The Seahawks and Russell Wilson are currently embroiled in contract negotiations, and per most reports, are a long ways from agreement on the value of Wilson's long-term contract extension.
ESPN's Danny O'Neil wrote a great primer on the situation yesterday, noting that the Seahawks' opening offer was far below what Wilson's camp is asking for. "[The Seahawks are] willing to pay him more per year than contemporaries like Andy Dalton and Colin Kaepernick, but they have not taken the dramatic step of vaulting him into the top tier of veteran quarterbacks in overall compensation," says O'Neil, noting that "the Seahawks haven't put $100 million on the table right now. The offer of a four-year extension is believed to be worth closer to $80 million."
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Technically, that's a five-year, $80 million deal, or about $16 million per year average ($78.5 million in new money, plus Wilson's $1.5 million salary in 2015). However, that $78.5M in "New Money APY" over four years is $19.5M per, which is really the true offer, and how contracts are really looked at in the NFL. Naturally, Wilson's agent will talk Total Money APY, but New Money APY is the standard for how contract negotiations have worked.
Clayton says when the NFLPA looks at and classifies and analyze contracts they look at "NEW MONEY"..did before Wilson and will after Wilson.— DAVIS HSU (@DavisHsuSeattle) May 8, 2015
Either way, for reference, according to what Dave "Softy" Mahler has heard, Wilson is asking to be the highest paid player in the history of football by a large margin. The top quarterback contract right now is Aaron Rodgers' five-year, $110 million deal, with $54 million guaranteed. That's a $22 million average per year.
When ESPN's Jim Trotter asked GMs around the league what they thought Wilson should get for his new deal, they believed that it should come in around that $22 million per year average, with $50 million guaranteed. So, obviously, it would appear that the Seahawks and Wilson are a ways apart. Of course, this is how negotiations work, but they're far enough apart that Wilson may decide to bet on himself and force the Seahawks to use the franchise tag after next season, which could push into the $24 million, $25 million range in 2016 with a rising cap.
Jason La Canfora thinks that with the Seahawks and Wilson at an impasse, "That brings us back to what I have written before, which is Wilson playing out his rookie contract is quite possibly the most likely outcome given the state of these negotiations. In fact, I'm becoming increasingly convinced that short of owner Paul Allen inserting himself into the process and issuing a mandate to get this done this summer, well, this will linger into 2016."
We shall see.
Former NFL Agent and current CBS Sports analyst Joel Corry joined Dave "Softy" Mahler to talk about Russell Wilson's contract negotiations with the Seahawks, and explained the minefield that the Seahawks are navigating by offering Wilson a low-ball offer. However, Corry says that ultimately, at the end of the day, it's his gut that something will get done between the two sides.
Danny O'Neil's hunch is also that the Seahawks will come to an agreement with their star quarterback. "There's still plenty of time," he says, "and the most common window for extensions across the league is in July before training camp starts."
However, "there's no certainty."
And, so we wait.