A young quarterback on a successful team is going to sign a new contract in the near future, which means you're about to hear a whole lot of "highest-paid," and "record breaking," coupled with a whole lot of "doesn't deserve it," "overpaid," and "well Joe Flacco is terrible and he got ..." this offseason. Quarterback contracts are absolutely out of control and the only thing we can do is ... well, nothing, really. We just have to watch.
The latest in this saga of increasing wages is Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson. According to this report from NFL.com, Wilson is expected to become the league's highest-paid quarterback when he signs an extension with the Seahawks this offseason. It would be a massive pay-raise for Wilson, but then again, he wouldn't need to be the highest-paid quarterback, as the Seahawks pay him next to nothing right now.
That's due to the fact that Wilson was later-round draft pick. He wasn't expected to take over the starting role immediately, but he did, and he's played well enough to lead the Seahawks to a whole lot of success. He's not known for putting up huge numbers, but he's not mistake-prone, he protects the ball and he uses the full array of his talents effectively.
In fact, he's drawn a lot of comparisons to San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Now, Wilson has had more success than Kaepernick but I do like the comparisons to an extent. The big problem (at least for us here at Niners Nation) is that I think Kaepernick regressed big time in all aspects of his game (we're not talking play-calling or offensive line here, we're talking basic quarterback fundamentals) while Wilson is generally improving.
Wilson and Kaepernick were part of the new breed of quarterbacks that were going to change the NFL. That storyline changed quite a bit this season, as Wilson wasn't breaking games with his rushing ability (but he's still very impressive in that vein) and Kaepernick wasn't exactly improving as a pocket passer. But we're getting a bit off track here.
What's important is that the 49ers gave Kaepernick a whole bunch of money (though the deal, as we all know now, is a lot more team-friendly than initially reported prior to the contract) and now the Seahawks are about to do the same with Wilson. But Wilson will likely get much more, which should have the secondary effect of weakening the rest of Seattle's roster to an extent. With so little invested in the quarterback position at this point, they've been able to spend elsewhere.
Now Wilson will take up a huge chunk of the cap, whether that winds up being due to him getting the richest contract in NFL history or not. Aaron Rodgers averages $22 million a year, and while it's obvious Wilson doesn't deserve to be paid more than Rodgers, this is the NFL and nothing makes sense, so it's going to happen. It'll be good to see Seattle take that cap hit, since we all knew Wilson was staying around anyway, no? Now lets hope San Francisco's own quarterback realizes his potential under whatever coach they end up hiring, so he can earn the money heading his way.