Seahawks, Russell Wilson could be on a Kirk Cousins-style collision course

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With all the talk about Aaron Rodgers‘ looming mega-deal, there’s another quarterback who, like Rodgers, has two years left on his current contract. Unlike Rodgers, there’s no momentum toward adjusting the other quarterback’s deal.

The other quarterback is Russell Wilson, and his contract situation eventually could get messy.

Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the current expectation from Wilson’s perspective is that he’ll finish his current deal and receive the franchise tag in 2020. Based on his 2019 cap number of $25.286 million, it will cost the Seahawks $30.34 million to keep him for another season after the expiration of his current deal.

The next question becomes whether Wilson will go year to year at that point, like Kirk Cousins did in Washington. Under that scenario, Wilson would make $36.41 million (a 20-percent raise) in 2021. Come 2022, the Seahawks would have to decide whether to tag him again, at a 44-percent raise, or let him enter free agency.

The tag in 2022 would equate to $52.43 million for one year.

It’s unclear whether Wilson would opt for one-year deals once his contract expires. He’s currently 29, with a 30th birthday looming in November. But 30 is spry when it comes to quarterbacks, and Wilson told PFT Live during the season that he hopes to play until he’s 45. (He also said he hopes to stay with one team for his entire career.)

The last time around, Wilson did a four-year extension after three NFL seasons, at a new-money average of $21.9 million. With Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan now at $30 million per year (presumably in new money) and with Rodgers surely hoping to push the bar higher (presumably in new money), what will Wilson want?

Perhaps more importantly, what does he deserve?

Regardless of what he wants or what he deserves, the franchise-tag dance puts him at $119.18 million over three years — an average of nearly $40 million per year. If the Seahawks don’t tag him for a third time, Wilson would hit the open market (a la Cousins) in 2022, at the age of 33.

As long as Wilson stays healthy and effective, a willingness to wait gives him more leverage than any quarterback will have ever had. Which means that he’ll either get a record-setting deal at some point to stay in Seattle. Or he’ll get that record-setting deal as an unrestricted free agent.

74 responses to “Seahawks, Russell Wilson could be on a Kirk Cousins-style collision course

  1. Hate the team or not, I don’t wish injury on any player ever. And while it’s true on almost every team in regards to the QB, but If Wilson goes down. Hawks win about 2-3 games.

  2. The negotiations will begin next season, but expect not much movement until about mid season. He will break the bank for any team that pays him what he is worth… I think that as long as the team is prepared to handle the cap hit, expect him to get offered a very good contract. Hope he stays.

  3. I have a different expectation. Wilson may be traded with one year left on his current contract, or he may be allowed to leave as a free agent after he contract expires. Wilson’s bad second half in 2017, when his passing yards fell from #2 in the league to #12 when the season ended, means he does not deserve top dollars. He is at best the 12th best quarterback in the league if one goes by yards passing.

    Besides, Seattle does not use the franchise tag on any player. The odds against him being franchise tagged will be astronomical if Seattle misses the playoffs in 2018 and 2019.

  4. The NFL needs to figure out how to make sure QB hits aren’t total torpedoes on a team or else the NFL will have a bunch of super star QBs with a bunch of scrubs or gems who will only be around for rookie deals.

  5. Salaries getting too ridiculous and way too many disparities which isn’t good for the product being delivered

  6. When I was a kid, most pro athletes had a 2nd job. Pick a sport. Not the superstars. They got endorsements.

    But this…this is getting skewed out of control.

    I know there are only 15 or so top QB’s, but where is Brady without Belichick? Outside of that pairing (Montana and Walsh) has anyone of these new found zillionaires won anything more than Foles, Dilfer et al?

    Eli Manning won with a very good team (lost with a better team the next year) and ‘the team’ got hot in 2011 at the right time because on the field and on paper, the Cowboys ‘should’ have been in the SB. ELi is a very good QB. Better than most of his era and he was beyond lucky to get a 2nd ring.

    So keep chasing the dragon, paying these guys insane money and someone is going to figure it out. It’s a team game and even the greatest QB’s rarely win two. Is this all about winning just one? Is Philly happy now and can go to heaven? They did it with a D and a back-QB and in my opinion, really good coaching.

    Bradshaw would not even have a whiff of the HOF as the Steelers had more talent on one team than in the history of football. Marino would have won how many SB’s with that team? Marino would be getting paid how much today and how many did he win? Team game. That money should be spread out. Or we should be paying less.

    The teams with the best shot next year will be the teams with the best D or the Patriots because they have the best coach in history and seemingly do it with mirrors. So keep paying these QB’s.

  7. Russell Wilson isn’t that good. Defense won his championship. Hawks had to let a lot of talent go to pay him last time. They are on a trajectory for 6-10 to 8-8 this season. Because of Wilson.

    Hawks, like a lot of teams, would be better off with a QB on a rookie deal and a defense full of monsters.

  8. I seem to recall so many on here clutching their pearls and feinting when Seattle was giving Wilson his contract. So many on here said he didn’t deserve it. Despite having one of the best statistical and team oriented success start of a career of any QB in the NFL. Now his next 2 seasons look like a steal for one of the best QB in the league.

  9. Seahawks will resign him. Its Pete and Johns modus operandi to not resign someone until they are in a contract year. The deal will get done, it will be the biggest deal in history for a few days and some other qb will get an even better deal regardless or not of if hes better than wilson.

  10. I don’t imagine a scenario where Wilson leaves Seattle. Much as I dislike them, their owner is not Dan Snyder.

  11. SEA just keeps on going downhill…. I’d bet SEA moves on from WIlson as he is turning 30yrs old but is still so dependent on his legs to play the game @ a high level. Wilson passing/pocket mechanics are still atrocious, he’s a mess in that regard and relies on his legs & speed/quickness to avoid the pass rush, scrambling around until someone pops open & he then lays a dart on them. Wilson isnt going to have that athleticism forever and @ 30yrs old we will see that one part of his game start to decline, which is why for Wilson its is absolutely critical he work with a premier QB coach to develop his pocket mechanics n poise in the pocket, learning how to use pocket to avoid the rush by stepping up and moving around the pocket. If he doesnt do that no one is going to pay him that long money when he starts losing his speed n scrambling ability.
    All of those reasons is why SEA was scouting al of the top QB’s lately, going to Allen-Darnold and Rosens pro day sending an ambassador of the franchise to OKL for Mayfields. With Wilson getting older and likely demanding 30-35 Million on his next deal I could see SEA just deciding to cut bait and move on, drafting someone like Drew Luck toward the mid to end 1st to start developing for 2-3yrs. If SEA wanted a QB they should of traded up to get a guy this year to start developing behind Wilson for 2-3yrs a la the Packers with Rodgers. This years class was the best most talented QB Class since 2004, and SEA blew it.

  12. I can’t believe he is 29 already. Seems like he only got drafted 3-4 years ago

  13. I saw a movie recently where one of the characters says…”you live in a country where obesity is a problem and people are starving…how does that happen?!”

  14. Cousins has written the blueprint for NFL QB contract negotiations—use franchise tag to get to free agency and then sign a deal for no more than 3 years that is fully guaranteed. This is a strategy to stay at the top of the pay scale. Wilson has the perfect situation to make this work because he is young and he is good.

  15. The Seahawks in the Pete and John era have only used the tag once. That was on a kicker. The star/core players that they want to keep they re-sign to new deals. The media likes to build BS stories to build drama up to the signing of the contract. There was so much drama last time that Wilson was re-signing and at the end of the day it didn’t matter and he signed his contract and both sides were happy.

  16. “Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the current expectation from Wilson’s perspective is that he’ll finish his current deal and receive the franchise tag in 2020.”

    ……………

    Yeah, players in a sport with a high probability of injury definitely prefer a year-to-year deal to work the system. Me thinks this supposed “source with knowledge” is the same guy that convinced Haslam to draft Manziel.

  17. “He’s currently 29, with a 30th birthday looming in November. But 30 is spry when it comes to quarterbacks”

    Most QBs aren’t nearly as heavily dependent on their athleticism to be able to play at a high level. Russell gonna hit the wall hard when his legs go.

  18. Based on his 2019 cap number of $25.286 million, it will cost the Seahawks $30.34 million to keep him for another season after the expiration of his current deal.

    His 2019 salary is 17 million & he received a 31 million signing bonus in 2015….why would the Seahawks push so much of the signing bonus $$ to the end of his contract?
    Not real smart, especially considering they haven’t won anything since he signed the deal.

  19. Given that QBs have already made more than they could possibly spend in a dozen lifetimes, you have to wonder why money is still the prime goal. It just means leaving a bigger pile of cash when you die.

  20. It’s hard for any team to keep productive players in other key positions when a valuable quarterback costs so much. Seattle got lucky a few years ago when they benefitted from Wilson playing like a top-drawer veteran under a rookie deal. That rarely happens. Those days are over for Seattle.

  21. By every measure, except his height, Wilson deserves to be the highest paid QB on the planet. Only Brady’s accomplishments make for debate. His age jeopardizes his #1 status.

  22. Per a source with knowledge of the situation,
    =====================================

    Why doesn’t his agent want to put his name on his statement?

  23. Seattle knows what they are getting with Russell, and he is worth it. Why not focus on a team like the 49ers. You know, a team that has already been crowned the SB champions because they won an astounding 5 games to close the season, a couple thanks to the kicker. They already paid a ridiculous amount to a QB who is still very much unproven. No, not worried about paying big bucks to a guy we know is worth it (Russell). Jimmy Dreamboat is the one who will be more like Kirk Cousins, overpaid to be mediocre.

  24. Well at least Wilson is a really good QB while Cousins is a mediocre, choking dog. RW definitely deserves to be paid more than KC and the Seahawks would be wise to keep him around.

  25. “The NFL needs to figure out how to make sure QB hits aren’t total torpedoes on a team . . .”

    It’s just really hard to figure out what to do that doesn’t have a ton of unintended consequences.

  26. Pete Carroll has indicated he wants to coach in Seattle at least five more years. Do you really think he’s going to do that with another QB? They will come to terms with a multi-year deal that is reflective of the market. The franchise tag talk is nonsense.

  27. He should ask for that 52M$ a year right now and play alone on the field. That would be funny. 11 on 1. They would have an insane defense tough.

  28. And I’ll add another point, Wilson has a baseball agent, he’ll have no problem with getting his player rather than accepting a deal they don’t feel is enough. He almost did that before his last contract, but the risk was to much as Wilson was only slated to make about $1M then, but with a bunch of money in the bank and $20M a year while you wait, you can play this game of chicken.

  29. Quarterbacks should all make 85% of the teams cap. The other 15% can go to pay the other 52 guys. That’s what it is coming to. People won’t be able to afford to go to the games or watch them on TV !

  30. The contractual situation may be similar, but there is no way it will play out the same way. The reason the situation with Cousins got so ugly has nothing to do with the money- it is inexplicable way the Redskin Potatoes dealt with Cousins, constantly leaking derogatory information about him, downplaying his importance to the team, constantly blaming him for the impasse. Bruce Allen went so far as to purposely call him by the wrong name on multiple occasions.

    As long as the Seahawks have an ounce of common sense and decency, the outcome should be vastly different.

  31. Wilson is very good. Im not sure hes great. I dont think he has matched prime Rogers, Brady, P.Manning, Brees or Roethlisberger. Watson and Wentz have potential to pass him by.

    A very good quarterback is highly valuable, but a team like the Seahawks might not want to pay him likes he great.

  32. Russell Wilson is the best 3rd best QB in the league behind Brady and Rogers! This guy is good and worth every penny. Unlike Ryan, Cousins, and Garrapolo, Wilson has proved his worth by going to back to back superbowls and winning one of them and should have won the second. Seattle would be lucky to win 3 games without him.

    If Wilson has any problems getting an extension or the monter contract he deserves then, I have a thought or two about what’s behind that reasoning.

  33. nhpats says:
    May 4, 2018 at 7:27 am
    Without Wilson the Seahawks wouldn’t win a game. Without Ryan the Falcons may have won a SB
    _______________________________

    With Wilson they cannot make the playoffs. He was carried by the Defense to a SB win and managed to lose a SB all by himself. Waaaaaaay over-rated based on stats (kind of like Kirk Cousins)

  34. viffty says:

    May 4, 2018 at 7:41 am

    Well at least Wilson is a really good QB while Cousins is a mediocre, choking dog. RW definitely deserves to be paid more than KC and the Seahawks would be wise to keep him around.

    ————

    Russel Wilson has also had the privilege of a top defense every year, good running game, and some good receivers. KC has had none of those his entire career and has put up great numbers.

  35. They will likely get a deal done given the premium placed on franchise QB’s. However, the Seahawks should be honest with themselves when evaluating whether or not Russell is worth it. Is he good enough to carry a team by himself? Because the reality is they are looking at a possible scenario of losing Earl Thomas and Bobby Wagner in the next 2-3 years. The Thomas situation is already dicey, and Wagner’s contract expires in 2020. Can Wilson carry a team that can not afford multiple pro bowlers? They missed the playoffs last year, and they are going to lose even more pieces going forward. I say all of this as someone that likes Russell Wilson, and thinks he is one of the most talented QBs in the league. But, there are very few that can take their teams to the playoffs with no defense and lackluster receivers.

  36. 49erfan44 says:
    Hate the team or not, I don’t wish injury on any player ever. And while it’s true on almost every team in regards to the QB, but If Wilson goes down. Hawks win about 2-3 games.

    You mean like the 49ers?
    ———————————-
    omeimontis says:
    Wilson’s bad second half in 2017, when his passing yards fell from #2 in the league to #12 when the season ended, means he does not deserve top dollars. He is at best the 12th best quarterback in the league if one goes by yards passing.

    But he led the league in TD passes so I guess that means he is the best QB in the league if one goes by TD passes.
    ———————————————
    kurdishpats1 says:
    We laugh at Russell Wilson and his family.

    Why? Because he wins without deflating footballs and taking steroids?

  37. I don’t get the Wilson hate. Aside from his goody two shoes image, the dude can flat out ball.

    I’m starting to believe that some of y’all don’t watch much football.

  38. As long as Wilson stays healthy and effective . . .

    With that tire fire of an offensive line, does anyone think that this is actually possible in a division full of strong defenses?

  39. naes says:
    Russell Wilson isn’t that good. Defense won his championship. Hawks had to let a lot of talent go to pay him last time. They are on a trajectory for 6-10 to 8-8 this season. Because of Wilson.
    ———————————————————-
    Russell Wilson has 181 career TD passes in 6 years (30 per season average). Led NFL in passer rating in 2015. Led NFL in TD passes in 2017. How many of those TD passes did the defense throw?

    He’s #2 all-time in passer rating ahead of Brady, Manning and Marino in the regular season, and #9 all-time in the playoffs, ahead of Brady, Aikman, Manning, Favre, etc…

    1 of only 9 QBs in NFL history to have 3 or more 100+ Passer Rating seasons. The other 8 are Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Joe Montana, Steve Young, Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Philip Rivers, And Ben Roethlisberger.

    QBs with multiple seasons of 100+ passer rating & 400+ rushing yards:
    Steve Young, 4x
    Russell Wilson, 3x

    Players with 4,000 yards passing and 500 yards rushing:
    Steve Young
    Russell Wilson

    Wilson was 80 yards short of becoming the only player in NFL HISTORY to do it twice. (2017)

    Only player in NFL history to throw for 300 yards and rush for 100 yards in a single game.

    I find the internet is much more fun when I talk about things I know something about. You should try that.

  40. nhpats says:
    Without Wilson the Seahawks wouldn’t win a game.
    ———————————————————-
    I’m sorry I thought the Seahawks only won because the rest of the guys on the team were so good. Which is it again?

  41. The NFL will find that the maximum people are willing to pay to watch really huge men beat the living hell out of each other has a limit. Once you add politics to the entertainment format that price goes down quickly. Kaepernick proved that theory is correct. Some of us have already given up on the NFL.

  42. “He is at best the 12th best quarterback in the league if one goes by yards passing.”
    _________________

    Fortunately, most are smart enough not to judge QBs by a single stat. Because by that measure Philip Rivers was the second best QB in the entire league and Bryce Petty was better than Nick Foles. And on the career side of things that would make Carson Palmer the 12th best QB in history.

  43. Reduce the salary cap by a bit and then allow a team to remove 1 player from their salary cap totals each year. This lets you spend whatever you want on your QB, or any other player while you have a young QB on your roster.

  44. The Hawks will pay Russell the biggest contract ever, then ten minutes later Derrick Carr will get a bigger one.

  45. The Seahawks have already reloaded for next season. They are going to surprise a lot of people in 2018. As for Wilson, he is worth every penny and plays for the richest owner in sports. The only issue is managing the salary cap. When the Hawks use a first or second round pick on a QB I will worry about Wilson moving on instead of getting hurt.

  46. Salaries getting too ridiculous and way too many disparities which isn’t good for the product being delivered

    ————

    You can thank the premium this country puts on football, and the inability of fans everywhre to vote with their wallets. In turning away from the game. I’m glad for anyone to max out their earnings, but this is beyond ridiculous.

  47. QB Salaries are getting seriously out of control, it is just getting to the point of being ridiculous. The NFL needs to cap QB Salaries, have a vote and the cap salaries at $28 to $30 Million Dollars per year and put in a statute that says the NFL must review the cap every 5 years allowing them to raise or lower it depending on the financial health of the NFL. They should do the same with other premier positions, capping pass rushers at $16-$17M per year, LTs capped @ $14M per year and so on down the line as salaries are just going to get straight up out of control. No QB in the NFL deserves $30 Million per year to play a freaking game, I mean thats 1.875 million dollars per game which throwing the ball 35 times a game would break down to $53,571 DOLLARS PER PASS, $53.5K PER FREAKING P-A-S-S. Unbelievable. How do these QB’s expect teams to build talent teams around them & good O-Lines up front to protect them? Their salaries say they dont exactly care about winning as much as they constantly say they do, Except for Tom Brady who puts his mouth where his mouth is. Cap QB Salaries, solve the problem.

  48. redclaw1314 says:
    May 4, 2018 at 3:21 am
    Cousins has written the blueprint for NFL QB contract negotiations—use franchise tag to get to free agency and then sign a deal for no more than 3 years that is fully guaranteed. This is a strategy to stay at the top of the pay scale. Wilson has the perfect situation to make this work because he is young and he is good.
    _____________________________________________________________________________-

    Wilson isn’t all that young anymore, he turns 30 years old a few months from now. Furthermore Wilson’s game is extremely dependent on his Legs, Quickness and Athleticism. Wilson is not a pocket passing QB, Wilson has as horrible of passing mechanics & footwork as you will find, he doesnt know how to move around & work the pocket like a pocket passer does who has great mechanics/footwork and doesnt depend on his legs or athleticism. With Wilson turning 30’s old paired with as often he gets hit & takes absolute beatings behind SEA’s extremely poor bottom 5 offensive line, turning 30 with all those beatings he takes Wilson will more than likely lose his legs & athleticism/quickness/elusivness and ability to scramble around very soon and will start showing decline in that area very soon given his age.
    Once his athleticism and legs go Russell Wilson is going to be screwed because he never learned how to play within the structure of an offense or play solely in the pocket as a pure passer. With WIlson turning 30 there is a reason their GM and Head-Coach were out scouting all the top rookie QB’s which scared Wilson enough he had his agent call to ask if SEA will be drafting a Quarterback, meaning WIlson isnt stupid he see’s the writing on the wall.

  49. Wilson is under contract for the next two years. And this article is speculating than in 2020 Wilson may hold out for a franchise tag based on a “source with knowledge of the situation”
    Translation: The agent would like the Seahawks to restructure NOW and is floating the idea that Wilson may be a pain in the neck to resign in the 2020 season.
    Wilson is very good and the Hawks should do what is possible to resign him within reason.
    But unless Wilson is offering a Walmart type of sale this is a 2019 discussion. Lots can happen in this season.
    And I do not believe Wilson will see a franchise tag.

  50. These NFL contracts would look ridiculous if it weren’t for MLB contracts. Diamondbacks are paying Zack Grienke 200 million $$ to throw a small ball. And MLB contracts are guaranteed. Insanity.

  51. What do they need Wilson for? They have the 12th man, right? Dumbest self proclamation ever, that crowd doesn’t do more than any other passionate city, that team was just that good

  52. “Hate the team or not, I don’t wish injury on any player ever. And while it’s true on almost every team in regards to the QB, but If Wilson goes down. Hawks win about 2-3 games.”

    See,there is a flip side to the coin. Tom Brady rarely gets injured, perhaps partly because his salary isn’t starving the team of other quality players to protect him by solidifying a complete offensive unit that will not collapse under pressure. Those guys deserve a piece of the pie also.

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