The full Russell Wilson contract details


When a big contract is finalized, plenty of reporters have plenty of details regarding plenty of aspects of the deal. We’ll use some of them as needed, but we usually wait to provide the full details until getting our eyes on the full contract.

The reasoning is simple: The deals are too complex, and it’s too easy for mistakes to be made. So we’d rather be the one to make the mistake, than to repeat someone else’s misinterpretation or clerical error.

Thus, here’s the full breakdown of the Russell Wilson contract, possibly including misinterpretations and/or clerical errors.

1. Signing bonus: $65 million.

2. 2019 base salary: $5 million, fully guaranteed.

3. 2020 base salary: $18 million, guaranteed for injury at signing and fully guaranteed on the fifth day of the 2020 waiver period.

4. 2021 base salary: $19 million, guaranteed for injury at signing and fully guaranteed on the fifth day of the 2021 waiver period.

5. 2022 roster bonus: $5 million, earned on the fifth day of the 2022 league year in March.

6. 2022 base salary: $19 million.

7. 2023 roster bonus: $5 million, earned on the fifth day of the 2023 league year in March.

8. 2023 base salary: $21 million.

That’s it. Simple, clean, clear.

The full guarantee of $70 million also matches the first-year payout, with rolling guarantees in 2020 and 2021 that start as injury-only but eventually become full guarantees. Those payments are, as a practical matter, fully guaranteed, because the only way that the Seahawks can avoid paying the full $107 million is by cutting Wilson prematurely, giving him $70 million for one year or $88 million for two.

The compromise (and, yes, there was a compromise) comes in the form of the 2022 and 2023 seasons, which entail a payout of $24 million and $26 million, respectively, amounts that could far below market value given potential spikes in the salary cap coming from a new labor deal, new TV deals, and the expansion of legalized gambling.

But Wilson quite possibly will be in line for a new contract in 2023, as he enters the final year of the current contract and approaches franchise-tag numbers that would give him considerable leverage over the team. If the Seahawks redo the deal with one year remaining (as they did for Wilson both in 2015 and five days ago), the final payout on Wilson’s third contract will be four years, $131 million — an average of $32.75 million per year and only $5.17 million less than he would have made by retaining the risk of injury and going year-to-year through 2022.

19 responses to “The full Russell Wilson contract details

  1. Well deserved. People who barely get by with their own jobs will say it’s not good. Those people are jealous losers

  2. I am an independent contractor myself. I will never begrudge anyone getting theirs. Good work Mr. Wilson.

  3. The franchise tag is an average of the top salaries over several years, not Wilsons salary alone.

    When this contract is up the Seahawks certainly can tag Wilson because the numbers won’t be crazy. They will be in line with any tagged QBs salary.

    In 5 years Wilson will be 35, turning 36 during the upcoming season. Depending on if he’s lost some mobility or suffered an injury it may make sense to tag him twice and let him walk, rather than paying him top dollar at age 38 and 39. The Seahawks have time to evaluate him. Too early to guess what the team will do in 5 years.

  4. John Wall would call this……’working at Walmart’ money. Plus, Russell has to actually ball out for his pay, While Wall just sits in street clothes collecting twice this all guaranteed.

  5. This is insane. This is just another example of how not to win a super bowl … or even get there. The Patriots know how to manipulate the salary cap better than anyone else. Brady is not even in the top 15 of highest paid QBs. You gotta spread the wealth around. Why aren’t more teams thinking the same way. I hope Brian Flores brings some of that cap magic to Miami. This is a team game and for ONE player to grab his team by the $@lls and say PAY me by x-xx-xx the team that pays him deserves what they get.

  6. There’ll be no compromise – anyone who thinks Russ will happily play for $24M in 2022 is a fool. The currently slated pay for 2022 & ’23 will not be happening and during 2021 will have to be renegotiated to a top-dollar level.

  7. A bargain for a player who would be an instant Hall of Famer if he never played another down.

  8. Would love to better understand cap implications and where this leaves the team. This seems more team friendly than everyone initially thought.

  9. He must rank as one of the best used car salesmen in NFL history, able to convince Seattle to give him so much money for doing so little. Heck, he could not even win the MVP award when Seattle won the Super Bowl, and he could not complete a 1 yard pass from the goal line in another SB. Only Sam Bradford surpasses shorty in salesmanship as Bradford has convinced more teams to give him a lot of money without doing anything for them.

  10. That’s a lot of money for someone who’s been to two super bowls one win, one loss. Don’t get me wrong he is a good quarterback but not that kind of money.

  11. It’s a lot more than his on field ability. Cities need a sports hero, and with Felix Hernandez of the Mariners no longer in peak condition, it makes sense to establish Russell as “the Seattle guy”. Puts butts in the seats and a fanbase that trusts and loves the organization. Might be a lot of money, but it gives the city a hero for years to come.

  12. So, let me get this straight. The second and subsequent year guarantees for injury are only applicable if he re-signs the contract every year by a certain date. Doesn’t that make this a one year deal?

  13. A lot of money to pay for essentially a one hit wonder.

    If we go beyond that he’s a big choker.

  14. He’s not worth that kind of money? He’s a choker?
    LOL he’s top 5 all-time in virtually every significant statistical category and has a Super Bowl Passer Rating over 100.

  15. You pay the guy going forward based on what you think can be accomplished going forward.
    Being that he is a guy who has shown he is capable of being a main cog on a SB team, twice, it makes sense to pay him with an expectation he can do it again.
    For the length of the contract it’s reasonable to believe he will be capable.

    You don’t pay him because he accomplished two Super Bowls, you pay him because you think he can do it again. Otherwise you are arguing Eli would deserve the same deal (or better). Obviously he doesn’t.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.