NFL

NFL AM: Russell Wilson Inks Lucrative Extension with Seattle Seahawks

on

Wilson Lands Four-Year Extension

The Seahawks beat the buzzer in negotiations with franchise quarterback Russell Wilson, agreeing to terms on a four-year contract extension just hours before the team was set to take the field for the start of training camp. The new deal is reportedly worth $87.6 million and boasts $61.53 million in guarantees, including a $31 million signing bonus.

The fact that Wilson’s new deal came in below $100 million is surprising, given that lesser quarterbacks such as Colin Kaepernick and Andy Dalton are already members of the nine-figures club. But Wilson opted for a shorter deal that includes more guarantees and allows him to reenter free agency at the age of 30, when he will still be squarely in his prime.

“I didn’t think it was personal. I knew it was business. At the end of the day, I’m happy to be a Seahawk,” Wilson said. “I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. It’s a blessing to be here on a championship-type team and the goal is to win the Super Bowl this year.”

With Wilson’s new deal crossed off the to-do list, Seattle can figure out what it wants to do with a few other malcontents. Safety Kam Chancellor is holding out in search of more money. He is set to make $4.55 million in base salary in 2015 and still under contract for three more seasons.

“Kam Chancellor is an amazing Seahawk,” said head coach Pete Carroll. “He’s been a great part of this team. We love him in every way. He stands for exactly everything we love about this game and being a Seahawk and playing for us. We want to make something happen and we want him back here immediately if we can get it done. We are going to try and figure it out.”

Defensive end Michael Bennett is also unhappy with his contract, which includes a base salary of $6 million for this season. Bennett chose to report for training camp despite hinting he might hold out if a new deal was not in place by now.

Yet Chancellor and Bennett may have to bide their time a little longer, as Carroll indicated on Friday the next item on the team’s to-do list is extending LB Bobby Wagnar.

It’s never easy having so many disgruntled players — such is the price of sustained success — but the truth is the Seahawks could keep winning without any of those three defenders. That success would be far less sustainable without Wilson, which is why Friday was filled with much more joy than angst.

“The train doesn’t stop now,” Wilson said. “There’s a lot more to do.”

Galette: The Best the Skins Can Get

Junior Galette did not stay unemployed long. Less than a week after being released by the Saints due to off-the-field allegations and locker room tantrums, Galette signed a one-year contract with the Redskins for the veteran’s minumum. The unusual deal also gives Washington the right to match any contract offer Galette receives from another team next offseason.

Galette figures to start at the outside linebacker position opposite Ryan Kerrigan, replacing the departed Brian Orakpo. That bumps 2014 second-round pick Trent Murphy to a reserve role and bolsters a pass rush that recorded just 36 sacks last season (No. 21 in the league).

Despite all the character concerns, Washington decided the risk was worth the reward. Galette has posted 22 sacks over the last two seasons. In 2014, he ranked as the league’s fourth-best 4-3 defensive end, according to Pro Football Focus.

That talent notwithstanding, Redskins fans should not hold their breath that they are getting a better, more mature Galette. After signing in Washington, he couldn’t help but take a parting shot at this former team, saying “I’m just thankful to be with such a functional organization.”

The Redskins, of course, haven’t exactly been synonymous with the word “functional” as of late. Washington has won six or fewer games in five of the last six seasons.

New Orleans will host the Redskins in Week 10, at which point it can be determined which team is better: Washington with Galette or the Saints without him.

Bucs Tab Winston as Starter

Throughout OTAs and mini camp, the Buccaneers had incumbent Mike Glennon and No. 1 overall pick Jameis Winston split reps with the first-team offense. That sham of a competition has been called off before training camp even got underway, with head coach Lovie Smith naming Winston his uncontested starter on Friday.

The announcement is hardly a surprise, given Tampa Bay’s investment in Winston and its struggles at the quarterback position last season. Any chance Glennon had of holding off Winston melted away during the offseason program, when the Florida State product got a quick grasp of the offense and displayed immediate chemistry with receivers Vincent Jackson and Mike Evans.

”We feel like we’ve let Jameis go through a process of the offseason, getting limited reps, working with both groups,” Smith said on Friday. ”We put him in that position, but eventually you have to put them in the lead position and let them go.”

It was always the expectation that Winston would be under center in Week 1, when Tampa Bay hosts a Titans team led by the other Heisman-winning quarterback from the draft, Marcus Mariota. By making the decision official now, the Bucs are giving Winston more work with the first-string offense, more opportunities in the preseason and more chances for growth before Mariota & Co. come to town.

With an offense elevated by Winston and a defense bolstered by the arrivals of Henry Milton, Bruce Carter, Chris Conte and Kwon Alexander, the Buccaneers are eyeing a worst-to-first turnaround.

”We’re going to be a good football team,” Smith said. “We realize areas we need to improve. Now it’s time for all that talk to cease and get to work.”

Want to talk more about these and other headlines? Join Michael Lombardo for his weekly NFL Chat on Friday at 2pm EST. But you don’t have to wait until then … you can ask your question now!

 


About Michael Lombardo

Michael Lombardo

Michael Lombardo has spent more than 10 years as a team expert at Scout.com, primarily covering the Chargers, Cardinals and Panthers. He has been published by the NFL Network, Fox Sports and other venues.