QB Russell Wilson has finally told us how that he thinks he is worth $25 million per year, in an interview with ESPN’s Marty Smith on Monday. That number is a higher number than the Seattle Seahawks have offered the young star, which has led to an apparent stalemate between the two sides. While it’s disturbing that both sides have found themselves unable to agree on an extension, it’s important to remember that both parties have valid arguments in the latest contract drama.
The young quarterback has been to the playoffs in three straight seasons,including two straight Super Bowl appearances and one championship. He has seen his interception rate decrease each season — from 2.5% in 2013 to 1.5% in 2015 — and seen his passing yards per game shoot up from 194.9 (2013) to 217.2 in 2015. It’s this improvement from year to year that has his agent and him thinking he can be worth the highest paid contract in the NFL, and they aren’t wrong; it is hard to find a QB who is able to improve from year to year like Wilson has, while making the playoffs in that QB’s first three seasons.
While Wilson’s accomplishment’s, so far, have been impressive, it’s his future that he (and his agent) are banking on. They’re hoping that he will continue to grow his game and help the Seahawks continue to dominate their division and conference. If that is to happen, than Wilson will be worth every penny of the $25 million he is reportedly requesting. However, what Wilson is worth in dollars and years there are other players on the franchise with contracts ending after the 2015-16 season.
Seattle also has to take care of Bobby Wagner and JR Sweezy, and that would be a lot easier if the franchise had Wilson’s contract settled…one way or the other. If the two sides are unable to come to an agreement this year, the Seahawks could take care of Wagner and Sweezy while they wait on Wilson to either accept or walk away from their deal. This could lock-up these two key pieces of the franchise with long-term deals, which is exactly what GM John Schneider has a track record of doing.
Schneider has quickly built up a reputation as a GM who takes care of players that produce on the field. It’s clear that he would like to take care of Wilson — Seattle has allegedly offered him four years, $80 million — but he isn’t in any position to force the quarterback to accept the deal the Seahawks proposed. If Wilson and his agent continue down this path, Schneider is probably going to move onto to other contract situations he feels like he can resolve. And that’s perfectly okay.
It’s also okay that Wilson might not except the Seahawks contract offer and head into the final year of his contract with his only guaranteed pay bumps coming when — not if — the Seahawks apply the franchise tag to the QB.
Wilson is currently scheduled to make $1.54 million in the final year of his rookie contract, that almost triples his pay from 2012 and 2013 — his contract was worth $2.99 million over three years.