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Seahawks Look for an Innovative New Deal for Russell Wilson

February 12, 2015
Breakdown of a potential innovative max contract for Russell Wilson

In 2010, when the Pete Carroll and John Schneider regime began, they made an astonishing 284 player transactions to overhaul the roster. Seattle’s brain trust has been the most unique front office in the NFL and this off-season we will sea if they can pull off an unprecedented move.The NFL’s Collective Bargaining Agreement locks in all rookies drafted between rounds 2 and 7 will have a 4 year contract with the ability to renegotiate after the 3rd season. Quarterback Russell Wilson has just completed his third season and is due for a big increase in salary. The Seahawks in the past two years have already reworked bigger deals for Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor, Michael Bennett, Bobby Wagner, KJ Wright, Cliff Avril, Doug Baldwin and others. The NFL’s salary cap will make it extremely difficult for the Hawks to give Russell a ‘max’ contract and been competitive in free agency this off-season. If there is any front office in the league that can be innovative and create a new way for a Quarterback to receive over a $100 Million contract without greatly hurting the team’s cap space, it is the Carroll-Schneider duo. We will see how creative they can be. Kipp Adams of 247 Sports has more on the story.

After being arguably the NFL’s best bargain for the past three seasons, Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson is close to getting a big-money contract extension.

But like any franchise quarterback, the challenge for the Seahawks front office is how to pay Wilson without sacrificing a chance to maintain a Super Bowl caliber roster around him. Not every big-money quarterback contract is the same – like Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees got huge guaranteed salary, while others like Colin Kaepernick and Andy Daltonwho got pay-as-you-go contracts.

During a segment Tuesday on 710 ESPN Radio in Seattle, Seahawks general manager John Schneider said the front office might eschew traditional quarterback contracts when extending Wilson’s deal.

“I will say this, first-and-foremost there’s really no handbook for this job that we have, other than the fact that we are going to do what’s best for this organization,” Schneider said. “That’s the No. 1 thing, I think Russell Wilson wants to win championships. We talk about being a consistent championship caliber football team – that means thinking outside the box a lot of times. We will do that with Russell.”

What exactly this outside-the-box approach means is not known. Maybe Seattle gives Wilson a lower annual salary, say $16-18 million per season, but fully guarantees the entire contract, something that rarely occurs past the second season in a new deal. That would put the Seahawks at risk, in case Wilson is injured or his play declines, but would also allow them to get a more cap-friendly deal with quarterback salaries pushing over $22 million per season.

“Russell knows there are certain dominoes have to fall in line or fall in place,” Schneider said. “I have talked to his agent now, much like several of our unrestricted free agents. He knows – he gets it – he wants to win and he wants to win for a long time.

“We are going to do what’s best for this organization moving forward first and foremost. That does not mean that you just do exactly what everybody else has done around the league. I think we have proven that we do things in the manner that we want to attack it.”

Giving Wilson a seven-year contract with $116 million fully guaranteed would still give him the biggest contract, when it comes to most guaranteed salary in NFL history. And it would definitely be outside the box.

For more information about an NFL agent, contact a Seattle NFL Agent.

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