Is Russell Wilson the next $100 million quarterback?


Last year ESPN correspondent Chris Mortensen reported that a representative from Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson had contacted the team, “insisting that something had to be done to adjust the bargain rookie contract for the third-round quarterback.”

Wilson denied knowledge of it, and such an adjustment would have been impossible anyway because NFL rookie contracts, by the rules of the 2011 Collective Bargaining Agreement, can not be renegotiated for the first three years. When Wilson was picked 75th overall in the 2012 draft he signed a $619,472 signing bonus, made $526,217 in 2013 and will get $662,434 for the 2014 season. In 2015 he’ll be eligible to negotiate his  $798,651 salary. I’m guessing he will.

If you’re a quarterback and you win the Super Bowl, your (super-ultra-mega) payday is coming. That’s just how it works. Last March Baltimore Ravens Super-Bowl-winning QB Joe Flacco signed a $120.6 million six-year deal with $52 million guaranteed. In April, the 2011 Super bowl champion Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers pulled down a $110 million contract extension with a record $62.5 guaranteed. Two seasons after winning Super Bowl XLIV against the Indianapolis Colts, quarterback Drew Brees inked a $100 million contract.

Russell Wilson did not have a spectacular Super Bowl. He didn’t throw for as many yards as Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning. Wilson just quietly did what he had to do to make plays; convert third down, sustain drives and score. He threw for 206 yards on 18 of 25 passing for a %72 completion percentage and two touchdowns, at one point in the second half completing 11 passes in a row. He broke off three runs for 26 yards. Most crucially, he did not turn over the ball.

This is what the Seahawks will be getting when they pony up the nine-figure payday next offseason, and I think in this case it’s safe to say you get what you pay for. Wilson could easily have been (and many think he should have been) the Super Bowl MVP. On the other side, Peyton Manning threw two interceptions (including a pick-six by linebacker Malcom Smith – the actual Super Bowl MVP) and let a snapped ball go through his fingers for a safety.

Russell Wilson is the face of the Seahawks. Everybody in Seattle loves Russell. He’s just flat-out fun to watch. When he rolls out of the pocket, any play could turn into the Catch (Joe Montana to Dwight Clark). His payday will be massive, and have a serious impact on the Seahawks salary cap, and so will the contracts of players like Richard Sherman. That’s just what happens when you stomp the living snot out of every team in front of you, all the way to the Super Bowl. That is why it will be so hard for the Seahawks to repeat as Super Bowl champs. These players deserve their paydays.

A question for Seahawks fans: What was last Sunday like for you? What was the parade like on Wednesday? How did you enjoy the Super Bowl hype when the Hawks were part of it? How do you like being a fan of the most dominating team in the NFL? How do you like being a fan of what may be the next NFL dynasty?

That’s what I thought. Let’s give Russell his payday.

More from George: the party is just beginning.

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  • Brandon

    It will be fun to watch PCJS work their magic with this roster. And, in all fairness to Peyton Manning (my fav non-Seahawk), he didn’t let “the ball slip through his hands.” It was a miscommunication between him and his 3rd string center. It happens. Thankfully not to us lately. Anybody remember Dave Krieg? GO HAWKS!!!

  • davidh

    hell ya i remember kreig. and i liked him.

  • Gtran1

    Winning has its own price tag, always. Go Hawks!

  • Charlie

    Brees plays for New Orleans, not Indy….I had to do a double take on that. What’s a similarity to the QB’s that ‘got theirs’ in a big pay day? No more SB’s – hasta la vista baby. That much money to one player drains the coffers. You think it’s coincidental that the Ravens had to dismantle their team. Manning lacks depth in Denver’s D, Rodgers Packers aren’t solid with D either. Hoping Wilson recognizes this and won’t have too high of aspirations when it comes time to negotiate. Go HAWKS!!

    • Tim Weaver

      Article doesnt’ say Brees played for Indy – says he won a Super bowl vs. them.

  • Tucker

    This idea that a 206 yard passing day on 18 for 25 passing is somehow sub-par or average is ridiculous. That’s over 11 yards per play, and Wilson had 75% of the yardage Manning had on the day on 50% of the the number of attempts as the elder QB. He threw for 2 TDs and connected with 5 or 6 different receivers multiple times. Was it record-breaking? No. But it was quite a bit more impressive than what Manning was able to accomplish. When the most completions thrown in Super Bowl only nets you 8 points, you’re obviously not playing that particular game well enough. (Though, it wasn’t thoroughly unheard of as the Broncos had only 26 points on over 500 yards of offense against the Pats the game before.) Best thing is Wilson had the team at nearly 60% on third-down conversions, which was a huge trouble spot for the team in the latter half of the season. Wilson had a great game.

    And by all means, he deserves to be paid when his contract is up.

  • BillG

    Ridiculous! There never has been, nor will there ever be, an athlete worth $100 million ($20 million per year?). American’s priorities are all screwed up, when we pay pro athletes these outrageous salaries, but we begrudge the BEST teachers in the country their paltry $80,000/year salaries. In America, we value entertainment much higher than education, which is the main reason that Johnny can’t read, write, spell or calculate as well as his counterparts in China, Japan, Finland and many other countries. Meanwhile, the owners, managers, coaches and players in pro sports rake in the cash and the average sports enthusiast in this country can’t even afford a ticket to the game, let alone a season pass. Shameful!

  • Franklloyd

    Wilson’s QB rating was 123+. He did, in fact, have a “spectacular” Super Bowl. Peyton Manning did not “let a snapped ball go through his fingers for a safety”, the center snapped the ball to the right of Manning’s head as the QB approached the line to audible, Manning never got his hands near the ball. Exactly which Super Bowl was the author watching? Sheesh.