It can be argued that Russell Wilson is the most valuable player in the NFL thanks to his great ability and extremely team-friendly contract that gives the Seattle Seahawks a huge advantage over the rest of the NFL.
But that is about to change and it is going to make life much more difficult for the Seahawks starting in 2015.
As a third-round pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, Wilson signed an entry-level contract worth $US3 million over the first four years. Despite already proving himself as an NFL quarterback and helping the Seahawks to one Super Bowl championship, Wilson is only making $US817,000 this year.
Overall, the Seahawks had just $US2.6 million committed to the three quarterbacks on their roster this season, or just 1.9% of their entire payroll, according to Spotrac.com. For comparison, 11 teams had more than 10.0% of their payroll allocated to the most important position on the team, including the New York Giants and Pittsburgh Steelers who each had more than $US21 million going to quarterbacks which translated to 15.9% of their payrolls.
However, once the season is over, Wilson will be eligible for a new contract for the first time. One report says the Seahawks are preparing to make Wilson the highest-paid player in the NFL, which translates to an annual salary of at least $US20 million.
That is going to present “challenges” to the Seahawks, Seahawks general manager John Schneider told 710AM in Seattle, challenges the team has not faced during its rise to prominence the last three years.
“We might not be able to dip into free agency like you may want to here and there,” Schneider said. “Or compensate somebody else that you want to compensate that is already on your team.”
While the Seahawks have been great in the draft, they have also done well in free agency with players like defensive end Cliff Avril and have been able to retain their own players with bigger contracts like defensive end Michael Bennett and safety Earl Tomas.
Now there is going to be more pressure than ever for the Seahawks to excel in the draft. If that doesn’t happen, their championship window could close quickly even with Wilson under center for the next decade.
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