Russell Wilson's agent, Mark Rodgers, joined the Brock and Salk show on 710 ESPN this morning and they had an excellent 30 minute conversation about the state of negotiations with the Seahawks. Rodgers looked to calm to sense of panic that some fans and media have shown over the last few months, noting that there are no real deadlines at this point and that it is an ongoing, positive conversation. It's really a must-listen interview -- Rodgers presents himself well and articulates the tone and character of the negotiations as they stand right now.
A few quotes from Rodgers:
— "The general public (fans) would be surprised about how these negotiations go. TV/Movies glorify these things. We've had an ongoing dialogue. I would characterize our talks as ongoing, fluid, robust at times, thoughtful, and we make progress — I don't want to mislead anybody — and I love to read and listen to all the conjecture and speculation about where these negotiations are, but frankly I think about 95 percent of those are off-point. I would characterize them (the talks) as positive."
— "What [Russell's] looking for is what everyone is looking for: A deal that feels fair, that feels reasonable, and at the end of the day, makes him feel comfortable with the compensation he's receiving for the skill and performance he's delivering."
— "The danger in negotiations like this is to get caught up in those types of labels: ‘highest-paid players', 'setting new benchmarks for quarterbacks,' those kinds of things are fun to talk about, to write about, we fans enjoy speculating about that, but from my perspective, you don't go into it with that as the goal. What you want to do, at the end of the day — I work for Russell — and at the end of the day, when we're finished: ‘Is he satisfied with the result, whatever that result is?'"
— "Russell Wilson loves playing in Seattle, loves playing for Pete Carroll, and understands there's something very special going on in this town. He'd love to stay a part of that for a long, long time."
— "Leverage, at times, can turn into a threat, and I can tell you that none of our conversations have been threatening at all."
— "Neither side has any real deadlines. I know the public, and the fans, and some in the media have been a sense of urgency on this, but there really are no deadlines. Russell's under contract with the Seahawks. He absolutely — if he has to — would be fine playing his fourth-year under a four-year contract that he signed coming out, and then moving on from there. But again, I don't feel any real particular crunch on time, and any real particular deadlines. So, from a leverage point of view, from a threatening standpoint, it just doesn't feel that way."
— "This didn't sneak up on us. Financially, we had planned, long term, for him to play for the $1.5 million, so there isn't any expectation of more money coming in from the Seahawks this year. Russell doesn't have a mortgage, he doesn't have a car payment. We've kept those things out of the realm for him, because at this point in his life, he can't make those financial obligations, because it just doesn't make sense from a financial good sense from a planning standpoint."
— "So, can he play through it? I will tell you guys this: the fans and the media are much more concerned about how we'll handle this than he is. This isn't what Russell and I talk about every day. This isn't something that is foremost on his mind. He's having a phenomenal offseason. As you know, he went to San Diego and hired a new trainer, a guy that's been amazing. He's working on his footspeed, just flat out speed; he doesn't want to get caught by defenses — by cornerbacks anymore, from behind. He's really worked on strengthening his body. Improving his body, improving his skills. His mindset is to go back to the Super Bowl and win, and really that's been the predominant mindset. These negotiations and where they ultimately end up settling aren't going to determine how we approach his day-to-day job, and that's as the starting quarterback of the Seattle Seahawks."
— "As a Seahawks fan, it's a no-brainer to hope and think that Russell Wilson will be a Seahawks for life. I tend to be very very optimistic. As long as I'm talking to the Seahawks, it's a tone of optimism. ... The goal here is that at the end of the day, we have a successful negotiation with the Seahawks.