Earlier today, we learned that buzz around the NFL suggests that Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson will be in line for annual salaries of $24-25MM when they’re eligible to extend their rookie contracts. Whether either player will ink an extension as soon as they’re eligible is debatable. Considering teams now hold fifth-year options on first-round picks, the Colts will have a little leverage if they want to wait on Luck. In any case, for now we’re not considering the timeline for the quarterbacks’ new deals — we’re examining which one deserves to be paid more.
As I noted in that previous post when comparing Luck and Wilson, not only does the Seattle signal-caller have more postseason success, but he has also posted better regular-season numbers in many key categories. In their two years in the NFL, Wilson has completed a higher percentage of passes (63.6% to 57.0%), tossed more TDs (52 to 46), and thrown fewer interceptions (19 to 27) than Luck. The Seahawks star also has a higher career passer rating (100.6 to 81.5), more yards per attempts (8.1 to 6.8), and more rushing yards (1,028 to 632).
Those statistics, combined with Wilson’s Super Bowl win, would suggest that he has significantly more value than Luck, but the numbers don’t tell the whole story. Wilson has been aided by a Seahawks defense that not only played a huge part in the team’s Super Bowl run but also consistently puts the team’s offense in good scoring position. Additionally, Seattle’s offense often takes a run-first approach led by Marshawn Lynch, allowing Wilson to pick and choose his spots more carefully, whereas a subpar running game has forced the Colts to lean more heavily on Luck to accumulate first downs and points over the last two years.
A former first overall pick, Luck is also a year younger than Wilson, and when the two players sign their next contracts, they won’t just be paid for what they’ve already accomplished — their teams will be paying for the continued development and growth they expect in the coming years. And if you asked people around football which quarterback will be the league’s best five years from now, I imagine you’d hear Luck’s name mentioned often.
What do you think? Which franchise quarterback do you think deserves to be paid more on his next contract?