boom started to deteriorate, I can’t blame him for not wanting to give Seattle a home town discount. If it weren’t for Wilson the past couple of seasons Seattle would’ve had some years under .500 and even though they were improved this past season in the running game, I’m willing to bet without his 35 touchdowns and only seven interceptions that they wouldn’t have made the playoffs.
So while Wilson will take up a huge chunk of the salary cap for Seattle, he’s still worth it and if Seattle wasn’t going to give him a long-term deal, they were either going to have to pull a Redskins and keep franchise tagging him like the Redskins did with Kirk Cousins before it eventually became too expensive, or he was going to go to another team because someone would have gladly paid him. Plus, it’s not Wilson’s job to construct the roster, it’s his job to play quarterback and try and get paid what he can while he’s in the NFL.
What Seattle also has working for them is they have an excellent coach and front office dynamic with Pete Carroll and John Schneider and over the years they have done a great job of nailing their picks in the draft. If I’m a Seahawks fan I trust those two to find guys in the draft to keep building around Wilson and now since they signed him long-term they won’t have to worry about having to try and find another franchise quarterback in the draft, which is something that’s far from the guarantee that Wilson is.
Top Photo: Ron Jenkins/Associated Press