The Seahawks head to training camp soon. And if quarterback Russell Wilson doesn’t have a new contract when camp opens, there won’t be one until after the season ends.
Former Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren believes Wilson should get the deal done, swapping out his $1.5 million salary for 2015 with whatever the Seahawks are offering. Because they apparently are offering a lot.
“I know this, without going into the numbers,” Holmgren said on Friday’s edition of The Erik Kuselias Show on NBC Sports Radio. “I know the Seahawks have not lowballed Russell Wilson. I know that. Now, is it an Alex Rodriguez contract, which is twice as much as anybody’s ever made in their life? No. But they have not lowballed him. So I think it’s a fair deal, looking at it from an outsider looking in. I have no skin in the game but I just think — I think he should do this.”
And then Holmgren, who used the “without going into the numbers” caveat, went into the numbers.
“He’s gonna sign a huge contract, in the $20 million-plus range, I would guess,” Holmgren said of Wilson. “And to not sign it, and to play this year for [$1.5 million]. They always run the risk of injury. To make another million bucks in a hundred million dollar contract over five years doesn’t make any sense to me at all. And I would tell him that. If he asks me, I’ll tell him. And that’s why I think he’s making a mistake.”
There’s a lot of wisdom in that last remark from Holmgren. By playing for only $1.5 million in 2015, Wilson loses forever the extra money he could have made this year on a new contract. If, for example, the Seahawks are willing to pay him only (only?) $20 million per year on a five-year deal, he gets another $18.5 million this year that he otherwise will never see — and he fulfills the contract a year earlier.
That’s the other thing important Wilson needs to keep in mind. If the duration of the deal will be the same now or in February, the sooner he signs the new deal, the sooner he’s back at the table for his next deal.
In an industry where there are a finite number of years in which an employee can do the job, the sooner the big money flows (and the sooner the contracts expire), the better.