Take it for what you will, but gambling site BetOnline.ag has set the odds for Russell Wilson to sign a contract extension with the Seattle Seahawks before his self-imposed April 15 deadline at 62.5%. They’ve also set an over/under of $175 million.
I think that I would safely take the under.
The only reason for that being that Wilson’s last contract was only for four years and around $88 million. Wilson’s baseball-based agent Mark Rodgers favored getting his client back into free agency sooner (which is almost where we stand as that deal is set to expire after the 2019 season) over more years and the Seahawks were cool with that also. Now approaching 31, Wilson could sign a five-year deal and open negotiations again around 2023 when he’ll be going towards 35 and have room to negotiate yet another mega-deal.
And by then, the going rate for a quarterback could be north of $40 million per season. Who knows what the next CBA will look like — perhaps another reason for Wilson’s camp to go shorter rather than longer. But the highest-paid quarterback in 2012 was Peyton Manning at $18 million. The highest in 2019 is set to be Matthew Stafford at almost $30 million. That’s a $12 million increase in seven years, so another $10 million increase in four years seems reasonable to assume especially given rising caps, revenue, and a higher demand from agents and players to set new benchmarks with each deal.
So if it is a five-year contract for Wilson, even with a $30 million AAV, that’s $150 million. If it’s a $34 million AAV, topping Aaron Rodgers’ $33.5, that’s $170 million. The real question: five years or six? I’m not seeing many six-year deals. I’m also not seeing a team concede on both the AAV and the total number of years, unless they needed some tag-on years to push some money away from 2019-2021 as they look to extend Frank Clark, Bobby Wagner, and Jarran Reed.
Will Wilson sign before April 15? The 62.5% odds seem kind of reasonable to me, but it is pure speculation with nothing more than circumstantial evidence and gut. It behooves both camps to finish this now. A five-year, $155 million deal would set a record for total value. A four-year, $135 million deal would set a record in annual value. A six-year, $176 million deal, doesn’t make much sense to me.
But if the odds of it happening within the next 11 days are correct, we will find out soon.