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 just weeks away from being eligible to become the NFL’s next $US100 million quarterback.
In three seasons, Wilson has only made $US2.2 million despite leading the Seahawks to three straight seasons with at least 11 wins, one Super Bowl championship, and putting them in a good position to get back to the big game this year.
For comparison, Andrew Luck, who was the top pick in the 2012 draft, is making more than that this season ($US2.4 million) and has made $US18.7 million in his first three seasons.
Working against Wilson has been the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement which restricts how much young players can make until they have proven it on the field. Drafted players are not allowed to renegotiate their contract until after their third season. That time is almost here for Wilson.
Michael Ginnitti of Spotrac.com took a look at some of the contracts recently signed by big-time quarterbacks in order to project how big Wilson’s contract will be.
The prediction: 6 years, $US131.8 million.
Of course, in the NFL, the number that really counts is the “guaranteed” portion of the contract. Here are the quarterbacks with contracts that have the largest guaranteed values:
- Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco 49ers — $US61 million
- Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos — $US58 million
- Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys — $US55 million
- Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers — $US54 million
- Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears — $US54 million
Of those quarterbacks, only Kaepernick was under the age of 30 in the first year of his contract (he was 27) and as we have seen, the “guaranteed” portion of his deal was a sham and in reality is much smaller.
Wilson will turn 27 next season and Spotrac projects his guaranteed money will exceed the others and reach $US64 million, an NFL record.
Wilson may be underpaid now, but he is about to hit the lottery, and as always, it is better late than never.
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