As a third-round draft pick in 2012, Russell Wilson has been an amazing steal for the Seattle Seahawks. But that time is almost over as their star quarterback is now eligible for a new contract for the first time.
One estimate recently projected Wilson will sign a new contract worth $US132 million with $US64 million guaranteed. Both would be NFL records.
Another estimate came to a similar conclusion, predicting Wilson will become the highest-paid player in the NFL. That would require a contract north of $US126 million with more than $US54 million guaranteed.
The problem the Seahawks face is that a large contract for Wilson would take away the one huge advantage they had over the rest of the NFL for the last three years, that they were paying a star quarterback less than $US1 million per year ($US660,000 in 2014). Because of that, Wilson and the Seahawks will have to get creative with the new deal in order to both reward their young star, and keep the team competitive and out of salary cap hell.
One reporter who covers the Seahawks was a guest on ESPN Radio in Seattle’s “Brock and Salk show” (via MyNorthwest.com) and is hearing that the two sides may be close to finalising a deal and that it is going to be something we have never seen before.
“From what I’ve been told they’re very close,” Blount told the show. “They’re just trying to make sure every single thing is in place before they go forward with this. I think it’s going to be bigger and crazier and different from what any contract has ever been.”
Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network recently reported that speculation around the NFL is that Wilson’s entire contract will be fully guaranteed, something seen in other sports, but unheard of in the NFL.
“According to the people I’ve spoken to, it is not out of the realm of possibility that Russell Wilson will receive the first fully guaranteed contract extension for a quarterback — something that is a rarity in the NFL — not a rarity, it does not happen,” Rapoport said on the NFL Network. “It simply does not happen, but in this case it really might happen and (Seahawks general manager) John Schneider has talked about it in the past, an unconventional type of contract.”
If Wilson were to become the highest-paid player in the NFL and receive a fully guaranteed contract, we are talking about a contract with more than $US125 million in guaranteed money, which would be twice as much guaranteed money as has ever been seen in a NFL contract.
It would be a game-changer.
And therein lies the problem for the NFL. If Wilson does get a fully guaranteed contract it could set a very expensive precedent that other owners may not want.
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