It finally happened for both sides. After long, tedious and drawn-out negotiations all off-season, Russell Wilson has agreed to a four-year, $87.6 million contract extension with the Seattle Seahawks.
The deal comes with a $31 million signing bonus (tied for the most in the NFL this season), $60 million guaranteed (the second most in the NFL), and a $21.9 million average salary that ranks second in the NFL behind Aaron Rodgers.
It’s a monster contract, and it comes only hours before a self-imposed deadline would have cut off negotiations until next summer.
By signing this deal, Wilson essentially passed up the rumored massive $120 million deal for something smaller with a high amount of guaranteed money, and he still leaves some flexibility for the Seahawks to manipulate the cap to their advantage and sign more of their own home-grown players.
The Seahawks were never going to let Wilson get away, and that’s because he is a top-tier signal-caller. Wilson is now being paid more than any other quarterback in the NFL, save for Aaron Rodgers. Some may disagree with what Wilson is worth, but this sort of contract makes sense to me.
And, with Andrew Luck not signing his big contract yet, it puts Wilson in rarefied air for the time being.
The argument against Wilson is that he has been successful because of Seattle’s great defense and home field advantage. What those detractors are ignoring is that A) Wilson hasn’t had any help on offense except from Marshawn Lynch, and yet he has been extremely productive, and B) Wilson is extremely clutch in the fourth quarter (save one horrific call by Darren Bevell last year – no need to rehash).
His team will always be in it because he simply makes great plays when it matters most. With the Seahawks bringing in Jimmy Graham, Wilson is even going to be more potent in 2015 – and he’ll prove to everyone that he’s worth every penny of this deal.
Going forward, it will be interesting to see how the Seahawks will pay their other breakout stars asking for more money, given that they now have several players signed to big salaries.