It was a week ago Monday when Russell Wilson rewarded the late-night social media crowd with what can be described as a unique method for announcing he’d agreed to a contract extension with the Seattle Seahawks:
— Russell Wilson (@DangeRussWilson) April 16, 2019
So is Wilson worth it?
We’ve now had a week to digest the four-year, $140 million contract extension that ties Seattle’s franchise quarterback to the Seahawks through the 2023 season. The deal is the most lucrative in NFL history as it broke the records for average annual salary ($35 million), signing bonus ($65 million) and guaranteed money ($107 million).
It’s hard to argue that Wilson didn’t earn it. Since entering the league in 2012 Wilson has been one of the NFL’s best quarterbacks. His career record as a starter is 83-41-1 (including regular season and playoffs), giving him a .668 winning percentage that ranks ninth all-time among quarterbacks with more than 25 starts and third among active QBs, only behind Tom Brady and Ben Roethlisberger. He’s won one Super Bowl and been to another. He’s made the Pro Bowl five times, and his career passer rating of 100.3 is second in NFL history behind only Aaron Rodgers.
And just as important as his performances has been Wilson’s durability, as he hasn’t missed a game in seven seasons. He’s 30 years old now, and given the typical progression of elite quarterbacks he should still be playing at a peak level when the contract extension ends.
So the extension means Seattle has its franchise-level quarterback for the next five seasons, and with the way the game is being played today it appears necessary to have an elite QB if a team wants to be a championship contender.
However, tying that much money up in one player has its consequences. Wilson’s new contract means that he’s now tying up 15 percent or more of Seattle’s salary cap during the lifetime of the contract, and that leaves fewer dollars available for the rest of the team. One of the big reasons Seattle reached back-to-back Super Bowls in the 2013 and 2014 seasons is because it had an elite QB who was hitting the cap at less than $1 million, meaning the Seahawks could spend big on their defense.
Can Seattle still do that? We’ll find out soon. Defensive end Frank Clark, who had 14 sacks last season to join the ranks of the league’s top pass rushers, will make at least $17.1 million in 2019 after having the franchise tag slapped on him, and he’s seeking a deal in the vicinity of $20 million a year to sign long-term. Linebacker Bobby Wagner, who is at the center of everything Seattle does defensively, is in the same boat Wilson was before he agreed his extension, with one year remaining on his current deal. He’s likely seeking an extension in the $15-million-a-season range.
It may not be possible for Seattle to afford all it’s stars. We’re now hearing rumors of Clark possibly holding out, and there’s even been whispers about Clark potentially being available in trade during the upcoming NFL draft. And there’s no question the need to give raises to their own players restricted the Seahawks’ ability to sign free agents from other teams.
So what do you think. Is Wilson worth his contract extension? Voice your opinion here: