A wise man once said, repeatedly on ESPN, “Once is an accident, twice is a trend.” The new Russell Wilson contract suggests that the fully-guaranteed contract given to Brown quarterback Deshaun Watson was the accident, and the absence of full guarantees for veteran quarterback deals will continue to be the trend.
If anyone else was going to be getting a fully-guaranteed deal, it was Wilson. He had the leverage; the Broncos gave up a huge haul of picks to get him. He has the credentials. He went to two Super Bowls, and he’s a nine-time Pro Bowler. He has the agent, a one-client-only representative who had always driven a very hard bargain. He has a team with unlimited resources, fronted by new Wal-Mart-money owners who can write a check of any size for placement of the future payments in escrow.
But it didn’t happen. The Broncos wouldn’t do it, possibly to ensure that they don’t piss off their new partners less than a month after buying the team. And Wilson, for whatever reason, didn’t push for it. He wasn’t willing, in the end, to pass on the
While the devils of these deals always lurks in the details, it’s out of character for Wilson to commit for so long. Usually, he does a four-year extension with one year left. Now, he’s done a five-year extension with two remaining seasons.
It’s $296 million over seven years, an average of $42.2 million per year from signing. The structure will be critical to understanding this one. Will he get back to the table sooner, or will he be stuck with a contract that could become obsolete, sooner or later between now and 2028 as the cap keeps skyrocket and the market keeps climbing?
We’ll get the full details, and we’ll break them all down. Until then, here’s the takeaway, from a source with extensive knowledge of the contracts negotiated by NFL teams: “I don’t see another fully guaranteed quarterback contract any time soon.”