In the wake of Bobby Wagner’s monster contract, Pete Carroll said the Seahawks face uncertainty next year in the way the team is going to be constructed.
“It is so challenging to do this,” Carroll said, “and particularly as it (the salary cap) changes and you don’t know and you have to predict. … This is a big year now (for Seattle free agents); we don’t know what’s going to happen with the cap. We’ll wait and see.”
As it turns out, Wagner’s contract reflects the uncertainty and also covers the Hawks in case he misses games, as he has the past two seasons.
Wagner’s four-year, $43 million deal reportedly includes an $8 million signing bonus and — rare for the Seahawks — a $4 million option bonus in 2016 that would activate 2019 while giving the team cap flexibility next year and beyond.
Either way, the Hawks will pay Wagner $7 million in 2016 — with a $3 millon salary if they pay the option or $7 million if they don’t. So the cap hit could be $6.1 million or $9.1 million in 2016. If they decline the option, it would make it just a three-year extension. But they surely just wanted to include a second signing bonus to offset cap hits in 2015 and beyond.
The Hawks also included $3.5 million in per-game roster bonuses — $500,000 in 2016 and $1 million in each of the next three seasons. Wagner missed five games last year and two the previous season, so the Hawks clearly want him to earn some of the deal through simple availability.