Finally, the speculation regarding Russell Wilson’s new contract extension is over, not that there was ever any realistic chance that the Seahawks were going to let him leave. The final figure of $140 million has set a new high-water mark especially given that it featured a $65 million signing bonus.
Wilson who will be 30 when the season starts is now tied into the Seahawks for four more years, and with two potential franchise tags he will effectively see out the best part of the remainder of his career with the team.
Now this is a lot of money to spend, however, it is a pretty good deal both for Seattle and Russell Wilson. The Seahawks have their franchise quarterback under their control for at least the next six years, and as he showed last year he can win games even when the supporting cast is not great. Given that they are playing in one of the stronger divisions in the NFC where everyone apart from Arizona currently have their franchise quarterback in place this was important. They can now focus their attention on improving the roster and hopefully getting back into the playoffs again this year.
For Wilson, the frontloaded nature of the contract gives him financial security, important in a game where one tackle can end your career, but also given the relatively team-friendly nature of the structure it does not preclude them from continuing to build the roster. He can also now bask in the knowledge that he is at least for a few months the highest-paid player in NFL history.
This also removes any lingering trade rumours, allowing teams such as Cincinnati and the Giants to move on to the draft with no distractions. It was never likely that either of the above would have given up three first-round picks plus which would have been required in compensation, however, the rumours were there and obviously distracting for the incumbent quarterbacks – Eli Manning, Andy Dalton.
With Kyler Murray expected to go number 1 to Arizona, this leaves the possibility that two or three more quarterbacks may go in the first round as teams like Cincinnati and the Giants look to grab their future guys without the need to rush them into starting positions.
This contract has set the bar for negotiations going forward and given that the 2016 NFL Draft QB picks are now eligible for contract extensions, means that the number one and number two picks Jared Goff & Carson Wentz respectively and of course Dak Prescott (a bargain at 135) will be looking to cash in. All three have been successful in the first three years and their respective teams will want to ensure that longer term deals so quickly. Is going to be an interesting 2020.
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