On Thursday, Jason Cole of Bleacher Report (video link) reported that Russell Wilson is aiming to become the NFL’s highest-paid player, seeking a new contract that surpasses the five-year, $110MM extension signed by Aaron Rodgers in 2013. According to Cole, agent Mark Rodgers didn’t dispute that idea when asked about it; as I noted in Thursday’s Community Tailgate post, such a demand isn’t outlandish, given the rate at which the salary cap is rising.
Cole and a couple other NFL scribes have weighed in again on the Wilson situation today, so let’s round up the latest….
- Wilson’s demands aren’t so much about his worth as they are about his leverage and how difficult it would be to replace him, tweets Cole. While the quarterback has some leverage, I’d argue that the team still has plenty as well, since Seattle could keep Wilson under team control through the 2017 season by using the franchise tag twice.
- Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com, one of the first reporters to suggest that Wilson might play out the 2015 season without a new contract in place, says that possibility has become “more generally recognized as a likelihood, if not an inevitability.” Per La Canfora, Wilson will likely remain steadfast in his desire for a significant chunk of guaranteed money, while the Seahawks will continue to offer a deal with a more team-friendly structure.
- There’s no hard deadline for Wilson’s extension talks, but if the two sides don’t reach an accord by the time training camp begins, there’s a good chance the Pro Bowl QB will decide to shelve the issue until after the season, writes La Canfora.
- La Canfora speculates that if the Seahawks use a franchise tag on Wilson in 2016, it will be the exclusive tag, which wouldn’t allow him to negotiate with other teams. However, if Wilson and his agent get the opportunity to talk to other suitors, there could be about 10 teams with real interest, says La Canfora. The entire CBSSports.com piece is worth checking out, as La Canfora takes a comprehensive look at the situation.
- Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk also engages in some speculation after speaking to several sources, tweeting that he believes Wilson will be playing for a new team in 2016. In a follow-up tweet, Florio explains that he thinks the Seahawks will use the non-exclusive franchise tag on Wilson and another team will sign the QB to an offer sheet Seattle won’t match. If that were to happen, Wilson’s new club would have to give up two first-round picks to land him.