Russell Wilson has been an NFL oddity the last few seasons: a franchise quarterback making peanuts. This is because he was drafted in the third round, and the CBA makes it impossible for any player drafted that late—no matter how quickly they may rise to stardom—to earn more than a couple million dollars during their first few seasons in the league. That all changed for Wilson today, though, as he just signed a four-year, $87.6 million contract with the Seahawks.
That’s fewer years and less money than we are used to seeing star quarterbacks get, but Wilson isn’t missing out. As always, the only thing that matters is guaranteed money, and he’s making out great on that front:
$60 million guaranteed is a big payday (assuming of course that this isn’t one of those “guaranteed for injury only” contracts), and puts him just behind Aaron Rodgers ($62 million) in terms of how much real money he has in his pocket. You can disagree that Wilson is as valuable as Rodgers if you want to, but it’s hard for NFL teams to come by even a semi-functional quarterback these days. The good ones deserve to be paid.
As for the Seahawks, they’re set up pretty well for the next few seasons, with most of their key players locked up through 2017 (they still need to sign Bobby Wagner), but they’ve also lost the edge that Wilson’s piddly-shit rookie contract gave them. When your starting quarterback is really good but being paid like a punter, it’s easy to throw money at the rest of the roster and keep the team strong. With Wilson eating a big slice of the pie now, it’s going to be more difficult to put out fires. Like this one, for example:
And if there’s anyone who should be even happier than Russell Wilson today, it’s Andrew Luck. That man is going to get paid.