The Seahawks are reportedly in the beginning-stages of contract extension negotiations with Russell Wilson, and those talks should soon start to ramp up. The goal, reports Ian Rapoport, is to get that done before Training Camp.
Seattle GM John Schneider spoke at the NFL owners' meetings earlier this month and said that the new extension is not yet done because there's a timeline that they like to take with the offseason, with respect to free agency and the draft.
"Russell, he knows we are basically in like phase two of free agency," Schneider said. "His people are aware that we want to be able to help our club as much as we possibly can and then we will get into talking about trying to retain guys that will be free agents next year. Bobby Wagner is a strong leader as well. Russell Okung, Bobby — we are going to try do help this club right now. Obviously we have to be very careful how we step with our cap moving forward because we know those guys are such instrumental pieces.''
This set the stage for the upcoming talks.
"Last year," he continued. "we went through this, we went into free agency basically kind of have to make a tough decision between Michael Bennett and Golden Tate and we went with a pass rusher. So this year we were able to re-do as part of what we view as free agency, K.J. (Wright) and Cliff (Avril) — those guys were huge deals for us to be able to get those guys done. Now we feel like there are certain things we want to do to help our franchise and help the organization move forward and we are in that period right now. Things are calming down a little bit, if you will, on the unrestricted front, so we are hoping to get with those guys and their representatives fairly soon.''
So, now that the major free agency push is over, the Seahawks and the front office and begin to iron out big time contract extensions. So, what does that mean for Russell Wilson?
"Make no mistake, he's going to be the highest paid player in football when all of this is said and done," said Rapoport on Monday. "Of course, now both sides are doing the research and figuring out where they want to be when talks officially behind."
"The goal of when to finish this extension, when to actually sign it, for Russell Wilson, is before training camp, so he can take the field with no worries about his long term security."
This makes sense. So what would this contract look like? John Schneider has alluded to an "outside the box" style of contract, and with Russell Wilson's agent coming over from the baseball side, it was postulated that his deal could be fully guaranteed. That doesn't appear to be the case.
"Just one thing to clear up," said Rapsheet. "I've been in contact with Seahawks' sources over the last several days, and there's been some talk about a potential fully guaranteed contract for Russell Wilson, which would mean the Seahawks would have to fund it up front; I am told that is not happening, it will contain high guarantees, but will not be fully guaranteed."
"Meanwhile," added Rapoport, "the Seahawks still want to get Bobby Wagner done — reach a long-term extension with their linebacker.
So, again, not much of an update other than to say that it would appear both sides want to get something done before training camp starts, so as to avoid having anything hanging over their heads going into the season.