It’s done. It’s rich. And it’s got the hefty guarantees he’d sought since talks began in earnest five months ago.
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson has confirmed he’s agreed to a four-year contract extension. Peter King of Sports Illustrated was the first to report the long-awaited deal is worth $87.6 million, which with an annual value of $21.9 million is second only to Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers’ $22 million per year.
From the start of talks this deal was all about guaranteed money, and not just future guarantees but money due to the only quarterback to start two Super Bowls in his first three seasons at signing. King says Wilson is getting $60 million in present and future guarantees with $31 million due to him at signing. The latter figure ties the contract Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger signed this spring as the second-most guaranteed money at signing in league history. Rodgers got $54 million up front from the Packers.
Coupling the reported up-front guarantee with the $1.54 million in base salary for which Wilson will play the 2015 season, the last of his rookie contact as a supposedly too-short, third-round draft choice out of Wisconsin, his $32.54 million in 2015 cash is second in the league this year behind only Roethlisberger’s $35,250,000. Noticeably, Wilson’s getting $1 million more in 2015 cash than Cam Newton, the Carolina quarterback drafted first overall in 2011 who signed a deal this spring considered to be the floor for a deal for the far-more-accomplished Seahawks quarterback.
So, yes, Wilson got (almost all) he sought.
The deal came to light about three hours before a supposed and artificial “deadline” floated in national outlets by sources in what appeared to be an effort to spur an agreement. Then it came amid widespread doubt it would get done. But a person with direct knowledge of the negotiations had been telling The News Tribune the talks were not nearly as acrimonius and the sides were not nearly as far apart as was being portrayed.
In the end, the Seahawks got their man done. And Wilson got his guaranteed cash.
Wilson confirmed the deal on his Twitter account, writing “Blessed to be w/ this organization for 4 more years! Can't wait to get on field w/ the fellas! @Seahawks #ChampionshipMindset.”
Now the team can turn to finishing negotiations that have already started with the agent for All-Pro linebacker Bobby Wagner, who may command as much as $10 million per year after his rookie deal ends with the 2015 season.
Wagner reacted to Wilson’s signing with an interesting tone:
The Seahawks also have a brewing contract issue with strong safety Kam Chancellor, who was the only player who did not report to training camp on time Thursday in Renton because he presumably wants more money. He still has three years left on his deal that is paying him $4.45 million in guaranteed base pay this year. If Chancellor isn’t on the field when the rest of the Seahawks are beginning at 10:25 a.m. today, the team could fine him a maximum of $30,000 per day until he arrives.