Wilson gets record deal, team gets its way

Wilson signing contractRussell Wilson apparently really did want to stay in Seattle — so much so that he gave the Seahawks a pretty good deal.

If reports on the money are correct, the Seahawks basically tore up Wilson’s contract and gave him a new five-year pact worth $157 million.

Wilson apparently gave up fully guaranteed money for a record signing bonus ($65 million), overall guarantees ($107 million) and annual average ($35 million on the new four years).

QB guarantees after Wilson dealThe full guarantees are just $70 million — the signing bonus and a $5 million salary. That amounts to just $53 million in new guarantees, which is about half what we expected. That’s just 37.9 percent of the total new money, which ranks 14th among NFL quarterbacks. He had ranked 15th before this deal, so he made basically no progress there.

His guaranteed average per year is $13.25 million, which ranks seventh — a good boost from 17th but still much lower than expected. (We thought he would be at $25 million, second to Kirk Cousins’ $28 million.)

Wilson beat Aaron Rodgers’ four-year, $134 million extension for annual average and total guarantees (Rodgers got $98.2 million). He also trumped Matt Ryan’s $100 million in total guarantees. But his full guarantees per year are far behind Rodgers ($19.7 million) and Ryan ($18.9 million).

If Wilson really would have been comfortable playing on the franchise tag, though, those numbers shouldn’t bother him. He is betting he is a sure thing to play the entire contract and earn it all anyway — which is what we all should hope for.

(UPDATED) Wilson’s salaries (2020-23) are $18 million, $19 million, $19 million (with a $5 million roster bonus) and $21 million (plus a $5 million roster payout). The 2020-23 salaries are guaranteed for injury now and become fully guaranteed five days after the Super Bowl in those years — the same as pretty much every major deal Seattle has done since 2013.

Wilson’s 2019 cap hit went up by just $1 million, thanks to the reduction in salary. His other cap hits are $31 million, $32 million, $37 million and $39 million — those last two years bumped by roster bonuses as the team clearly is expecting the salary cap to blossom. (It wouldn’t be a surprise if they revisited this deal in 2022, if the salary cap doesn’t expand to match those cap hits.)

The contract also apparently includes a no-trade clause, which Wilson pushed for because he wants to stay in Seattle (as he has always said).

“Russell loves this town, this team and these fans, and part of the compromise involved his affection for all things Seattle,” agent Mark Rodgers said.

So Wilson got the no-trade guarantee and the record APY and signing bonus, while Seattle got to stick to its usual structure, with limited risk and a bargain on full guarantees.

A good deal for Wilson, maybe a better deal for the Seahawks.


One thought on “Wilson gets record deal, team gets its way”

  1. According to Sportrac, “Russell Wilson signed a 4 year, $140M new money extension with the Seattle Seahawks on April 15, 2019 that included a $65M signing bonus, $107M of total guarantees, and an average annual salary of $35M.”

    “Total guarantees” sounds like it includes injury guarantees — it’s hard to tell from their web site. Anyway, no matter how you cut it, RW has got to be happy: In seven years, he’s gone from being a third-round draft choice to the highest-paid player in NFL history.


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