If the Seahawks beat the Packers on Sunday, as expected, it will be Russell Wilson’s third win vs. Aaron Rodgers. And then Wilson probably will beat Rodgers again within the next two or three months — in contract value.
Rodgers, who is the favorite to be named league MVP, signed a $110 million deal in 2013 — and obviously has been worth it. But another Super Bowl win for Wilson probably would trump another MVP award for Rodgers (who also won in 2011) when it comes to the negotiating table.
Rodgers’ deal guaranteed him $54 million and will pay out $62.5 million over the first three years.
The Seahawks — always willing to pay their homegrown stars — are likely to give Wilson a deal that exceeds Rodgers’ contract, guaranteeing as much as $60 million.
If general manager John Schneider and chief negotiator Matt Thomas do their usual extension, the deal will be set up in a way that the player will view it starting with the extension year while the team will get the salary cap benefit of the signing bonus starting in the final year of the old deal.
They did that with both Earl Thomas’ and Richard Sherman’s deals last offseason, and with the late-season contract extensions for K.J. Wright and Cliff Avril.
The Seahawks could give Wilson a $25 million signing bonus on a five-year extension worth $115 million in new money ($23 million per season), with $65 million guaranteed over the first three years.
The signing bonus would be prorated starting in 2015, adding just $5 million to Wilson’s 2015 cap hit. His 2016 cap hit could be $10 million, and then the cap hits would jump to $20 million, $25 million, $30 million and $30 million.
It’s a very reasonable structure that is in line both with the way the Seahawks do their deals and with a salary cap that is expected to keep rising by about $10 million per year.
The wild card in the negotiations figures to be the fact that Wilson let veteran agent Bus Cook go in favor of Wilson’s marketing agent, Mark Rodgers, who has little or no experience with NFL contracts.
It remains to be seen whether Rodgers’ baseball background makes negotiations harder than they should be. There is no salary cap in baseball (because baseball owners let Donald Fehr and the union bully them back in the 1980s), so it’s possible the inexperienced NFL agent could complicate talks with unreasonable demands that simply don’t work in NFL economics.
But, considering the Seahawks have been more than fair to players they want to keep and Wilson surely will want to remain Seattle’s QB, there should be no worries about this deal getting done.