NFL

Russell Wilson’s Deal Could Damage Roster

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After months of anticipation, the Seattle Seahawks and quarterback Russell Wilson have finally agreed to a deal, which is worth $87.6 million over the next four years. This contract makes Wilson the second highest paid quarterback in terms of per year average, sitting right behind Aaron Rodgers.

There’s no doubt the former Super Bowl winning quarterback is excited. 

“For me, I just want to be paid based on what I’m worth, what I’ve produced, whatever that means. For me, I just let the play speak for itself,” Wilson said. “That’s not my job to kind of do all that. That’s why I hire (agent) Mark Rodgers, and that’s why I trust him to figure everything out for me, work everything out, and sure enough it did, and I get to play here for another four more years. Couldn’t be much better.”

In today’s game, it’s well documented how vital it is to have a quality guy under center. Nonetheless, Wilson’s contract will potentially hinder the franchise from maintaining the best roster in the league going forward.

Pro bowl linebacker Bobby Wagner is one of those guys in danger of leaving soon.

Wagner is entering the final year of his rookie contract, where he’s scheduled to make $1.37 million. The 25-year-old considered holding out, but his love for the game is just too strong.

It’s still unclear if the two parties will reach an agreement before the season. However, Wagner doesn’t seem too concerned at this moment.

“If it happens, it happens,” Wagner said. “But all I know is at the end of the season, y’all will know that I’m the best linebacker in this league. That’s my focus. Everything else will take care of itself.”

Head coach Pete Carroll is confident a deal with Wagner will get done sooner rather than later.

“His game is going to continue to get better for the next three or four years as he just nails offenses and he nails plays and concepts and principles,” Carroll said. “The sky is the limit for the guy. We love him. He’s going to be with us for a long time.”

Defensive lineman Michael Bennett isn’t a happy camper either. In March of 2014, Bennett agreed to a four-year, $28.5 million deal, which was a pay cut compared to offers he received from other ball clubs.

Now, just a little over a year later, Bennett regrets signing that deal.

“For the rest of my life, I’ll always ask for more money. I’ll ask for more love from my wife. I’ll ask for more love from my kids. It’s just one those things where I’m always asking for more,” Bennett said.

If not for fulfilling responsibility, Bennett may have been holding out.

“I’ve got to be professional and come out here and be the leader that I’ve always been and help this team get back to where it’s supposed to be.”

Unlike Wagner and Bennett, 3-time Pro Bowl safety Kam Chancellor didn’t report to training camp. Back in 2013, Chancellor agreed to a four-year extension worth $28 million.

“Sometimes when they sign they love what they sign and it looks different after a while,” Carroll said. “So we go through that process. So I am compassionate towards these guys more than anything and try to help and walk them through it,” Carroll said.

The 27-year-old is set to make a measly $4.55 million in 2015.

Kam Chancellor is an amazing Seahawk,” Carroll added. “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.”

With free safety Earl Thomas recovering from a shoulder injury, Seattle’s secondary can’t afford (no pun intended) to be missing Chancellor as well.

Also, you have to consider if guys like Doug Baldwin blow up, will Seattle be able to pay him?

In order for Seattle to give themselves the best chance to pay these guys, they’ll have to let Russell Okung, Bruce Irvin, J.R. Sweezy, Jermaine Kearse and Brandon Mebane walk in free agency and even then, it still may not be enough.

On a day where Wilson’s deal should be celebrated, the Seahawks front office must figure out how they’ll pay these disgruntled defensive guys.


About Mark Gunnels

Mark Gunnels

Mark Gunnels is an NFL columnist for Football Insiders. He has several years of experience covering the NFL and NCAA football. He's the radio color commentator for Lincoln University football. Mark's work has been featured on Sports Illustrated, Fox Sports and Yard Barker.