After Ryan Tannehill signed his contract earlier this week, his agent, Pat Dye, said what a lot of others were thinking: “Russell Wilson is going to have his argument that Ryan Tannehill is the starting point for him.”
And then John Schneider apparently called Dye and said, “Congrats. You just cost me a lot of money.”
The Seahawks already were offering more new money overall, according to reports, but the Tannehill deal probably made clear to them that they need to up the ante on guaranteed cash.
Tannehill’s deal averages $19.25 million in new money, which is less than the $20 million a year the Hawks reportedly have offered Wilson. But the Miami QB is guaranteed $21.5 million at signing and potentially $45 million overall — more than the Hawks apparently are offering Wilson.
The Hawks reportedly have been lowballing Wilson on the signing bonus — offering no more than $12 million and guaranteeing around $40 million overall on a rolling basis.
None of those numbers are what Wilson wants. And the structure is clearly not what he prefers — another play-it-by-year deal like those given to Andy Dalton, Colin Kaepernick and Jay Cutler.
Schneider surely already knew he was going to have to give Wilson a bigger signing bonus than $12 million and more guaranteed money than $40 million anyway, and Tannehill’s deal proves it.
The top quarterbacks average $8 million guaranteed per year — although the guarantees aren’t always immediate. Many deals include annual triggers for upcoming salaries. That is what the Seahawks allegedly are proposing, and Wilson and his agent apparently are not amenable to that structure.
They obviously want the kind of upfront money Drew Brees ($37 million), Aaron Rodgers ($35 million), Joe Flacco ($29 million) and Matt Ryan ($28 million) received.
Absent that, you can almost guarantee a deal won’t get done.