If the Seahawks were to offer Russell Wilson $105 million guaranteed over three years, it sounds like he might take it.
Just like 2015, Wilson has set a deadline for a new deal — it’s just earlier this time. Unlike 2015, though, he wants to be the highest-paid player in the NFL — no second fiddle to Aaron Rodgers — and have the entire thing fully guaranteed, according to Jake Heaps on 710 ESPN.
But there seems to be a concern that Pete Carroll and John Schneider won’t put their money where their complimentary mouths are.
Wilson, who saw Rodgers get an extension at $33.5 million APY last year with two years left on his deal, has been frustrated with the club’s perceived slow play on his contract. Heaps, who runs Wilson’s QB academy and thus is connected to Wilson’s circle, said, “There’s been really no movement on the contract side of things. … The conversation has been stale.”
Wilson gave the team the April 15 deadline on Jan. 31 and made that deadline public this week to “stoke the fire, get this thing going and solidify this deal,” Heaps said.
Everyone is making a big deal about it because it’s April, but it’s not unlike 2015 — when Wilson had his agent, Mark Rodgers, give the Seahawks a deadline of the start of training camp to get an extension. Wilson just has moved it up this time; he wants to get it done before OTAs. (We don’t blame him. There’s no reason to wait until July again.)
In 2015, Rodgers and Schneider reportedly had some acrimonious negotiations. They met five times as they worked out Wilson’s four-year, $87.6 million extension, which was completed just as training camp started.
“It always seems slow when you’re in the middle of it. It seems like time’s standing still,” Rodgers said in July 2015. “But, at the end of the day, we knew what the deadline was. …. To Russell Wilson, it wasn’t an artificial deadline. He said to me, ‘When I step on the field, that’s it. If I’ve got a deal, great. If I don’t, that’s it. But I’m not going to take that baggage out on the field with me. It’s going to take the team down. The media’s going to concentrate on it, the fans, the national media. I don’t want that.’
“He was very adamant with me about making sure he didn’t have that distraction. I took it as a mandate and laid it out to the Seahawks so they knew about it a long time ago. I think certainly it spurred where we’re at right now. So mission accomplished with the deadline.”
Now Wilson has another deadline. And, as Heaps said, he has to hope the “rift” between Rodgers & Schneider from the 2015 negotiations won’t prevent a new deal from happening this month.
Wilson simply wants what the market dictates: a league-best $35 million APY, besting Aaron Rodgers, and full guarantees that land between Matt Ryan’s 63 percent and Kirk Cousins’ 100 percent, Heaps said. He also reminded everyone of this fact: Wilson is not going to get any cheaper than he is right now. If the Hawks go the franchise tag route in 2020, other QB deals will simply make him more expensive after that.
As we have said, a short-term, fully guaranteed deal might be in the best interest of both sides. Or the Hawks could offer $140 million over four years. Either way, they are going to have to guarantee him $100 million.
Heaps, basically speaking for Wilson, said other franchise quarterbacks don’t seem to have the contract drama Wilson deals with, and it makes you wonder whether the Seahawks are willing to pay their franchise guy top of the market.
If they don’t, they basically will be saying they’re going to tag Wilson in 2020. And then we will have to see what happens beyond that.
But the Hawks can avoid that uncertain route by giving their franchise QB a market deal: $35 million a year and $100 million guaranteed.