After months of discontent and speculation about his contract, Russell Wilson finally got what he wanted Friday, signing a four-year extension with the Seattle Seahawks through the 2019 season.
“He’s got 87 million reasons to have a good summer now,” Seattle-based AP sportswriter Tim Booth said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “So it finally got done. Everyone’s been waiting to see if it was actually going to happen. Thankfully I guess there was a deadline in place and the sides kind of respected that and got to work and hammered it out late (Thursday) night and were ready to sign it (Friday) morning.”
Wilson’s deal, with $87.6 million, includes $60 million in guarantees.
“I think Russell was legitimate in his stance that if a deal wasn’t done by the time he took the field today that they weren’t going to talk about it until the season was done,” Booth said. “I got that sense from Russell, from the Seahawks and from his agent today. It seems like this deal could have been done three months ago. This isn’t that outlandish of a contract one way or the other. It kind of fits in with where everyone kind of assumed it would probably end up – a notch below Aaron Rodgers, maybe around what Ben Roethlisberger got. So from that standpoint, it seems like we could have been talking about this in May instead of on July 31.
“But I think that deadline really kind of played a role in finally getting this done,” Booth continued. “I don’t think the Seahawks wanted to go into the season on the fence about what their future at quarterback was, even though they could have used the franchise tag on him for 2016. I think the deadline ended up being a good thing in this instance. But at the same time, we could have had this done and out of the way two months ago and probably had a very similar deal.”
Wilson’s agent, Mark Rodgers, did a heck of a job negotiating on Wilson’s behalf, netting a $31 million signing bonus. Not bad for a guy who works almost exclusively in baseball.
“He kind of gave up doing football a handful of years ago and then got back into it because Russell asked him to,” Booth explained. “He kind of used the tactics that baseball agents do. You kind of wait until the final hour and you go with the best deal at that time. Certainly they pushed it to the limit, but he’s got to come out looking pretty good in this instance because of what he was able to get not only in guaranteed money but in terms of signing bonus. The Seahawks, under this regime, have never gone that far with a $31 million signing bonus. That’s significantly more than anything Earl Thomas or Richard Sherman got last year. So yeah, Mark Rodgers came out looking pretty good in this instance – and so does Russell, frankly.”