When will “ongoing” contract talks get Russell Wilson the richest contract ever?

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On Friday, Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson told Jimmy Fallon that there’s “a great potential” for Wilson to eventually become the highest-paid player in NFL history. So when precisely would that Wilson eclipse Aaron Rodgers‘ $33.5 million per year?

Here’s what Seahawks coach Pete Carroll told PFT Live at the Scouting Combine on the question of when contract talks will commence with Wilson, whose current deal expires at the end of the 2019 season: “That effort’s ongoing, now, you know? We have a tremendous relationship with Russ and he’s been an incredible part of our club and like I said, the community, all aspects of the league, all aspects of sports around the country, he’s an extraordinary factor. And we like to celebrate the years that he’s had with us with continuing more years and putting it all together. So that’s ongoing.”

So if it’s ongoing, when does it end? Last year, we explained that Wilson’s mindset at the time was to resist long-term offers and to let things play out on a year-by-year basis. If he were to pursue the Kirk Cousins model, Wilson could force application of the franchise tag for a couple of years before forcing his way to the open market, in turn forcing the Seahawks to compete with others for his services moving forward.

With a cap number of $25.286 million for 2019, Wilson’s franchise tag in 2020 would bump to $30.34 million. In 2021, the franchise tag for Wilson would become $36.41 million. Come 2022, the rule guaranteeing a 44-percent increase would push the cap number all the way to $52.43 million.

Would the Seahawks pay him $52.43 million for another season, or would they let him hit the market? (The other option would be the transition tag, at $43.69 million for 2022, but that would guarantee only a right to match.)

The bigger question is whether the Seahawks would put enough on the table to get Wilson to forgo the Cousins approach, and ultimately whether the guy who has a habit of ending every press conference and interview by saying “go ‘Hawks” would tell the ‘Hawks goodbye.

63 responses to “When will “ongoing” contract talks get Russell Wilson the richest contract ever?

  1. I would love to see Russell Wilson get a huge contract in Seattle, that is guaranteed that he will be the highest paid quarterback ever, for 15 years or more, and I am a Frisco 49er fan. LOL

  2. $ 25 Million seems like enough to eek out a meager existence. Do players understand there is a salary cap ? Each additional dollar the star receives leaves one less their teammates receive. This dynamic makes it less likely the team can or will be able to afford enough talent to win it all. Tom Brady is not the highest paid QB, yet his team wins because he takes less then he ” deserves”. Maybe being highest paid shouldn’t be the ultimate goal.

  3. If he’s in it only for the top dollar, then he’s not in it for the championships.
    Just ask Aaron how’s that going!!

  4. There is a shortage of very good QBs. Wilson is a very good QB. Thus he can force his way out and get paid top dollar.

    Since he already had a super bowl ring, does he care about getting another? Ir not he can see his services for near top dollar and cash out. Nothing dishonerable about that. But the team that signs him probably won’t be winning anything.

    If he does want to play on a good team, and possibly win another super bowl (Brady probably won’t be around past 45, will he?) then he may want to consider not demanding top dollar. Leaving 3MM on the table won’t be enough to win. He’ll have to take a 30MM contract.

    A team that pays him top dollar will probably be become a playoff team, but they won’t be going far.

    So Wilson has to decode – take the money and not win a super bowl, or leave some money on the table, sign with a good team, and try to win a super bowl.

  5. The Patriots have been lucky that Brady’s #1 goal is not to be the highest paid Q. BB looses stars like Trey Flowers and Trent Brown every year rather than bust the cap. I think this might be one reason why the Patriots have been so competitive during the BB era. Instead of a few superstars they have a deep, quality roster.

    Russ Wilson is the leader of the Seahawks. I want to see him get paid, but i hope he leaves enough on the table that the Seahawks can continue to build around him. I did no expect to see them make the playoffs last year, it was supposed to be a rebuilding year. Let’s leave enough on the table to keep rebuilding and get back to the SB. I’m tired of the one year dynasty talk i always read about.

  6. This QB salary scale is rendering teams unable to resign players they have developed, attract a few free agents to fill holes etc. You wonder why some of these OL s are in disarray. QB salaries are taking up 20 percent of the damn cap. “It would be fun to have a record salary” . Not too much fun for the team! Fun is greed, Fun is compromising the salaries of the other 52. ENOUGH!

  7. How about you make more money for wins and less money for losses. I hope the NFL considers this in the next CBA with the players because right now the players are playing like they don’t really care….. but they care about the $. I swear if you pay the winners more then the losers of every game, we would all see much better football. As it is, you get your money… try to play kinda hard, but your getting your money no matter what. If it’s all about the money…. then give them a reason to fuel their greed.

  8. Imagine what quarterbacks will be making in 10 years, 20 years and 30 years. Joe Montana made like $2.5 million in 1990. In 1990 the average quarterback salary was less that $1 million. Now the average salary for quarterbacks is $15 million. Wilson will probably get a deal that gets close to $40 million per year. Then other quarterbacks will demand more and pretty soon the top will be $50 million. In 20 years top quarterbacks will be making over $100 million per year. A good game day seat will cost $2000 by 2030. 30 bucks for a beer or a hot dog. Why would fans care what players make? Oh, because the money comes from the fans.

  9. The NFL should seriously consider the NBA salary structure. Not dollar for dollar obviously, just the philosophy. It’s a team sport. If you’re a max contract caliber player, you get a designated max contract (in length and value), regardless of position. Do the math, come up with some feasible salary structures based on performance and tenure.

    They already implemented a rookie wage scale, veteran minimum contracts, and franchise tags values. Meaningful and mutually beneficial reform should not be too challenging for them. I think most players would support the idea. It makes good financial sense for everyone except above average quarterbacks, defensive ends, cornerbacks, and left tackles. That leaves a of players working just as hard for much less.

  10. Its supply and demand and player evaulation.
    If all QBs decided they want to set new records in getting paid then the smart teams would start drafting QBs near the end of their current QBs contract.

    What would you rather have:

    A) Russel Wilson at $40 mm/year, with a mediocre Oline and receivers

    OR

    B) Andy Dalton at 600K/year for 4 years on a rookie contract plus 40MM to spend on Oline and receivers?

    If you don’t like this example, substitute Kirk Cousins for Russel Wilson.

    No QB pay scale is needed, there is a fixed salary cap, and its up to teams to evaluate
    players and make decisions.

  11. Even if Wilson gets the largest contract, it won’t last long.

    The GB diva will immediately want more.

  12. Pay, pay, pay the man! All you other teams that are not the Green Bay Packers…Pay, pay pay! If this works out right, Aaron Rodgers will be the lowest paid QB in a few years, lol

  13. douce54 says:
    March 17, 2019 at 9:34 am
    If he’s in it only for the top dollar, then he’s not in it for the championships.
    Just ask Aaron how’s that going!!

    ————

    Taking less so the team can improve other positions only works if you trust your GM to actually bring in good players and coaches. TT is known for letting good players walk, signing bad FA, and over paying overrated players. I think if Rodgers had any hint he’d had the same success as BB/Brady, he probably would take a little less. But no. Packers kept McCarthy and Capers a little too long.

  14. rpw84 says:
    March 17, 2019 at 10:11 am

    This QB salary scale is rendering teams unable to resign players they have developed, attract a few free agents to fill holes etc. You wonder why some of these OL s are in disarray. QB salaries are taking up 20 percent of the damn cap. “It would be fun to have a record salary” . Not too much fun for the team! Fun is greed, Fun is compromising the salaries of the other 52. ENOUGH!
    ———————————————————————————–
    Sadly the only team/ star QB that both understand this and solved that potential problem is the Patriots/Brady. Everyone else cripples their chances every time their QB gets a new deal. The new way is to nail your QB in the draft and win on his rookie contract while still being able to field a top supporting cast.

  15. He’s not even that good. Is he a top ten an, yes. But no better than that. Seattle is bonkers to pay anymore than 25 million. They have to build a team. I saw what happen with manning. As soon as Russ gets a long term injury, they will have to move on. They better groom their own if they want to be perennial contenders.

  16. Everyone is for capitalism and free markets until it’s time to pay pro athletes. If paying QBs 20% of the salary cap is a problem, do away with the salary cap and let owners spend as much as championships are worth to them.

  17. Let him play this year on his current deal. Then of course try and work something out but if he already has the mindset of being the highest paid player, the Seahawks should let him go or do a sign and trade. Enough of these players holding the team hostage. These huge long term contracts hardly ever work out. Football is the ultimate TEAM sport. Take a page out of Brady’s book and don’t be so damn greedy. Plus the guy has one SB victory and a HUGE mistake in the other Bowl appearance. Not worth it!!

  18. All these average QBs driving up the price for the actual QBs that deserve the money. Russel Wilson should NOT be the highest paid QB in the league. Period

  19. Wilson is vastly overrated. The SeaSlugs have gone to 2 Super Bowls and won just 1…and that was 5 seasons ago.
    It’s time for a total rebuild in Seattle. That starts with NOT extending Wilson.

  20. arcross12042004scorp15 says:
    March 17, 2019 at 9:32 am
    $ 25 Million seems like enough to eek out a meager existence. Do players understand there is a salary cap ? Each additional dollar the star receives leaves one less their teammates receive. This dynamic makes it less likely the team can or will be able to afford enough talent to win it all. Tom Brady is not the highest paid QB, yet his team wins because he takes less then he ” deserves”. Maybe being highest paid shouldn’t be the ultimate goal.
    —-
    Every occupation or job has a budget it is not the job of the employer to balance the budget and worry about cash for coworkers. It seems the NFL is the only job in the US were people think it should be the employer’s responsibility to not get the most his talent can get so others could get paid. I don’t know why fans always think like owners.

    Players already have agreed to structural tools that limit their pay. The rookie salary cap, restricted free agency, being able to franchise tag a player up to 3 times, the transition tag, salary cap. All those are a limit on player salaries. So no a player shouldn’t voluntarily take less during a business negotiation. I mean owners as a group were ready to lock out players and cancel a season during last CBA negotiations not because they were losing money but because they wanted a Bigger percentage of the revenue. At the end of the day it’s always about the money. The fact that fans like you always put the blame on players when they remind you of that fact is a little surprising.

  21. 32M per year for 5 years and all of it guaranteed with another 5 years tacked on at 35M per but not guaranteed. 160M guaranteed and another 175M for total of 330M. He would essentially be locked up for remainder of career.

  22. The Patriots have been paying a company partially owned by Tom Brady. It’s a wink, wink deal that no other teams agree to. In fact, other companies like Tom’s pay the teams to be associated with them.

    How is this not a violation?

  23. I hope wilson breaks the bank, that way when mahomes contract is up the chiefs have to pay him like 40 mill a year and are cap straped for ever.

  24. Aaron Rodgers‘ $33.5 million per year
    —–
    33.5 mill a year for a beat up, decling QB with a damaged shoulder whose teammates don’t luke him. I forgot how bad that contract is for the next 5 years.

  25. I love how people practically nominate Brady for saint-hood because he’s not trying to be the highest paid QB. There is zero chance he would be taking less if his wife wasn’t already worth $500M and earning $50M a year.

    The Seahawks are a 3-4 win team without Wilson. Their running game wouldn’t be nearly as effective without the threat of Wilson off the play fake (just ask Lynch, whose YPC without Wilson in full yard fewer). Guys thinking you can just draft a QB to replace him, please tell me how that’s working out for Oakland, Miami, and Denver. Like it or not, the going rate for a perennial pro bowl QB is $333-$35M a year. Only 2 SB’s in the last 19 have been won by QBs who were not top QBs, so going cheap and hoping to catch lightning in a bottle with a drafted QB tips the odds decidedly against you.

    Chances are the new CBA will make even a $35M/year contract look cheap by the 2nd or 3rd year as teams are dishing out $45-$50M a year for Mahomes, Wentz and Goff. The Seahawks’ downfall wasn’t in paying Wilson, it was in 3 consecutive horrible drafts that failed to restock the team with talent ready to step up for the talent that leaves. Their last two drafts have been much better, which is why they were able to make the playoffs despite the loss of “marquee” talent. Continue to draft well, and they will be fine even after paying Wilson. Fail to do so, and they will stumble as any team that drafts poorly would.

  26. contract says:
    March 17, 2019 at 12:37 pm
    Everyone is for capitalism and free markets until it’s time to pay pro athletes. If paying QBs 20% of the salary cap is a problem, do away with the salary cap and let owners spend as much as championships are worth to them.
    ____________________________________________

    100% agree.

  27. If Seattle wants to get max value for Wilson, it’s now or never as far as a trade. Once he is on franchise tag money, he will be trying to limit his new teams trade collateral.

  28. Weeman Wilson has a promising future as a Carlton Banks impersonator at low level bars across the country after his career ends. At least he be used to being booed

  29. Wait, I thought he wanted to move to New York, at the behest of his wife.

    If true, then he would have to consider what the Giants are willing to pay.

    This could be a case where Seattle can leverage NY to get a better deal, depending on what NY is willing to pay.

  30. achillesofwooters says:
    March 17, 2019 at 3:44 pm

    I love how people practically nominate Brady for saint-hood because he’s not trying to be the highest paid QB. There is zero chance he would be taking less if his wife wasn’t already worth $500M and earning $50M a year.

    ————

    not to mention what kraft pays brady off the books.

  31. I am having a justification problem here. Stick with me cause it’s gonna take a minute… IF the ball was thrown on the 1 yard line instead of handing it to Marshawn was to symbolize the “passing of the torch” of leadership to Wilson, why have we spent SO much time and energy trying to replace Marshawn… Now that we have gone through what feels like 163 rb’s since then, and found 1 guy who can carry the ball consistently, they still had 4 other RB’s on the committee who STILL got carries, taking away from our guy’s abilty to get his rythym in a game. Then they sent our ENTIRE defense packing for not drinking the kool aid. Once all of that settled and the season played out, we surprisingly made the playoffs. In the playoffs they game planned as if Marshawn was still there, as well as our defense, but Russell Wilson doesn’t exist. It is driving me nuts. I am happy to say that we have Wilson as our QB, and honestly believe that no other QB in the league would be able to be as successful in Seattle. In other words, if this is the Russell Wilson show, how about actually STARTING the show?

  32. Vikings fans will be happy to explain the pitfalls of overpaying a QB.

    I know, I know … I wish I could block out their posts too.

  33. skwackquackwoof says:
    March 17, 2019 at 5:34 pm
    I am having a justification problem here. Stick with me cause it’s gonna take a minute… IF the ball was thrown on the 1 yard line instead of handing it to Marshawn was to symbolize the “passing of the torch” of leadership to Wilson, why have we spent SO much time and energy trying to replace Marshawn… Now that we have gone through what feels like 163 rb’s since then, and found 1 guy who can carry the ball consistently, they still had 4 other RB’s on the committee who STILL got carries, taking away from our guy’s abilty to get his rythym in a game. Then they sent our ENTIRE defense packing for not drinking the kool aid. Once all of that settled and the season played out, we surprisingly made the playoffs. In the playoffs they game planned as if Marshawn was still there, as well as our defense, but Russell Wilson doesn’t exist. It is driving me nuts. I am happy to say that we have Wilson as our QB, and honestly believe that no other QB in the league would be able to be as successful in Seattle. In other words, if this is the Russell Wilson show, how about actually STARTING the show?
    ____________________________________________________________________________
    I have to agree with this. The fact they played mud ball against a Cowboy offense that wasn’t even as good as theirs and left a middle of the road defense to die on the cross late in the game was pretty embarrassing. Get used to it, this style ain’t going anywhere. Next season they will play every game the same with wins being at 10 max and losses being at 7 or less.

  34. Never. Idiotic if it happens. Rodgers Brees and Brady should be not the next free agent.

  35. I am having a justification problem here. Stick with me cause it’s gonna take a minute… IF the ball was thrown on the 1 yard line instead of handing it to Marshawn was to symbolize the “passing of the torch” of leadership to Wilson, why have we spent SO much time and energy trying to replace Marshawn… Now that we have gone through what feels like 163 rb’s since then, and found 1 guy who can carry the ball consistently, they still had 4 other RB’s on the committee who STILL got carries, taking away from our guy’s abilty to get his rythym in a game. Then they sent our ENTIRE defense packing for not drinking the kool aid. Once all of that settled and the season played out, we surprisingly made the playoffs. In the playoffs they game planned as if Marshawn was still there, as well as our defense, but Russell Wilson doesn’t exist. It is driving me nuts. I am happy to say that we have Wilson as our QB, and honestly believe that no other QB in the league would be able to be as successful in Seattle. In other words, if this is the Russell Wilson show, how about actually STARTING the show?

    Ok I disagree,,,,so basically you are saying Russel made that call in Super Bowl? I can agree if you would say he “threw it behind” or ” he was late” but why bring something so many years old into this conversation?

    I’ve been solid hawks since 1980,,, I guess I dont get why you would bring this up now.

    WE go up,,we go down,,,you are either a Hawk fan or not…

  36. When will “ongoing” contract talks get Russell Wilson the richest contract ever?
    ____________________________________________________________

    The real question is: when will the NFL and people realize that the top tier of NFL players pay has gone up more in the last 10yrs than it did over the prior 70-80yrs and at the rate its going up it’s TOTALLY UNSUSTAINABLE as too is the salary cap going up at $10mil/yr!!!

    A lot of these players today don’t even care about what is supposed to be the most important thing in this game, the Superbowl. And when the SB isn’t important to players anymore it’s time to make it important again, whatever it takes!!! Limit the cost one player can be paid and make the Playoffs and SB relevant by making the bonuses for getting there and winning a lot bigger, the NFL can afford it! Say give a $1,000,000/player bonus for starters of the SB winner(less for the non-starters) and an extra $1,000,000 bonus for being MVP and none of it counting towards a teams or players cap since it’s a bonus paid by the NFL and not the team.

    It’s going to take something drastic to change this “I what to be the highest paid” mentality that has really taken over the NFL by storm the last few years and the higher pay gets the worse the problem is going to get, but you know the old saying: “drastic times call for drastic measures”, so it’s time to put a limit of what any one player can be paid!

    They have a minimum pay, now with all this player greed it’s time to put a maximum on what a player can be paid?

  37. I think if Rodgers had any hint he’d had the same success as BB/Brady, he probably would take a little less.
    ————————————-
    This takes being an apologist to new levels.
    The convo’s about QB’s, not BB.

  38. As a Seahawk fan, I believe Wilson’s stats inflate his effectiveness. It seems to me he doesn’t “see” secondary and ternary receivers that well. I think he’s good. Just not a top 5 QB. His scrambling gets him out of situations many times he creates himself. Don’t get me wrong, he’s the best we’ve had but he doesn’t create miracles like Brady, Rogers, and Brees.

  39. achillesofwooters says:
    March 17, 2019 at 3:44 pm

    Chances are the new CBA will make even a $35M/year contract look cheap by the 2nd or 3rd year as teams are dishing out $45-$50M a year for Mahomes, Wentz and Goff.
    ___________________________________________________

    REALLY? I believe you’re dreaming! There is NO WAY the owners let this insane escalating pay continue and I believe you’ll see a long work stoppage if the players insist on trying to continue down this path! Sure there are a few teams that sell-out every home game, but look around the league and the number of those teams that sell-out every home game, well it is a list that is getting shorter and shorter every year. That’s revenue being lost and don’t think for a second that the owners don’t realize it, it WILL be thier main topic of conversation going into these negotations for a new CBA!

    So at a time when most players want more money and at a time when more owners are having a harder time filling stadiums the gap between players and owners is getting larger than ever before and anytime there is this much room between the parties look for a long stand-off!

    The way NFL top player pay has gone up over just the last 5yrs, well it is TOTALLY UNSUSTAINABLE!!! I believe that $50mil/yr QB is a lot farther down the road than most people think, but they’ll change their minds once they see what happens in the next CBA, they’ll be a lot more changes(especially to player pay and the cap) than anyone thinks!

  40. It is odd to watch people direct frustration at a player for trying to make money. On one had, I get it because I understand there is a salary cap and want the Hawks to stay competitive. But the team is ultimately responsible for offering the contract. It seems to me people ought to be frustrated at the billionaires who made the system and pay the salaries if they aren’t happy with QB pay scales. The frustration towards Russ seems misdirected. I wonder if the same frustration would be targeted at the owners if there were articles written about how much bank the owners make (hint: the majority)?

  41. Does a lot of really good things. Great TD to INT ratio, extending plays etc. But honestly, only twelve 300+ yard passing games in 7 years…take a little less $$$ Russel and keep a good team around you.

  42. I hope they trade him. He’s not worth it as a starting QB. Time to start over with draft picks, AND fire Schneider who has done absolutely nothing in 6 years or more.

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