The Seattle Seahawks didn’t trade Russell Wilson in a contract year, but he and his ever-engaged agent have already ruffled some financial feathers this spring.
Apparently, Wilson could be interested in $50 million per year once signing day comes, and newly-united Denver Broncos fans seem to be a bit surprised.
— Denver Post Broncos (@PostBroncos) June 4, 2022
From the above, and I’m not making this up:
“I will love Russell Wilson less if he wants a $50 million salary from the Broncos”
Oh boy. Buddy you’ve got some catching up to do with your new QB and a man named Mark Rodgers. For the record, that quote is not from the article’s author, but from a Denver fan, named CJ. Hmm, Spiller, perhaps?
Now it’s worth noting that there’s nothing in the realm of actual movement, official asks, offers, or even confirmed reports. But by the time Wilson is up for a new deal next season, $50 million is unquestionably going to be part of the conversation, so we are justified in having it here. In fact, Mike Sando has claimed that Seattle was never going to pay Wilson $50m per year, one of the reasons for the ultimate separation.
But the Broncos must, right?
They’re in a similar situation the Seahawks were with Jamal Adams, but on another stratosphere. They gave up a lot. Can’t let him walk the year after they won’t even have a draft pick in the first two rounds.
I’m not all that interested in Wilson’s value, ask, negotiations, percentage of cap, and the like at the moment.
Because a bunch of Denver fans just went from “The Savior Is Here!” to “He better not do that to us” in a matter of minutes.
There goes the honeymoon. Team guys wont ask for such a chunk of cap. Its getting ridiculous
— I’m your huckle bearer (@FireVic6) June 4, 2022
He will demand more and never take blame for a loss
— HAWKSSBCHAMPS (@CaldonKyle) June 4, 2022
You do realize why the Seahawks were willing to trade him right?
— KJM (@kjm_206) June 5, 2022
To be fair the reactions are pretty split on this, as many are so excited to have a top-10 QB they’ll be happy with whatever.
But having not played a single official down, based off a report that has since been invalidated, some are already willing to declare the gamble for the franchise’s future not worth it.
It’s interesting what money does to perspective.
Tom Brady takes less his whole career. Russell Wilson is demanding $50 million year. Tell me REALLY who is about winning? Rooting for the #seahawks this year without Russ will be a lot more enjoyable can’t wait to beat the Broncos week 1 https://t.co/OVGzIaRoPa
— George Jarjour (@GeorgeOnTap) June 4, 2022
The NFL market has not really made any radical departures from its current trajectory, which is that elite QBs are worth a ton of money, and the salary cap continues to grow. Patrick Mahomes contract serves as an example of the crazy things both players and teams can do as GMs find ways to give one player a fifth of the allotted money, while still building competitive rosters.
The Seattle Seahawks viewed the next 3-8 years of Russell Wilson and decided this is not the path they would take.
It wasn’t all because of money, to be sure.
But it also wasn’t…not about money.
Teams will bite the relational bullet for the sake of wins (see Rodgers, Aaron via Green Bay, or Brown, Antonio via a whole bunch of teams). Reports hint that the Seahawks had already done this for at least a year. John Schneider said he’s not doing it any longer.
I’m sure Pete Carroll would love nothing more than to buck the trend and spend 25% of the cap on the secondary, perhaps 70% on the defense, and do the whole defense / run game thing in the face of the NFL.
It may be a long time before they even have a quarterback to pay this kind of money anyway, so who knows when Seattle will re-enter these types of conversations themselves.
In the meantime, it will be two full years of an interesting journey as people watch the Wilson contract – not to mention his play – unfold, both in Colorado and the PNW. He remains the best quarterback this franchise has ever had, but again, money does funny things to people.