NFL

NFL AM: Russell Wilson Insures Himself

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The Seattle Seahawks and quarterback Russell Wilson have yet to come to an agreement on a long-term contract extension, so as he gets set to play out the final year of his rookie contract Wilson is taking measures to make sure he’s insured.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Tuesday that the 26-year-old Wilson has taken out an insurance policy “worth millions” to protect him in the event he suffers a career-ending injury during the upcoming season. The 2012 third round pick is entering the final year of a contract that will pay him $1.5 million next season.

Both sides seemed optimistic entering the offseason that an extension would be reached, but several months have passed since Wilson’s ill-advised end zone pass was intercepted, ending Seattle’s bid for back-to-back Super Bowl wins, and there hasn’t been much progress. Wilson told reporters earlier this offseason that he is ready to play out the final year of his rookie deal if it comes to that.

“I’m prepared [to play] 100 percent if that’s the case,” he said. “I want to be here for a long time. I just have to get ready to play. I love the game and I love being out here with these guys.”

Over the first three years of his career, Wilson has enjoyed one of the most successful beginnings of any quarterback in the history of the game. He has started all 56 games for the Seahawks, including eight playoff games, and Seattle is a remarkable 42-14 under his command.

Though the Seahawks struggled out of the gate to a 3-3 start last season, Wilson remained remarkably consistent and was a catalyst for their 9-1 finish to the regular season. He finished it with numbers on par with his career averages, including his most passing yards ever in a season with 3,475, and by far his most rushing yards in a season with 849. He also completed passes at a 63.1 percent clip, threw 20 touchdown passes and ran for six more, and ran five game-winning drives in the fourth quarter or overtime.

In the postseason, he guided Seattle to the NFC Championship game, then, after the team fell behind 22-0, led them on a remarkable second half comeback that ended with a deep pass to Jermaine Kearse that sent the Seahawks back to the Super Bowl. In that game, Wilson had the Hawks primed to go back-to-back but with seconds left and the ball on the one-yard-line, he threw and end zone interception to clinch a New England Patriots win.

Despite the setback, Wilson remains one of the game’s elite talents at the quarterback position and whenever he does get an extension, it is likely to set a new market rate for the quarterback position. It certainly should blow the five-year, $103.8 million extension signed by Cam Newton a few weeks ago out of the water.

Though he is actively seeking the extension and communication toward one is ongoing, Wilson doesn’t plan on letting it affect his on-field performance or his relationship to teammates, coaches and other members of the Seattle organization. That’s why, despite being unhappy that a new deal has not been reached, he showed up at OTA to work with the team, is currently at Seahawks mandatory minicamp and has no plans to holdout during training camp.

Seattle coach Pete Carroll recently lauded the way Wilson is handling the situation.

“I think as much as anybody can deal with it, Russell will,’’ Carroll said. “We have talked a lot about the process of it and all that, the expectations. He’s had a great offseason. He has looked incredibly in shape and faster than ever and all that. He’s worked great on the field when he’s been with us. He’s really set his mind to it. The proof is in the action he can put out there. He’s on it.

TITANS CUT SHONN GREENE

A disappointing two-year stint in Tennessee for running back Shonn Greene has come to an end after the Titans cut the embattled running back on Tuesday.

Originally thought to be in the team’s long-term plans at running back after signing a three-year, $10 million contract in 2013, coming off back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons with the Jets, Greene woefully underachieved in two years with Tennessee, but lack of opportunity played an important role in his failure.

In his first season with the team in 2013, Greene played in 11 games but carried the ball just 77 times for 295 yards and four touchdowns. 2014 wasn’t much better. Greene participated in 13 games for the Titans, including five starts, but still got just 94 carries for a total of 392 yards and two touchdowns.

The totals were a far cry from Greene’s final two years in New York, but the averages were actually right in line with Greene’ production for the Jets. In 2011, Greene carried the ball 253 times for 1,054 yards, a 4.2 yards per carry average. Then in 2012, he got 276 carries for 1,063 yards, an average of 3.9 yards per carry. His average yards per carry over two season and 171 touches with Tennessee was 4.0.

Greene’s fall from grace in Tennessee probably wasn’t helped by the team’s complete lack of production on offense. The Titans ranked 29th in total offense last season after finishing 22nd in the category a year prior, and four different quarterbacks started at least five games for Tennessee over the last two seasons.

But with 2015 second overall pick Marcus Mariota taking the reins, the Titans offense is starting over and Greene wasn’t much of a fit anymore, especially at the $4.2 million he was owed, with 2014 second round pick Bishop Sankey and 2015 fifth round pick David Cobb in-line to split carries this season. The Titans saved more than $3 million by parting ways with Greene before training camp.

Based on his previous body of work and the limited opportunity he was afforded in Tennessee, Greene, who turns 30 in August, should catch on with another team before training camp starts. He, like any free agent running back with a pulse, is already being linked to the Dallas Cowboys and could be a good fit to add to their backfield mix.


About Devon Jeffreys

Devon Jeffreys