Russell Wilson set a deadline and the Seattle Seahawks met it in the 25th hour, and sets a QB signing bonus record in the process.
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson bet on himself last week, declaring that April 15 would mark his self-imposed deadline for he and the Seahawks to come to terms on a new contract extension. It seemed at first that Seattle called Wilson’s bluff; midnight Pacific time came and went without a deal struck between the franchise quarterback and the team that drafted him in 2012.
But, in the middle of the night, Wilson got the extension he wanted, agreeing to a four-year deal worth $140 million. This includes $67 million at signing, $107 million in guaranteed money and a no-trade clause. Wilson reported the news himself (sans financial details) on Twitter and the details poured in from there.
Wilson is now the highest-paid player in the NFL, with the biggest signing bonus in history to boot, and the addition of the no-trade clause makes it even more probable that Wilson is likely to be paid a vast majority of the contract’s full value
Wilson will earn $17 million in 2019, the same amount he was set to earn in what was the final year of the four-year, $87.6 million extension he signed in 2015. That $17 million was in salary alone with none of it guaranteed (nor a trigger in place in which it was guaranteed), giving the Seahawks a built-in out. Any potential Wilson trade or other move could have, hypothetically, resulted in no dead money against Seattle’s cap.
But while the Seahawks had that one bit of leverage — losing Wilson wouldn’t be a financial burden — Wilson had the winning hand. He’s the franchise quarterback, one play call away from being a Super Bowl champion and someone that the Seahawks, or any team in the league, would not be looking to remove and replace. It’s a worse look for the Seahawks to not give a proven, high-caliber quarterback the money he is worth than for said quarterback to make public his desire to be paid his due.
Since taking over as the Seahawks’ starting quarterback in 2012, Seattle has reached the playoffs in five of those seven seasons, and Wilson has presided over 13 postseason appearances.