When quarterback Russell Wilson gave April 15 as the deadline by which he’d sign a long-term contract with the Seahawks, many assumed that meant that if he wasn’t signed by April 15, he’d play out the last season on his contract, the Seahawks would franchise him next year, and then there would be time in the 2020 offseason to negotiate a long-term deal. That may not be the case.
Peter King writes in Football Morning in America that when Wilson said today is his deadline to sign a long-term deal, he means it’s the absolute final deadline: Wilson and his agent have told Seahawks G.M. John Schneider it has to be done now, or not at all.
That means Wilson would take the same path Kirk Cousins took: Play the 2020 season on the franchise tag, play the 2021 season on the franchise tag, and then make either an incredible salary of $52.4 million on a third franchise tag or hit unrestricted free agency in 2022.
It’s possible, of course, that Wilson could change his mind. It’s also possible that the Seahawks could blow Wilson away with an offer next year that they’re not making this year: Seahawks owner Jody Allen has only recently taken control of the team after the death of her brother, Paul Allen, and it’s possible that she’ll be willing to make a financial commitment in a year that she’s not ready to make now. But the implication of today’s deadline is that things are more dire between Wilson and the Seahawks than many people realize: If he doesn’t get a long-term contract done today, he may never sign one in Seattle.