Russell Wilson and the Seahawks still don’t appear to be anywhere close to reaching an agreement on a long-term extension that will keep the quarterback in Seattle for the next several years, according to multiple reports. Both Danny O’Neil of 710 ESPN Seattle and Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com indicate that there’s a significant gap between what sort of deal Wilson is seeking and what the Seahawks have offered.
According to O’Neil, while it may take a six-year offer in the $120MM range, with half of that money fully guaranteed, to get Wilson to sign, the Seahawks haven’t put anything like that on the table. In fact, O’Neil hears that the team’s offer is believed to be worth closer to $80MM for four years. While the per-year average sounds about right on that sort of deal, the guarantee presumably wouldn’t be nearly as significant as Wilson is seeking.
O’Neil also points out that since Wilson is still in his rookie contract, his 2015 salary of $1.542MM should be taken into account — if Seattle simply wants to tack a four-year extension onto that deal, it lowers Wilson’s overall average annual salary significantly, as he’d be making about $81.5MM over five years. That modest 2015 salary is one factor that makes these negotiations so unique, and tricky, according to La Canfora.
While La Canfora doesn’t offer specific figures like O’Neil does, the CBSSports.com scribe also hears that the two sides are far apart in contract talks. Per La Canfora, the Seahawks’ initial offer looked more like the pay-as-you-go deals that players like Andy Dalton and Colin Kaepernick signed, rather than a contract in line with the game’s top quarterbacks have received.
O’Neil is somewhat optimistic that the Seahawks and Wilson will bridge the gap and strike a deal before the 2015 season gets underway, while La Canfora is becoming increasingly convinced that the two sides won’t work anything out until 2016, unless owner Paul Allen steps in. La Canfora also notes that, if the two sides aren’t making much progress this summer, Wilson may decide to shut down talks until after the season to avoid off-field distractions come September.
Andrew Luck, the other top quarterback from 2012’s draft class, will also be in line for an extension at some point, but there’s less urgency for Luck and the Colts since the team has picked up his fifth-year option for 2016. A third-round pick, Wilson doesn’t have a fifth-year option on his deal, meaning he can be eligible for unrestricted free agency – or the franchise tag – after the 2015 season, so this situation is one worth monitoring closely over the next few weeks and months.