Russell Wilson got his money. The Seahawks got to keep their franchise quarterback. Everybody’s happy, right? Here’s the reaction from around the league to a record-breaking — and precedent setting? — new deal.
NFL.com columnist Michael Silver writes that the odds of Russell Wilson spending the rest of his career in Seattle have increased dramatically — and that’s the way it should be.
“For all the NFL coaches, general managers and other talent evaluators who’ve told me over the past seven years that they lovedWilson coming out of Wisconsin or were thisclose to drafting him — and trust me, this is a group that could fill more than one conference room — Schneider and Seahawks coach Pete Carroll were the only ones who backed it up. …
So yes, the Seahawks valued Wilson as a precious resource, and understandably so. That said, this was not an easy process. With Wilson entering the last year of his current contract and intent on getting something done by April 15, the team was on the clock. Had a deal not been reached — and had Wilson followed through on a threat not to negotiate with the team thereafter — the future would have become murky.”
The Ringer’s Kevin Clark writes that Wilson is worth every penny.
“It’s pretty simple: The best thing to have in sports is a great quarterback making very little money, and the second-best thing is a great quarterback making a lot of money. There’s a significant drop-off from these two options and the next two scenarios: the third is a mediocre quarterback making little money, and the absolute worst thing is a mediocre quarterback making a ton of money.”
USA Today’s Jarrett Bell says Wilson proved Kyler Murray right in choosing the NFL over baseball.
“Yes, Kyler Murray, football can pay better than baseball.
Russell Wilson has ascended to the throne as the highest-paid player in the NFL, striking a four-year, $140 million extension with the Seattle Seahawks. It brings to mind the noise from a few weeks ago, when some wondered whether Murray was out of his mind for chucking the prospects of a baseball career in order to play in the NFL.
See, the kid’s not tripping.”
Bleacher Report’s lead NFL writer, Mike Tanier, says Wilson’s deal gives NFL players new power in contract negotiations.
“Wilson didn’t just ask for a contract extension from the Seahawks and twiddle his thumbs hoping for a response. He made like the government and set an April 15 deadline, ordering the Seahawks to pay him by then or never pay him again (beyond this season, anyway). It was the bargaining equivalent of scrambling 20 yards backward in search of a big play. …
Instead, Wilson produced one of his signature last-minute victories, and he set the stage for an all-new era in contract negotiations in the process.”
SBNation’s Adam Stites believes it would have been basically impossible to overpay for Wilson.
“How much is a player of that caliber worth on the open market? It’s hard to know considering the only passers that ever become free agents are typically journeymen starters and backups. …
A statistical study by the University of Missouri a few years ago found that losing a quarterback for four games due to injury or suspension would drop a team’s win total by an average of 1.3 games. Losing any other position didn’t negatively affect a win total by even half that margin.
That’s based on the average quarterback. Imagine how many wins that model would show Wilson — an offensive dynamo who can threaten defenses with both his arm and legs — is worth. In the grand scheme, most quarterbacks are probably underpaid relative to what they offer a football team.
So if giving Wilson 17 or so percent of the team’s annual salary cap annually is what it would’ve taken to secure him, it’s not an outrageous price for the Seahawks to pay. That would have amounted to about $32 million in 2018 — just behind Aaron Rodgers’ $33.5 million average — but likely jump to around $34 million in 2019, given the salary cap’s consistent rise. At $140 million over four years, Seattle will have Wilson on board for what may be less than market value over the final two years of his monster extension.”
Fellow SBNation writer Christian D’Andrea lays out what moves the Seahawks should make next.
“Wilson’s protection in Seattle has been the Long John Silver’s of blocking — mediocre and a little fishy. With his contract extension now squared away, one major priority for Seahawks general manager John Schneider will be finding the blockers who help keep the star quarterback on the field for each one of his $35 million seasons.”
At CBS Sports, Will Brinson breaks down the winners and losers of Wilson’s deal.
“Every time any quarterback signs a big-time contract, people freak out about it on both sides of the ball. But the reality both Seattle and Russell should be happy about this deal, because it managed to give each of them exactly what they wanted. It’s a win-win deal. But there are also cascading effects all around the league as a result from this deal.”
In the New York Post, Mark Fischer writes that Wilson was never going to be traded to New York.
“As Eli Manning was grilled over his tenuous future Monday, another quarterback with ostensible Giants ties was mulling his own over 2,000 miles away.
The alluring sight of Russell Wilson tormenting opposing defenses alongside Saquon Barkley began to emerge in the minds of demoralized Big Blue fans this offseason, as trickling tidbits signaled the 30-year-old could be the one — rather than an unproven quarterback prospect in April’s draft — to replace the longtime face of the franchise. …
Now it seems the closest Wilson will get to becoming a New York fan favorite will be as a Yankee, the franchise for which he’s dabbled in spring training since being drafted into MLB in 2010.”