The Seattle Seahawks and quarterback Russell Wilson struck a deal early Tuesday morning, and it’s fantastic for both sides.
Russell Wilson and his children, and their children, are set for life. The Seahawks are set for at least the next five seasons.
On Tuesday morning, the two sides agreed on a four-year extension worth $140 million, including a total of $105 million guaranteed. In short, Seattle stepped up, and Wilson cashed in.
However, the deal also speaks to a bigger conversation that will be taking place over the coming year. The current Collective Bargaining Agreement slated to expire following the 2020 season. When it does, contracts such as Wilson’s will be a major factor in why the NFLPA won’t be striking.
After Wilson’s deal, the top 10 pacts in terms of average salary are all quarterbacks. If you look at the top 16, the only non-quarterbacks are Khalil Mack and Aaron Donald. To get unity in a work stoppage, the players with the most to lose need to be willing to stand on that picket line. If anyone believe the quarterbacks are willing to do that with their megadeals signed, good luck.
For years, there’s been a thought that contracts for signal callers are getting out of hand. In reality, teams are paying almost identical amounts when looking at salary cap percentage. In 2013, Aaron Rodgers signed the richest deal in league history, inking a five-year, $110 million deal. For the Green Bay Packers, they allotted 17.9 percent of the cap. Wilson’s deal on Tuesday? Counts for 18.6 percent. It’s an increase, but it remains in line with the rising salary cap.
This is a rare case of all sides leaving the table happy. Seattle should be an annual contender with a top-five quarterback. Wilson has generational wealth and doesn’t have to uproot his life. The NFL and its fans are increasingly likely to see labor peace in the upcoming CBA talks.
Wilson’s deal also sets the baseline for the upcoming deals on younger quarterbacks. Carson Wentz is eligible for an extension now, while Deshaun Watson and Patrick Mahomes can begin negotiations after this season. Watson and Wentz will certainly cash in, while Mahomes will shatter any numbers we’ve ever seen.
On Mahomes, the Chiefs would be wise to aim for the longest term Mahomes will agree to, knowing the cap will go up annually. In no time, his contract will be viewed as a bargain, much as Wilson’s will within the next few years.