According to CBS’s Jason La Canfora, the deal includes a record $US67 million over the first three years of the contract, with $US60 million guaranteed. It’d be the most guaranteed money a quarterback has ever gotten if it’s fully guaranteed.
It’s surprising that Newton’s huge extension came before the Russell Wilson’s extension that we’ve been expecting all spring. Early in the year, there were reports that Wilson was going to sign an extension “bigger and crazier” than anything ever seen in the NFL.
However, to date, the Seahawks and Wilson are “tens of millions” apart. According to Danny O’Neil of 710 ESPN Seattle, the Seahawks are reportedly trying to give Wilson a contract in the $US80 million range, structured like Andy Dalton and Colin Kaepernick’s contracts, which are basically year-to-year deal with very low guarantees. Wilson was reportedly looking for a record-breaking contract, with Jay Cutler’s six-year, $US126 million contract ($US54 million guaranteed) serving as the starting point.
Newton’s $US104 million extension falls in the middle of those two numbers, but it’s much, much more similar to Cutler’s deal than Kaepernick’s, which plays to Wilson’s advantage. Though Newton has been a good quarterback in his first four years in the NFL, he has a lower career completion percentage than Wilson, a lower career touchdown percentage, and a higher career interception percentage. That also doesn’t include Wilson’s virtually unprecedented success in his first three years in the NFL, going to the Super Bowl twice and winning it once.
If Newton falls into the Cutler/Aaron Rodgers category, Wilson would presumably fall into that category as well, and he can use Newton’s extension as a recent benchmark for what he wants. ESPN’s John Clayton reports that Newton’s contract should serve as a starting point for Wilson, but it’s “highly unlikely” the Seahawks would go above the $US22 million per season that Aaron Rodgers makes. Wilson may fall somewhere between Newton’s $US20.7 million per year and Rodgers’ $US22 million per year.
If those numbers are too high, the Seahawks could balk at them, go through the year without an extension, and then use franchise tags on Wilson, but that’s hardly a good bargaining tactic to keep a franchise quarterback long term.
The $US80 million the Seahawks reportedly offered would be a slap in the face now that Newton’s deal is out. Wilson seemingly now holds all of the power to get an extension well above $US100 million, and the Seahawks risk losing him if they don’t want to meet his demands.
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