As explained here when news of Russell Wilson‘s April 15 deadline first emerged, the “or else” to a long-term deal before the time limit for doing one wasn’t that Wilson would hold out. It was that he wouldn’t sign one, at least not until hitting the open market and forcing the Seahawks to compete with other teams for his services.
Peter King’s report from Monday morning regarding Wilson’s now-or-never position regarding a long-term deal with the Seahawks means that, unless he signs one-year deals for the rest of his career, he eventually will leave.
Whether it happens in 2022, when the Seahawks would have to pay $52.43 million to franchise-tag Wilson under current franchise-tag rules, or in 2023, when the 44-percent rule would drive the number to $75.4 million for one more year (the NFLPA believes a fourth franchise tag isn’t available at all), the Seahawks at some point will let Wilson hit the open market. And if Wilson will “never” sign another long-term deal with the Seahawks, he presumably will sign one with another team.
That’s presumably why the Seahawks believe Wilson wants to play elsewhere. That conclusion is a reasonable response to one of the boldest all-in moves an NFL player has made: Sign me to the long-term deal I want now, or I never will sign a long-term deal with you again.
Whether Wilson and agent Mark Rodgers mean it remains to be seen. But the Seahawks seem to be taking the threat/promise seriously. Whether they’re taking it seriously enough to give Wilson what he wants (i.e., a guaranteed percentage of the salary cap) remains to be seen — later today.