Seattle Seahawks and Russell Wilson: As Extension Deadline Looms, Where Do Things Stand?

Seattle Seahawks and Russell Wilson: As Extension Deadline Looms, Where Do Things Stand?

by April 15, 2019 0 comments

The clock is ticking on a potential extension of Russell Wilson. Where do things stand between the Seattle Seahawks and their mobile quarterback?

On April 2, a source told Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times that “Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson has given the team an April 15 deadline to complete negotiations on a new contract.”

The 15th marks the opening day of the team’s official offseason workout programs, and Wilson, who is entering his final season under contract, wants to at least know where his future stands with the team.

And, believe it or not, today is the 15th. So where do things stand?

Could Wilson be traded?

Sunday morning, a source told Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio that “the Seahawks think that Wilson would like to play elsewhere, even if he hasn’t and wouldn’t ever say it.”

Hours later, in response to Florio’s scoop, Kansas City Chiefs’ safety Tyrann Mathieu tweeted that Wilson “wants New York.”

Of course, whether or not that is true remains to be seen.

Let’s consider it is true. Which New York team does Wilson want to go to? The Buffalo Bills and New York Jets are both entering the 2019 season with promising sophomore quarterbacks, with Josh Allen and Sam Darnold at the helm, respectively. They don’t need a talented quarterback like Wilson, so that leaves one other team.

The New York Giants are being ripped to shreds. They lost Landon Collins to the Redskins via free agency, and Olivier Vernon and Odell Beckham, Jr. to the Cleveland Browns in a trade. But despite losing some of their best players this offseason, it is worth noting that Saquon Barkley is poised for a big sophomore season and Golden Tate and Sterling Shepard are both in New York under long-term deals. They also added some offensive line and defensive talents, and although they certainly aren’t playoff-bound, there is still a chance they will have a better 2019 season than their campaign in 2018.

Adding a quarterback that can run faster than Eli Manning, throw better than Eli Manning, withstand injuries better than Eli Manning, and be a better quarterback than Eli Manning may just be what the Giants need to build their future.

The Giants should be able to snag Wilson from Seattle for a bit cheaper than he previously would have cost. If it takes a first-round pick, a couple seconds or thirds, and a young offensive or defensive talent to poach Wilson, the Giants should pull the trigger in a heartbeat. But only if the two sides can agree to a long-term extension that makes Wilson one of the highest paid quarterbacks and keeps him in the Big Apple for many years to come.

Without an extension, could Wilson hold out?

Russell Wilson obviously wants an extension; his urge to get contract security has even prompted him and his agent to require a deadline for an extension.

But if Wilson doesn’t get that extension, will he hold out?

It is very unlikely that Wilson opts to sit out offseason training, let alone the 2019 season. Perhaps he sits out some of the early meetings and practices, but Wilson should be on the field by the time training camp kicks off in the middle of the summer.

Sitting out the season will only hurt Wilson’s stock. If he holds out, it is because he did not get an extension. If he does not get an extension, he will be spending the 2019 season with just one season separating him from free agency.

Sitting out will not help his case to become the highest paid player during free agency. Russell Wilson can play better, and he needs practice and game action to do so. That will lead to a bigger paycheck if and when he becomes a free agent. So holding out more than a couple of weeks of practice would not be wise for Wilson.

What would it take to extend Wilson?

At age 30, Wilson has many different veteran quarterbacks that he can be compared to, three of whom have signed multi-year contracts recently.

One of those men is Matthew Stafford. At the age of 29, the Lions’ quarterback agreed to a five-year deal worth $135 million with an average annual value of $27 million.

Next, it was Kirk Cousins, who struck a three-year deal worth $84 million at the age of 29; this deal will pay him $28 million per year.

Finally, the biggest deal of these three was earned by Falcons’ pass-thrower Matt Ryan, who at the age of 32 struck a five-year deal with Atlanta worth $150 million and $30 million annually.

So what would it take to keep Wilson in Seattle? He needs a mega-sweet deal. The highest annual value is Aaron Rodgers‘ deal that makes him the recipient of $33.5 million from the Green Bay Packers annually.

A six-year deal would keep Wilson in Seattle until he is 36, which is around when most running quarterbacks start to decrease in talent level. Paying Wilson the $33.5 million rate that Rodgers is getting, but paying it for six years, would give Wilson $201 million in the end. That would exceed the largest contract value (Ryan’s $150 million) by more than $50 million, so it is unlikely that Wilson gets a deal that large.

Paying Wilson $32 million for five years would not give him the largest annual value, but it would be the largest contract value in NFL history, exceeding Ryan’s final sum by $10 million. In the end, if the Seahawks want Wilson, it’ll cost them a deal worth around $32 million for five seasons.

Will the club pay Wilson $160 million over five campaigns? Time will tell. (Although it’s worth noting that there is not much time remaining. Peter King reports that Wilson is firm on his deadline, and if he does not get an extension today, he will not consider one going forward.)

But the clock is ticking on an extension, and as the deadline looms, all eyes are on the Seattle Seahawks and how much wiggle room they have.

Andersen is a teenage sportswriter and reporter whose articles have appeared across the Prime Time Sports Talk, Sports Illustrated Kids, FantasyPros, and SB Nation platforms. He has also received credit from RotoWorld, CBS Sports, ESPN, Bleacher Report, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, The Athletic, SB Nation, NBC Sports, NY Post, and dozens of other sports sites for his reporting work.

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