Russell Wilson’s cap number maxes out at $39 million

AP

The week began with the Seahawks and quarterback Russell Wilson engaged in a stare down. The week is ending with the dust fully settled on a new five-year, $157 million deal.

The contract has an average payout of $31.4 million over five years, but like many contracts the deal is structured to keep the cap numbers lower at first, higher later.

Spotrac.com has the full breakdown of the contract. Even with a payout of $70 million this year (up from $17 million under the prior deal), Wilson’s cap number increases by only $1 million, from $25.286 to $26.286 million.

Of course, the extra $43.714 million will hit the cap later. In 2020, the cap number moves to $31 million. In 2021, the cap number climbs to $32 million. In 2022, the cap number increases by another $5 million, to $37 million. In 2023, the last year of the deal, the cap number maxes out at $39 million.

The high cap number in the final year of the contract becomes important because it provides the starting point for the franchise tag in 2024. By rule (unless the new labor deal changes it), Wilson’s franchise tender would be $46.8 million. In 2025, the franchise tender would spike to $56.16 million.

Those numbers become important because, regardless of whether the market resides in four years, Wilson’s leverage his fourth contract will come from a two-year payout of nearly $103 million under the franchise tag, which equates to an average of nearly $51.5 million per year.

29 responses to “Russell Wilson’s cap number maxes out at $39 million

  1. Which means Wilson is already thinking about whining he is underpaid in 2 years and will want 50 million, this damn salary madness is ruining the sport! Mo money! Mo money! Mo money! I need Mo money!

  2. Any team foolish enough to pay ONE player $50M+ cannot honestly believe they can field a roster good enough to even make the playoffs. If you consider you could probably sign three very good players at other positions why would you hamper your team with a $50M guy and get those other three players at the Dollar Store?

  3. Russel’s yearly average cap hit will be about 15 % of the teams total cap space over the span of his contract. With the importance of the QB position it’s not that outrageous, you have 85 % of the remaining cap room to pay for the rest of the team.

  4. It almost sounds like Wilson’s cap number will remain as a relatively constant percentage of the cap.

    That makes it tough to make a case that Wilson should get a consistent percentage of the cap when….. he already is.

  5. Unfortunately this is today’s NFL, either pay your QB huge money and only be able to field a mediocre team around him or you let him walk and start over. KC and the Rams are getting ready to be in the same boat as Seattle. Or you could try to stick it out with an average QB (Dallas, Oakland etc) and hope for the best.

  6. Even though the dollar amount is what everyone talks about, players and their agents, as well as the teams, are keenly aware of the corresponding cap percentage. So to suggest the solution to the problem of QBs consuming so much of the payroll is to expand the cap misses the point. Regardless of the cap, QBs and other stars will want their share as a percentage.

  7. How much leverage to most 35 year old QB’s have? Especially ones who rely on their athleticism to a high degree. Wilson isn’t going to be able to hold Seattle over a barrel in 5 years.

  8. If he is still playing at the elite level in four years, it will be hard to see how he remains in Seattle without an extension which pushes the majority of the huge cap number down the road. The Seahawks likely won’t franchise him at those numbers and He likely will want to once again be the highest paid player, so will go to free agency. I intend to enjoy the next few years and will worry about all that later. Go Hawks!!

  9. If he is still playing at the elite level in four years, it will be hard to see how he remains in Seattle without an extension which pushes the majority of the huge cap number down the road. The Seahawks likely won’t franchise him at those numbers and He likely will want to once again be the highest paid player, so will go to free agency. I intend to enjoy the next few years and will worry about all that later. Go Hawks!!

  10. dumbledorecalrissian says:
    April 19, 2019 at 12:44 pm
    How much leverage to most 35 year old QB’s have? Especially ones who rely on their athleticism to a high degree. Wilson isn’t going to be able to hold Seattle over a barrel in 5 years.
    ___________________________

    Did you see what Pete did with Thomas? Sherman? If DangeRuss doesn’t produce, DangeRuss will be on the loose.

  11. Russell Wilson: Why am I always running for my life or getting smashed into the artificial turf on every play?

  12. As long as owners are willing to pay players they should fleece the owners for as much as possible unless owners move to shorter fully guaranteed contracts (most current contracts are 2 to 3 years with team options for the 4th and 5th, I wish they would be reported correctly), it is socialism to take less so others can have more. Every owner, most who are billionaires, should have the necessary skill set to make very good business decisions how else did most become that rich (subtract out the hand-me-down owners). With that every contract is a business decision and the owner always has the option to pay the market value or walk away from a player; we saw it with Mack, at least the Raiders got something in return. Seattle made the business decision for whatever internal reasons to keep Russell at that price, win or lose that is on the team owner and we continue to support them by watching on tv (tickets are getting to steep for most), unless that changes contracts will continue to go up. By this time next year Wentz, maybe Goff and Mahomes will be making more than Wilson. Rumors have Mahomes at $45 million.

  13. People complaining about this deal seem to not understand how the salary cap actually works. It’s constantly going up, and will increase more with new TV deals and gambling money. Ya’ll complain about how these athletes make too much money, or are overpaid, but yet you’re the one driving their salaries by watching games, buying jerseys, giving traffic to NFL media sites (and commenting on them), etc.

    They’re paid on what the market is. If the NFL players were suddenly paid 50% of what they were making, where would all the rest of that revenue go? It would go straight to line the billionaire owners’ pockets. Why would you want that?
    If you don’t like what NFL players, or athletes, are being paid, then don’t support them and don’t give your money to them.

  14. patsfan4lifesbchamps says:
    April 19, 2019 at 12:15 pm
    Welcome to cap hell Seattle.
    _________________________________

    Considering the cap has consistently been increasing by $10m every year, they will still see a net gain in available cap each year. They’re basically right where they always have been, and will be just fine.

  15. catchanotherpassadams says:
    April 19, 2019 at 12:56 pm

    I realize the salaries are crazy but the star players put butts in the seats which makes money for the owners and the NFL. A sold out stadium sells a ton of beer and hotdogs.
    _____________________________________________________________

    And over the last 2-3yrs there’s been less and less sold-out stadiums not to mention that 9 of the last 10yrs TV viewership has been in decline! I believe the NFL has already seen peak ticket sales and viewership numbers but just like with everything else it’ll take a while for most people to figure that out!

    Remember how long it took before these brilliant economists figured out that we were headed for a recession, they didn’t put their finger on it until we were actually “IN” the recession but it all started in late 2005, it only took them 3yrs to figure it out!

  16. So the cap hit increases as the salary cap itself increases, but the guaranteed portion of the money will have been paid already. They could draft another quarterback to groom for his replacement by then, cut/release/trade Russell, and reduce the cap hit…or, if he’s playing at an elite level still, negotiate a new deal that gives him more guaranteed cash and relieves some of the cap burden. Lots of options with all the gambling money ready to enter the picture. Wilson’s contract will probably be eclipsed several times before his bite at the apple again.

  17. patsfan4lifesbchamps says:
    Welcome to cap hell Seattle.
    ————————————————
    Yeah, they’ll only have about $65 million to spend in 2020.

    And, you said the same thing in

    2015
    2016
    2017
    2018

    It’s never happened.

  18. The franchise tag has little to do with his salary, its an average of the top 5 over a period of time.

    Wilson will have little leverage at the end of this contract.
    He’ll be 35 and surely less mobile, and less willing to take hits.
    The team can tag him a couple of times and he’ll be 38 when free to go elsewhere.

  19. It’s a bad sign when Ms. Allen fritters away Paul Allen’s inheritance. She’ll have to sell the Hawks to get away from that lousy deal.

  20. Seattle & Washington agreed to pledge $300 Million Dollars of PUBLIC money to fund Qwest Field.

    Hundreds of millions of Taxpayer dollars used to build a For-Profit Stadium so that in turn they can shell out nearly $35-39 Million Dollars / Year for 1 Player on a 53 man roster.

    Why do we allow this happen? Every few years the NFL rotates around which city gets bilked next to publicly finance private salaries.

    What % of Russell Wilson’s deal is actually paid for via Public Money?

  21. If it were my team I’d traded him and all the big money contracts, Wagner etc. Start over! Fire Pete and Schneider! As it stands Seattle will have a high priced QB whose downfield accuracy has always been questionable at best. Seattle chose to have a QB rather than a team. Good luck with that!

  22. So weird that the people who get paid to understand the salary cap say Wilson’s deal helps the Seahawks, yet all the trolls who hate Seattle are saying they’re in “cap hell.” I wonder who’s right?

  23. Patriot Fans keep commenting here about “Cap Hell”. I would just point out to all that Brady has a slightly bigger cap hit this coming season and will be a free agent in 2020 unless he gets a new contract. The Seahawks have an estimated 64 Million in Cap Space in 2020, with Russell Wilson’s contract included.

  24. Patriot Fans keep commenting here about “Cap Hell”. I would just point out to all that Brady has a slightly bigger cap hit this coming season and will be a free agent in 2020 unless he gets a new contract. The Seahawks have an estimated 64 Million in Cap Space in 2020, and 71 Million with Russell Wilson’s contract included. The Patriots only have 71 Million and that is without a QB/Brady in the mix. I think that is more troublesome.

  25. People in show business tell each other to “break a leg” for good luck. I doubt that shorty wants to hear that, even if someone really is wishing him good luck. His wife is a singer and probably heard it many times before she went on stage.

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