Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson is one of the most upbeat players in the National Football League. He’s pretty much always smiling on camera and seems to honestly enjoy playing the game of football.
So when Wilson deviates from that good-hearted nature, it’s important to pay attention.
Speaking Tuesday from Seattle’s OTAs, Wilson was asked whether it’s important for him to remain on the Seahawks for the rest of his career:
“I hope that it’s here and I hope that its here for a long time and hopefully I get to wear the Seahawks blue and number three for a long time,” Wilson said, via Seahawks official website. “But we’ll see what happens.”
Outside of Wilson’s generic response to open that quote, the rest is rather interesting: “But we’ll see what happens?”
Wilson and the Seahawks have been mired in a contract dispute since the end of the 2014 season. He wants to be paid like one of the top players in the NFL, and Seattle has yet to come close to reaching that demand. As the process continues to draw on without reports of the two sides closing the gap, we are likely going to hear Wilson questioned more about the contract. And while he’s a master in the PR game, there’s probably a certain level of frustration here.
The two-time defending NFC champion is coming off a three-year stretch that is unrivaled for a young quarterback in the NFL. He boasts the most wins in league history for a quarterback in his first three seasons, and has the stats to back it up when going to the negotiating table. Heck, 83 touchdowns compared to 26 interceptions in 48 career starts represents elite-level numbers.
As the media, we could be reading too much into Wilson’s comments from Tuesday. He still has one year remaining on his rookie deal, and could very well agree to terms on a new contract prior to the start of the regular season in September. Even if that doesn’t happen, Seattle will place the franchise tag on its young quarterback. Regardless of what happens over the next few months, Wilson isn’t leaving Seattle anytime soon.
The larger issue at hand here is whether he’s going to make it difficult to find some sort of common ground when it comes to an extension.
Outside of the fact that the two sides seem far apart in negotiations, Cam Newton’s five-year, $103 million extension with the Carolina Panthers complicates things further. Newton received $60 million guaranteed and $67.6 million over the first three seasons of his new deal. Considering Seattle’s current cap situation, those are going to be hard numbers for the team to beat. Now take into account Wilson’s level of success in comparison to Newton, and it’s realistic to believe he’s going to demand north of $100 million guaranteed. If that happens, this contract stalemate could draw on even longer.
Photo: USA Today Sports