Deadlines spur action.
If there's one thing about contract negotiations that we see over and over again in the NFL, it's that simple truth: that deadlines spur action. Just take a look at all of the long-term extensions that were signed shortly before the deadline for franchise tag players, among other cases. Because of that, it was smart for Russell Wilson's camp to impose a deadline on the Seahawks: they wouldn't negotiate an extension after training camp started. So, with the Seahawks reporting to training camp today and backed up against that self-imposed deadline, the two sides reached an agreement.
Russell Wilson and the Seahawks have agreed to a 4-year, $87.6-million extension, per source.— Peter King (@SI_PeterKing) July 31, 2015
The new Wilson deal includes a $31-million signing bonus, with approximately $60-million guaranteed.— Peter King (@SI_PeterKing) July 31, 2015
The numbers are impressive for Wilson's new deal, and it's a good one for the quarterback. Over the four new years on the deal, Wilson will be paid an average of $21.9 million per year, which would place him as the second-highest paid quarterback in the league currently in terms of average salary, behind only Aaron Rodgers. Furthermore, Wilson received a $31 million signing bonus and $60 million guaranteed, both of which are huge numbers. Getting 68.5% of his deal guaranteed puts him among the highest guaranteed percentages in the league. Just taking a look at the reported contract details, it appears as if Wilson's side might have agreed to a bit lower average salary per year in exchange for larger guaranteed numbers, a move that is a smart one. Furthermore, Wilson will be only 30 years old at the time his contract is up, as his four-year extension is shorter than normal for these types of contracts. What this means is that, if he continues to produce, he will be in line for another big payday once this deal is up.
For the Seahawks, the good news is that they can get a bit of a discount because of his rookie contract in 2015 that was scheduled to pay him around $1.5 million. Essentially the new deal is a five-year deal, then, and as Andrew Brandt points out, it makes the contract seem smaller than he might have gotten if not for the rookie wage scale.
If extension is four years, $87.6M then overall deal is five years, a bit under $90M. Continuing team power of rookie contracts.— Andrew Brandt (@adbrandt) July 31, 2015
So now the question that Colts fans are asking is this: how does Wilson's deal affect Andrew Luck? I think we've finally moved past the debate about which quarterback is better (it's Luck), but what about the contracts? Well, Luck will beat Wilson there, too.
Wilson's extension likely has a bigger impact on Luck's deal than Ryan Tannehill's or Cam Newton's, which we've seen handed out this offseason, but in a sense Wilson's deal could provide the bar for Luck. In other words, he won't be getting less than that 4-year, $87.6 million deal that Wilson got with $60 million guaranteed. Luck won't be getting less than that.
Instead, it's expected that Luck will receive an even bigger deal, one that will make him the highest paid quarterback in the NFL and could push the $25 million a year mark - with even more guaranteed money than Wilson received. I also wouldn't be surprised to see Luck get a longer extension than simply four years also. As Brandt noted, "the Colts will pay the price for waiting."
It's expected that Andrew Luck will receive a new deal next offseason, and with the extension for Russell Wilson today it appears that we now have the floor set for what Luck will receive. Odds are he'll be significantly higher than the deal Wilson received and could be around $25 million per year. And he'll deserve every penny of it.