Very few quarterbacks have started multiple Super Bowls. You’ve got Tom Brady, you’ve got Peyton Manning, you’ve got Joe Montana, you’ve got John Elway, you’ve got Terry Bradshaw, you’ve got Brett Favre, you’ve got Bart Starr, and you’ve got a handful of others.
Included in that handful is Russell Wilson, who has suddenly become the most scrutinized quarterback in the NFL.
Wilson, who is entering the final year of his rookie contract, has led the Seattle Seahawks to back-to-back Super Bowl appearances and came within one errant pass of leading them to back-to-back Super Bowl wins. As a result, he would like to be one of the highest-paid quarterbacks in the NFL, if not the highest paid quarterback in the NFL.
But does he pass the eye test? Do you look at Wilson and say to yourself, “That guy needs to be one of the highest-paid players in football”?
“No,” CBS NFL analyst and Super Bowl champion quarterback Phil Simms said on CBS Sports Radio. “I guess that’s the quick answer. I don’t see that. But I do see why he is successful. To go back to the eye test, I’m really big on this. I watch teams warm up. I always say, ‘You want to be one of the best-looking teams when you get off the bus.’ In the NFL, that seems to hold true.”
Simms remembers calling a Panthers/Falcons last season.
“The Carolina Panthers have an unbelievable look to them,” Simms said. “They’re big, they got a lot of fast guys, and their uniforms – you just go, ‘Wow, that’s what an NFL team looks like.’”
And then there’s Atlanta.
“Not to disparage them, but a whole different look,” Simms said. “And the game starts and I go, ‘Wow.’ It just goes to show you that sometimes the eye test is real because Carolina was so much more physical (that) Atlanta couldn’t hang in there and play with them.”
That brings us back to Wilson. The 26-year-old Wisconsin product has completed at least 63.1 percent of his passes, surpassed 3,000 passing yards and thrown for 20+ touchdowns in each of his first three NFL seasons. In fact, he has 72 touchdown passes to just 26 interceptions. He’s also closing in on 2,000 career rushing yards, including 849 from a season ago. Wilson’s mobility, however, goes beyond mere rushing yards, as he has kept countless plays alive in the pocket and has influenced the way defenses game-plan for Seattle.
In short, he’s a dangerous weapon.
But that doesn’t necessarily mean he deserves $25 million a year.
“He’s proven himself,” Simms said. “The team and how they’ve constructed their team (with) their defense, their offense is safe. They rely on him making a few explosive plays each game, whether it’s throwing the ball or moving around or whatever. And he’s going to be paid very well. To be paid as one of the top two or three quarterbacks in the NFL, I don’t think that’s going to happen.”