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Russell Wilson contract saga reaches the 'He will be elsewhere in 2016' stage

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The Seattle Seahawks have been in the midst of somewhat expected drama as they try and negotiate a new contract with Russell Wilson. The quarterback became eligible for a new contract this offseason, and it is no surprise it is not smooth sailing. Wilson helped the Seahawks win a Super Bowl, and come within one yard of another (LOL Seahawks...just had to get that off my chest). That puts him in line for some big money, but there are plenty of questions based on the fact that he has benefited from a great rushing game and a dominant defense.

The two sides are going back and forth in this negotiation, and that means there has been plenty of information leaked to the media. We have now reached the point where people open up the topic of maybe Wilson walking when his time is up in Seattle. The Seahawks hold some short-term leverage. Wilson is signed through 2015, and then the Seahawks have the option of using the franchise tag each of the two following years. A 2016 tag would be costly, while a 2017 would be entirely unwieldy.

While I would love to see the Seahawks paying out franchise tag money in 2016, I had forgotten about the benefit they would face this year. If Wilson plays under his current salary and then is franchised in 2016, the Seahawks benefit in the short term. They could decide to front-load some new contracts in 2015, and then take the franchise hit in 2016. On the other hand, if Wilson worked out a new deal now, they would take a significantly larger hit this year. In a new deal, Wilson would get a sizable signing bonus, and probably a 2015 base salary near the league minimum. The prorated hit would ease the cap burden this year, but it would still result in the Seahawks having to deal with a bigger hit up front.

I think the two sides end up working something out. Rumor has it Wilson is looking for more than Aaron Rodgers's $110 million contract. His agent apparently did not deny it, which is not entirely surprising. Of course his agent is fine with that information getting out there. And while I can't guess the exact numbers, I'd imagine it will be up there. The rumors will continue, and this dance will play out.

The franchise tag acts as almost a fifth year option for Wilson. I would not be surprised at all to see a deal not get done until next offseason. Of course, I also would not be surprised to see this get done right before training camp. I do think it will get done, but I will enjoy the hand-wringing by some Seahawks fans.