Russell Wilson would like to play quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks for a long, long time. The Seahawks would probably like that, too.
Only right now business is becoming an issue.
Wilson, who has helped the Seahawks to back-to-back Super Bowl appearances, is slated to play out the final year of his rookie contract in 2015 for $1.54 million. In the NFL world, that isn’t just minimum wage given what Wilson has accomplished; it’s exploitation.
Will these two sides come together and agree on an extension, or might Wilson’s days in Seattle be over sooner rather than later?
“I think there’s a legitimate discrepancy between how important Seattle thinks Russell Wilson is to that offense and how Russell Wilson wants to be paid based on his contemporaries around the league,” former NFL quarterback and current Yahoo! Sports NFL analyst Shaun King said on CBS Sports Radio’s Gio and Jones. “I’m not sure if that gap can ever close. So to answer your question, I wouldn’t be shocked if – after being under the franchise tag for a year – he decided to explore free agency and go somewhere else. If you’re Seattle and you’re looking at what some of these elite guys are being paid – and trust me, Russell wants Peyton Manning, Tom Brady money. He feels like he’s deserving of that. He feels like he’s played for a discount. But Seattle doesn’t view Russell as that kind of a quarterback that can sit in the pocket (and) make everything happen around him. They feel like a large part of his success is based on his mobility. So when you start talking about guaranteeing him a six, seven-year deal at $22 million a year, they’re looking at two, three years from now (and wondering whether) that mobility (is) still going to be at an elite level (to justify) paying for the whole package.”
Brian Jones, however, does not understand the “jaundiced eye” with which some people view Wilson. Yes, Marshawn Lynch is a great running back, and yes, Seattle’s defense is the best in football. But every quarterback benefits from the players around him; every quarterback performs in the system he is in and does what he is asked to do.
Few quarterbacks, if any, have done that better than Wilson over the last couple of seasons. So why does Wilson not get the respect he so seemingly deserves?
“Well, let me clarify where I stand,” King said. “I guess (the) answer (I just gave) was how I view the situation if I’m looking at what the issue is. How I stand is absolutely 100 percent Russell Wilson should get paid. They’re paying everybody else. You just can’t tell me Ryan Tannehill, Tony Romo, Andy Dalton, Joe Flacco – you can’t tell me that Russell Wilson isn’t in the same class as those guys. And those guys got deals based on what the current market was. So I completely 100 percent agree that Russell, based on what he’s done, should get paid whatever the top three, four guys average yearly salary-wise. That’s what his contract should be. I agree 100 percent.”