Much hullabaloo has been made since the 49ers announced the metaphorical fiscal cheek spreading they performed in order to secure the services of one Colin "Papaki" Kaepernick for the next several years. The bar has been set. The debate surrounding whether or not the 49ers should have spread that much cheese on Kaepernicks crackers will ultimately prove moot. Andy Dalton will get less, because he chokes in the playoffs and because he's a soulless ginger. Andrew Luck, RGIII (if healthy), Cam Newton and our very own Russell Wilson will get more. Seahawks fans should be counting their lucky stars that Wilson is next in line as opposed to being the last of the new breed of quarterbacks to get paid.
In his rookie season Wilson took a spunky 7-9 football team with a great defense and a great running back and led them to an 11-5 regular season record, a road playoff win and an epic comeback in Atlanta that fell 30 seconds short by no fault of his own. Along the way, he felled a number of NFL rookie records.
His 26 passing touchdowns are tied for most by a rookie quarterback with none other than Peyton Manning. The difference? Manning threw 28 interceptions his rookie year to Wilson's 10. Wilson also completed 64% of his passes to Manning's 56.7%, had a higher average net yards per attempt with 8.1 to Mannings 5.2. Not bad for a midget on a run first offense with nearly 200 fewer passing attempts, amiright?
But how did he stack up with the great Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III?
Well...Neck Beard threw the ball 627 times, well over 200 more pass attempts than Wilson, 3 fewer touchdowns, 8 more interceptions, and nearly 2 fewer yards per attempt all while throwing to a future hall of famer in Reggie Wayne.
RG Knee actually had the same number of pass attempts, the same yards per attempt, while throwing for 6 fewer touchdowns and 5 fewer interceptions. If it wasn't for Griffin posting a 102 passer rating his rookie year, Wilson's rating of 100 would have been another rookie record . But, alas, he's made of glass and Shannahan is a jerk.
Oh, did I mention that as an encore Wilson went 13-3, won the toughest division in football, won the Super Bowl and became the winning-est quarterback in NFL history over two years? He is also second only to the great Dan Marino for touchdown passes over two years. Let that sink in for a minute.
Second most touchdowns in NFL history over two years, while averaging fewer pass attempts than pretty much anybody, on a defensive, "run first" team. How can anyone throw that many touchdowns with so few opportunities? By being way more awesomer than anyone else, that's how. That's right, he's better than Luck, better than RGIII, better than all of the rest of his generation and he's next in line to get paid and you should be thankful for that. Because for every quarterback that gets paid, the bar moves even higher.