Is Russell Wilson worth $35 million a year? It seems opinions are mixed.
This week’s Seattle Sidelines poll asked readers to weigh in on the Seattle Seahawks’ quarterback. Wilson and the Seahawks will begin negotiating a contract extension in the offseason, and recent reports suggest it will take a deal in the range of five years and $35 million a year to lock Wilson down. That’s a large total, and I was curious as to whether Seattle fans would accept that. So the question was posed to the readers, and here’s how you responded:
POLL: Recent reports suggest it would take $35 million a year for the Seahawks to sign QB Russell Wilson to a contract extension. Should Seattle give Wilson that kind of money? A full look at the numbers here: https://t.co/lTO6ufYleh
— Nick Patterson (@NickHPatterson) November 26, 2018
Add the two up and the greatest number of votes — 47 percent — answered that the Seahawks should indeed give Wilson $35 million a year. But while giving him the contract received the most votes, a majority of voters actually voted against it as 36 percent said the Seahawks should negotiate the deal down — something that may not actually be possible — and another 21 percent said Seattle should let Wilson walk.
This is interesting. Wilson is a franchise quarterback who at 30 years old should have plenty of time left as a top QB. He’s won a Super Bowl, been to another one, is second all-time in NFL history in career passer rating, and he’s conducted countless fourth-quarter comebacks, most recently in last Sunday’s 30-27 victory at Carolina that greatly increased the Seahawks’ playoff odds. Yet somehow he hasn’t generated enough goodwill for even half the fan base to believe he’s worth retaining at any cost.
There was a comment on the original post making an argument for signing Wilson, pointing out the many highly-paid quarterbacks that had recently won or come close to winning Super Bowls in recent years. Well, there’s a difference between a good quarterback and a highly-paid quarterback. I went back over the years covered in the comment, which went back to 2009. Here’s a chart of the Super Bowl quarterbacks and the percentage of their team’s salary cap they took up that year, according to OverTheCap.com:
|Year||Winning QB||Percentage||Losing QB||Percentage|
|2009||Drew Brees||8.7||Peyton Manning||17.2|
|2010||Aaron Rodgers||about 5||Ben Roethlisberger||about 8|
|2011||Eli Manning||11.8||Tom Brady||11.0|
|2012||Joe Flacco||6.6||Colin Kaepernick||1.0|
|2013||Russell Wilson||0.6||Peyton Manning||14.2|
|2014||Tom Brady||11.1||Russell Wilson||0.6|
|2015||Peyton Manning||12.2||Cam Newton||9.1|
|2016||Tom Brady||8.9||Matt Ryan||15.3|
|2017||Nick Foles||1.0||Tom Brady||8.4|
It was estimated that at $35 million Wilson would absorb about 18.7 percent of next season’s salary cap (though the renegotiation would certainly affect the actual cap hit). That’s more than any Super Bowl quarterback since 2009.
Now that doesn’t mean I think the Seahawks should let Wilson walk. The direction the NFL is headed seems to put an even greater premium on having an elite quarterback. But it is food for thought.