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By Eric Umphrey
THE TIMES 

To rebuild or not to rebuild, the Russell Wilson Dilemma

 

April 18, 2019



Russell Wilson and his agent have given the Seahawks an April 15 deadline to get a multiple-year extension done. If the date passes without one, he claims he will not sign another with Seattle. The next move would be either a trade (presumably for multiple draft picks) or giving Russell the franchise tag for one to two years, keeping him in Seattle.

The side you are on really depends on how you see the current Seahawks team. Are they still a playoff team that just needs to replace a few older, injury-prone players? Or has this core run its course and a full scale rebuild needs to begin now? Maybe you are in between and want to keep this group together for a couple more years and see what happens?

Wilson is apparently looking to be made the league’s highest-paid player. There have been rumors he is also looking for a clause that ties his salary to the NFL’s salary cap. As it increases so would his salary. The Seahawks may balk at that as it would limit their flexibility to sign other players under the salary cap. This type of clause has never been done before in the NFL and other top players would likely begin asking for it as well.

Other rumors have him wanting to move to New York. If this is true that limits what the Seahawks would receive in return. Now in this case instead of player(s) in return there would likely be draft picks. Without a viable backup in place, Seattle would probably draft a quarterback in the early rounds. Do you remember the last time Seattle used an early first round draft pick on a quarterback or have you blocked out the Rick Mirer years?

My sense is ownership will wait until the new Collective Bargaining Agreement is signed. That may be awhile as they just began work on it this month. The current CBA expires after the 2020 season and has been in place since it was signed in 2011, which ended a 132-day lockout. For Seattle’s ownership, Russell’s next contract isn’t a money concern. Consider that the salary cap last year was $188.2 million dollars. The NFL made over $15 billion in revenue and each team received $255 million of shared revenue. So ultimately, this decision is about where Russell Wilson wants to live and who he wants to play for. If the Seahawks are unwilling to trade him, he may just need to wait a couple more years before making that decision.

UPDATE: Russell Wilson announced on Twitter after midnight on April 15, that he is staying in Seattle. Details were announced the morning of April 16 that he agreed to a four-year extension worth $140 million, making him the highest-paid player in the NFL. It contains a no-trade clause that keeps him with the Seahawks through the 2023 season.

 

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