Wilson did not want to play hardball

Salary cap logoMark Rodgers wanted to play hardball with the Seahawks, and Russell Wilson did not.

From Peter King’s podcast: Rodgers, a baseball agent who is used to fully guaranteed contracts, was pushing the cap percentage idea for Wilson’s deal and wanted the quarterback to embrace the “play on the tag” strategy to try to force Seattle to go along with the cap concept.

But the Seahawks were not going for it. And, by the end, neither was Wilson.

By late Monday night, the quarterback told Rodgers to just get the best deal possible and make sure he stayed in Seattle. Wilson was not that invested in setting a precedent with the cap structure, playing the tag game and gambling on ending up somewhere else. And he obviously wasn’t concerned about getting a big percentage of fully guaranteed money — he still ranks poorly by that contract metric.

That bothers some people who thought Wilson was the perfect person to change the NFL contract landscape.

King’s take: Wilson “doesn’t have the stomach to … challenge the status quo and really fight for something.”

Our take: It is true that the faith-driven Wilson typically is not one for conflict; but, more than that, he really just didn’t care that much about setting that precedent. It was enough that he set records for signing bonus ($65 million) and total guarantees ($107 million) and got trade-veto power — and stayed in Seattle.

Another aspect: It’s possible the cap-percentage deal would have been seen as violating the CBA.

Per John Clayton on 710 ESPN: “First off, I don’t think the management council’s going to ever approve that, and I don’t even know if the players association will approve it. Because remember: They’re in a collective-bargaining agreement, and that would change the structure of how deals are done. And when you’re this far along in trying to get a CBA done, that’s not going to go — and there was no reason to do it.”

Other notes about Wilson’s deal:

He is getting $35 million this year and $53 million next year, with $35 million of his signing bonus deferred, per Joel Corry. That is a standard practice for large bonuses. The $65 million signing bonus is still fully guaranteed and is prorated over the full five years of the deal.

There is so much ridiculous chatter about teams not being able to win when paying a quarterback. A good Twitter thread explained why the so-called trend of teams with highly paid QBs not winning the Super Bowl means nothing. Pete Carroll’s response to that silly theory: “I love that kind of challenge. I don’t care about that.”

This was the first big deal done by the team since Jody Allen took over as owner after Paul Allen died in October. John Schneider, who checked with her for sign-off on the deal around midnight Monday, said: “Jody is in charge of our organization now. She’s our boss. She was super-involved. She was great.”

Wilson reiterated what he has said more than once already: He wants to play in Seattle for 20 years. The 30-year-old said he is aiming for age 43. “My goal is to end it here. To leave a lasting impression on this city,” Wilson said. “I want to be a Seahawk for life.”


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