The Seattle Seahawks find themselves in a situation that is getting more and more precarious. Their starting quarterback, Russell Wilson, is entering the fourth year of his rookie contract, meaning he is up for a re-negotiation. Although he has benefited from having Marshawn Lynch behind him, Wilson has done some great things through the first three years of his career. He is certainly not solely responsible for Seattle's success, but Wilson has been an important cog.
Since he was not a first round pick, the Seahawks cannot exercise a fifth year option. If they are unable to negotiate a new deal, one option will be to use the franchise tag. This offseason, the non-exclusive franchise tag for quarterbacks was $18,544,000. It will increase a nice little amount next year.
There have been all sorts of reports about the negotiations, and where things stand. Both sides have done some posturing, whether it be the Seahawks indicating they would be prepared to move on, or Wilson suggesting he might try and play baseball. It is all part of the gamesmanship, and it won't be ending anytime soon.
ESPN Seattle radio host Danny O'Neill covers the Seahawks, and he put together an FAQ about where things stand in the negotiation. Early in the offseason there was some chatter about a fully guaranteed deal. Now there is talk of $120 million that is half guaranteed. O'Neill is saying the Seahawks have not put more than 4-years, $80 million on the table.
O'Neill makes a good point about the value of a short term deal for Wilson. If he takes a four year deal now, he would be 30 when he heads back to free agency. At the very least, he would have a chance to negotiate a new deal with another $20 million-a-year salary, if not more given where the cap could be in four years. And if he could get a four year deal at or near fully guaranteed, he sets himself up well in case of injury or if his skills fade.
Most of the six and seven year deals we read about these days are really a mix of real and funny money. As we saw in Colin Kaepernick's deal, there are a lot of roster bonuses that the 49ers like to use. If Wilson is not willing to go that route, he might force the Seahawks into a position where they have to fully or close to fully guarantee his next contract.
And that brings us to Seattle's side of this argument. How much do they value Wilson? Sure, they are happy with what the team has done during his three seasons, but maybe they think a strong defense and run game are worth more than paying Russell Wilson $20 million a year. That is the big question in this potential game of chicken.
Personally, I'd be down with them backing up the Brink's Truck and giving Wilson a ton of cash. Anything that further complicates their salary cap situation is fine by me. In fact, maybe a letter-writing campaign is just what Wilson needs in his push for a new contract. Write in support of Wilson getting a ridiculous huge contract to:
12 Seahawks Way
Renton, WA 98056