Report: Russell Wilson will shut down talks after April 15th

April 3rd, 2019 | Written by Rob Staton

It’s all becoming a bit clearer now.

According to Adam Schefter, the Seahawks have known about Russell Wilson’s contract deadline since January. The following report from Ian Rapoport sheds even more light on the situation:

Throughout this off-season we’ve seen what appears to be a very aggressive approach from the Wilson camp. Revealing to Schefter during Super Bowl week that there hadn’t been any talks. The Giants rumour via Colin Cowherd. Jimmy Fallon, the sage of football, asking Wilson about his contract and the Giants rumour. Now news of the deadline being revealed through the media.

Here’s what I think is going on:

1. The Seahawks have a schedule for talks, they have other priorities currently (the draft) and prefer to wait until later in the year to begin serious negotiations (possibly because they’ll be able to gain some leverage that is not currently available).

2. Wilson and his camp want talks now, they don’t want to work to Seattle’s schedule and they are very willing to play on the franchise tag (thus, this early deadline).

3. Wilson wants to stay in Seattle but he also wants a deal structure that may be prohibitive for the Seahawks moving forward. So compromise is needed between both parties to make this happen — otherwise a potential divorce in the future is possible.

Rapoport’s note spells it out. If no deal is agreed by April 15th talks are over according to Wilson and his representatives. If he sticks to his guns, that means he’ll play out this season and inevitably be franchise tagged in 12 months.

It’s always felt like Wilson would be comfortable with that. Why would anyone be surprised that he’s willing to bet on himself? He wants talks now to get on with things. Receive Seattle’s best offer, make a call and then move on.

But at the end of the day it all comes down to how willing are both parties to compromise? For example — if Wilson wants a fully guaranteed contract and the Seahawks aren’t interested in that — can they find a middle ground?

If they can’t — this saga will drag on into the next off-season. As predicted. As expected.

Wilson won’t be traded before the 2019 draft. But as Rapoport notes — if it gets to next year and he’s tagged, the Seahawks face a big call. A contract extension at that point would be even trickier to negotiate. They might have to trade him in 2020.

So here we go. Can both parties compromise on a deal before April 15th? If not, is Wilson really going to shut down talks this early in the process?

And if they go beyond April 15th without a deal does it increase the chances of the Seahawks looking to draft a quarterback early?

Mike Florio has some interesting info in this video, seemingly given to him from the Wilson camp (he references text exchanges while he’s live on the show). Florio mentions Wilson potentially wanting a salary that is determined by a percentage (eg 25% of whatever the cap is) or at least a deal that accelerates as the quarterback market grows. And if that’s what he wants the future is bleak:

Meanwhile Joel Corry thinks a sticking point is Seattle’s unwillingness to fully guarantee the second year of the contract.

And this video involving Adam Schefter, Chris Mortenson and former Seahawks scout Jim Nagy is very interesting…

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217 Responses to “Report: Russell Wilson will shut down talks after April 15th”

  1. Seahawcrates says:

    I understand Russell’s strategy. Imposing a deadline prior to the Seahawks possibly hedging with a drafted quarterback and before deals with Clark and Wagner reduces somewhat Seattle’s leverage. But the deadline is artificial in that it isn’t tied to something as his last one was, training camp. It’s a deadline he wants to impose purely to his advantage which is understandable. But management can still make him an outstanding offer post April 15th and if they do I wonder if Wilson really would ignore it simply because of his created deadline.
    I’m thinking the best news out of this is they are and have been talking so Seattle has heard this “deadline” already and it may very well mean an agreement is close and this is a tactic to gain the last extras Wilson wants.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Unfortunately there have been reports in the last 24 hours suggesting the talks so far have been overblown. That basically very little has happened in the way of talks and the status quo continues.

      My prediction would be that a deal isn’t agreed before April 15th and if Wilson sticks to his guns on the ‘deadline’ — we’ll be talking about this for a year and wondering what the future holds after the 2019 season.

      • Madmark says:

        I’m going dispute you for the first time rob. I think the deal gets done. I believe Russel has a team to contend Until JS/PC contracts are up. He is now coming into his prime and I think likes them giving me more control on the field. He stills wants to be the highest paid QB when he signs his contract and he should be. Aaron Rodgers was the last QB to sign but he has been injured where Russel hasn’t missed a game. To be honest I really have nothing more to say on this subject. The 4 guys we talk about resigning is Russel and Bobby above the rest then I would put Reed and then Clark being last. Trust me Russel and Bobby not going anywhere as long as JS/PC is here.

        • Rob Staton says:

          I thought a deal was going to get done when I thought both parties would be talking before camp. If Wilson insists it’s April 15th or franchise tag — I don’t think a deal gets done.

          And then he’s either playing on the tag or being traded in 12 months. Because if they can’t agree terms now — next year will be even trickier.

          As I keep saying both sides need to compromise or this will get ugly.

          • Hawkin says:

            Rob, what do you think his trade value is this year vs. next? Do the seahawks have enough leverage in negotiating with teams to get similar compensation to what they would get in a trade now?

            I fear that kicking the can down the road will cost them in compensation. That they would get fleeced by other teams know the situation is much more desperate for JSPC then rather than now. It’s something to seriously consider…

            • Rob Staton says:

              I think Wilson’s trade value might be even higher next year.

              For example — the Giants appear very willing to roll with Eli Manning this year. They might spend their two first round picks on the lines, further improving the overall sturdiness of their roster. And by next year, with Eli a year old, they’ll be missing one piece. The quarterback. Possibly the final piece. They might be inclined to be very aggressive next year. Just because they have two picks this year doesn’t mean they can’t/won’t be even more aggressive in 2020.

              Other teams would see this as a rare opportunity to trade for a legit franchise quarterback and would be all over it. So while the Frank Clark situation and Earl Thomas situation comes with some leverage pulling — I highly doubt that would be the case with a player like Wilson.

              • Hawkin says:

                I get that. But any team seriously considering Wilson will have to have the budget to facilitate his new contract. That’s only a handful of teams. So with that said, why not simply wait for him to hit the open market and attempt to outbid the 2-3 teams that would be in the running?

                Plus Wilson will be a year older, a year of more wear and tear. So would you trade Wilson before the season starts knowing a deal in Seattle is impossible? The point being, you’d get more for him now under a different set of conditions rather than after the season.

  2. The question is would talks really be off after the 15th? We have heard this many times in sports and deals get struck after that kind of deadline. This is kind of a make believe deadline unlike the July 15th one for franchised guys. Not sure I 100% believe that a deal couldnt get done in the summer.

  3. bigten says:

    I actually think this is very smart on RW part, and good for his PR. He has listened to you Rob, and now because of this statement, if he does turn down the historical contract, he has a shot to shoot down the idea of his teammates being mad, because he has stated he doesn’t want it to be a distraction. He is trying to play the good guy. I will admit I was thinking a trade was possible before the draft, and as logical and clear as you made it that it wouldn’t happen I was still holding onto it. But if a situation arises, like you mentioned, where we are here next year with RW on the tag, should we trade him? and what would we get next year?

    • Rob Staton says:

      I don’t know what they could get next year and a lot of that would depend on what happens in the next draft for certain teams (eg New York) and what happens during the 2019 season.

      I think this is definitely Wilson trying to manage and leverage his position. I think you’re right about him handling ‘no deal’. The earlier the deadline the easier he can manage that.

  4. Gohawks5151 says:

    I kind of don’t get how this helps Russ in any way. Say Seattle puts out a 35M/yr offer out but they can’t agree and the deadline passes so Team Wilson shuts it down. Then the Sehawks simply put the offer out in the media. Wouldn’t that still paint Russ in a bad light to teammates, fans and anyone else that he turned down the chance to be the highest paid guy? They have spent a lot of effort to paint him like a guy who “just wants to be paid his worth” and a good guy, but that doesn’t stand up with a simple contract leak from Seattle. It still leads to a lot of questions for Russ all summer and all season.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Quite possibly. But I wonder if it’ll even get as far as an offer being made. If Wilson and his crew want a fully guaranteed record-breaking deal they might never make an offer. Rest assured whatever Seattle puts into the media, Mark Rodgers and co will have their response ready to go and the PR will rage on, frustrating the heck out of us all.

    • GoHawksDani says:

      If the Hawks would leak that kind of contract offer details then it would be even uglier than the ETIII situation was. I don’t think I ever heard something like: “Yeah, we offered him 35m APY, 4 years, 140m total, 90m GTD and he refused”. If they do not tell the media by seahawks.com or in an interview with PCJS just leak to someone with “league sources” then RW and team can tell that, yeah it’s just a rumor and the contract talks didn’t lead to anything serious.

      I feel like this might be overblown currently, and RW will get a new contract soon, or this could get very ugly. If the second happens, I’d rather face the rookie QB risk and trade Wilson.
      You can’t win SB when having that much drama. And things could get heated quick between the FO and Russ beyond saving

  5. Aaron says:

    A Brexit deadline on April 12 and a Wilson deadline on April 15, oh yeah and tax day in the U.S. on April 15. Shaping up to be a busy next couple weeks.

  6. Hawksince77 says:

    No lose situation for RW. He knows that Seattle will not offer an acceptable deal – not by the 15th, not in July, not next year. So he plays out this year for $17m, and either hits FA (what he wants, as several franchises will pay far more than Seattle ever will) or he plays on the tag. Rinse and repeat.

    Or he gets traded, now, before the draft, or a year from now. Either way, he ends up with a club willing to make him a mega-mega deal.

    If Seattle trades him now (before the draft) they maximize what they can get. If they wait for another year, and tag him and trade him, they risk getting far less, and the cost of keeping him far more as QB contracts continue to escalate.

    If they don’t trade him at all, he reaches FA at some point, and they might get what they paid for him (a third round pick).

    There is no reason for RW to accept anything Seattle will offer, ever, because there are teams out there willing to pay far more. PC/JS have never over-paid for a player, and they are smart in not doing so. Let someone else re-set the QB market with RW.

    • Rob Staton says:

      They won’t trade him before this draft. It’s too close now. We can write that off as a guarantee. He’s not going to be traded before this draft.

      It’s also not true that dealing him now maximises what they can get. There’s virtually no difference in terms of his market between this year and next. There’s no serious risk there.

      Plus they will exhaust every opportunity to keep him and that’s a big reason why there’s zero chance of him being dealt before this draft. Next year, after a year of drama, could be very different.

      • bigten says:

        Not disagreeing at all, but curious. Next year on the tag, wouldn’t the max return we could get for him in a trade be 2 first rounders?

        • Rob Staton says:

          No — because they can give him the exclusive rights franchise tag. It would cost about $31m to Seattle and it eliminates the ‘two first round picks’ situation. And they would be able to negotiate any trade they like.

          • Shadow says:

            Would we get more than two first round picks in a trade for Wilson next year, though? Yes, he is worth more than that, but if he is on the tag and the Seahawks are actively shopping him, that hurts their bargaining position. I wonder if it might be worth it, should it come to that, just to put the regular franchise tag on him and take the two first rounders if he signs a deal we can’t or won’t match.

            Personally, if I’m Seattle I go big on the guarantees in the hopes that Wilson’s camp comes down from their APY demands (or, even worse, tying the contract to the salary cap.) Given Wilson’s toughness I think we can afford to guarantee a larger portion of Wilson’s contract than somebody else’s, and more full guaranteed money is the only thing I can think of that would make Wilson’s camp more willing to compromise.

            • Whit21 says:

              Its a big ‘IF’. It depends on which team take QBs in this draft and which team will need a QB next year.. Maybe theres a team that gives up on their franchise QB next year and is in the market.. too many variables.. I predict a deal gets done after Mahomes contract is made.

          • Joe says:

            Can a tagged player be traded if he hasn’t signed the franchise tag?

  7. SamL says:

    I really hope they can get a deal done. I have no problem paying him 35 million but if it gets anywhere close to 40 million the Seahawks hands will be tied. You simply can’t give that much to a single player. If no deal is done this offseason will be full of speculation of the future and take away from last years promising performance. We can only hope both parties are willing to compromise and can strike a deal that works for both.

    • Rob Staton says:

      My concern is Florio mentioning things like a contract that is always a certain percentage of the cap (after referencing he’d had a text exchange presumably with Mark Rodgers during the show). That’s the kind of thing Seattle won’t go go near. And they’re not going to offer sensational guarantees either. I suspect if Wilson is happy to simply be the highest paid in terms of APY they can work this out. But if he’s wanting to create history with $100m fully guaranteed or having a certain percentage of the cap to himself every year this is heading one way.

      • Sea Mode says:

        Corry agrees about the guarantees.

        Joel Corry
        @corryjoel

        A big sticking point with a new Russell Wilson deal is going to be Seattle’s unwillingness to make the 2nd year fully guaranteed at signing. It’s something Seattle hasn’t done in veteran contracts for several years. Most of the biggest NFL contracts fully guarantee the 2nd year.

        12:18 PM – 3 Apr 2019

        • King_Rajesh says:

          It doesn’t make sense why this would be a sticking point. Wilson is an ironman – never missed a start, barely missed a snap in his career for the Seahawks.

          He’s going to be here for the entirety of the contract – why not just fully guarantee the second year? When was the last time a top-tier elite franchise QB didn’t fulfill the entirety of his contract? Peyton in 2011 after his neck injury? Essentially, if you’re a top tier QB, the entire contract is fully guaranteed.

          I understand why they shouldn’t have guaranteed much money to injury prone guys like Kam Chancellor, but its Russell Freakin’ Wilson. He’d play through anything.

          • Rob Staton says:

            I doubt this is the real problem.

            Joel Corry also predicted the Seahawks could make a FA splash.

            I think it’ll be the size of the guarantees.

      • mishima says:

        Sounds like Wilson wants to have the cake, eat the cake, be the cake… Guarantees, escalators, percentages of the cap…

        Hard pass.

        Next year:

        Seahawks need the tag or risk losing Clark, Reed, Wagner.
        What teams will be willing to trade/pay for Wilson?
        What teams will Wilson be willing to sign with?

        My prediction: Wilson has no interest in signing an extension and 4/15 is just posturing. Willing to play out his contract, 2 tags to reach free agency and control his destiny. Prefers/wants to take his brand to a bigger market (NY), now, not in 3 years.

        • GerryG says:

          I’m with you, if wants a contract that is going to continually escalate and handcuff the teams finances, then trade him. Thanks for 7 years Russ.

      • cha says:

        There was talk that Aaron Rodgers wanted a % of cap deal on his last deal, but not sure if that was official or just talking heads talking.

        It may be a negotiating tactic, or an attempt at making sure RW doesn’t miss the cut of the pie he wants when gambling $ and the new CBA is signed.

        • King_Rajesh says:

          If he signs a 4 year deal, he’ll get his shot at the new CBA cap money in 2022. Probably after Mahomes and Luck sign again too, which are both going to be for Mega Money.

  8. SamL says:

    Do you think a team would be willing to do that? I for sure wouldn’t but some teams are desperate enough for a quarterback that they’d consider it. If Wilson is set on making history it probably won’t be in Seattle unfortunately.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I think some teams, especially those in big markets who haven’t won in a long time, would be very willing to pay Wilson a percentage contract to gain a superstar that will help them win and make money.

  9. Matt Miller:”Had a long convo with a DL coach today. Think the NFL likes Dexter Lawrence more than me and Brian Burns a lot less than I do.”

    Rob is smiling.

  10. AndrewP says:

    3/120 extension. Combine it with the 22 he’s owed in ’19. Spread evenly over the four years (19-22), 35.5 per. Tricky part is the guarantees, which I’ll leave to the experts.

    Now, back to Clark by July 15, and deciding if Reed is worth what he’ll want next offseason…

    • ZB says:

      After watching Reed some more I’m not sure if he is a legit 15 mil a year player. More like 10.

    • Sea Mode says:

      I like it. (not sure if Wilson will, of course)

      For guarantees, I’d say $100m, beating out Rodgers for both highest APY and highest guaranteed. Just have to beat this, as spelled out by Gregg Bell:

      Aaron Rodgers got his four-year, $134 million deal with the Packers last summer, but it’s the guarantees that matter most to players past their 30th birthdays in this non-guaranteed sport. Of Rodgers’ NFL-leading $98.2 million guaranteed, $57.5 million came in a signing bonus he got to cash immediately. A total of $78.7 million was fully guaranteed at signing, according to CBS Sports’ Joel Corry, a former agent. The rest are roster bonuses, incentives and future guarantees against injury.

      • AndrewP says:

        Guarantee the whole damn thing, save for him getting convicted of a felony. I mean, let’s be honest, your franchise QB goes down and you’re screwed anyway, so… what 15-20% of your cap room to boot!?

        • From what I see Matty Ice had more guaranteed the Rodgers.

          Matt Ryan:
          Fully guaranteed at signing $94.5 million
          Total Guarantees $100 million

          Aaron Rodgers:
          Fully Guaranteed at signing $79.2 million
          Total Guarantees $98.7 million

          • AndrewP says:

            Well… if those #s are true, then $120 would strike me as an agreeable progression for both parties.

  11. cha says:

    Those 3 guys’ facial expressions in that Rapsheet thumbnail are cracking me up. Larry, Curley and Moe.

  12. Sea Mode says:

    Per Gregg Bell:

    On Tuesday, when the Seattle Times reported Wilson had given the team the deadline, a league source with knowledge of the talks between the quarterback’s side and the team told The News Tribune they were not progressing or even as recent as has been portrayed.

    The source’s actual response when asked about the talks between the Seahawks and Wilson: “Talks?”

    https://www.thenewstribune.com/sports/nfl/seattle-seahawks/article228789769.html

  13. RPR says:

    If the Hawks wait until next year and are forced to franchise tag him, someone will definitely come along and give-up to 1s and then we will have top match their contract offer. 2 1s is way cheaper than what I think he is worth (3 1s and a handful of 2s). Isn’t the franchise tag obsolete for someone that anyone would trade 2 first round picks for? Teams that have the cap space and willing to poison pill the hawks out of matching?

  14. Uncle Bob says:

    What does Jody Allen think? She probably has plenty on her plate with the broad range of interests left to her care. For the most part she has to trust the managers in place to do their job with her expecting “executive summaries” to assist her decision making regarding the “final” approval or not. If the reporting is accurate this has been some level of concern or project for at least a couple months. They’ve been formulating “what if….” scenarios with various timeline/horizons. Wilson and his career management team pulled a very selfish move in dropping this pressure bomb at this time. While not a disaster, it could be a form of betrayal depending on the terms of discussion so far, at the least it’s a hardball maneuver at a busy/complicated point in the timing of the season. Wilson doesn’t have much to lose because the natural PR advantage flows his way as the majority of fans will embrace the “pay the man” silliness since they have no skin in the game of keeping the franchise whole over time. They know some team will be willing to be the spendthrift. The team on the other hand isn’t completely out of options/alternatives, but how big an impact does the athlete inflated ego play work from their point of view. It didn’t work for Sherm, probably Bennett, and to a degree ETIII. Many will say, “Well yeah, but it’s different with the franchise qb.” Yeah, to a degree I’d agree, but would rephrase that to ‘No, it’s just more difficult to manage.” Winners find a way to win. Is the organization managed by winners who won’t cave to the fear of change if it actually becomes necessary? We don’t know what kind of cordiality has been going on the past couple months and if this leak yesterday is considered a breech of trust/good faith. Will the team management brush it off as” That’s just negotiating.”? Or will they take the position “We found you when we needed to, we’ll do it again.”. While most fans can’t seem to bring themselves to that realization it still exists. Winners believe, “The difficult we do immediately, the impossible just takes a little longer.”. What do we have now relative to that?

    • Sea Mode says:

      I don’t think Jody Allen plays any real part in this.

      And by your final argument, then why would any team ever pay to retain any of their top talent? So say RW is traded and the best possible outcome happens: we strike gold again and draft a successful QB this draft. Then what, just don’t pay him after his rookie deal is up and try it all again?

  15. Trevor says:

    I don’t understand what the hang up is and why the April 15th is a big deal? Both sides have been likely been working on thier bargaining position for months. I am sure the Hawks front office has already determined what the best offer will be and Russ has determined the least he will accept.

    Make your best offer before the 15th as your best and final offer. If he accepts great and you move forward. If he doesn’t then that is fine too you start planning for life without him. Either way is better than spending the next 2-3 years dealing with the constant Russ Wilson contract talk and franchise tag instead of the team.

    Teams don’t win when the supposed leader contract is focus #1 not winning games.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I don’t think the Seahawks have been working on their best deal. I think they’re well aware of the kind of things Wilson is wanting and they equally know they won’t be able to offer what he wants. And they were planning to try and bide their time and create a negotiating window that would put pressure on both sides to compromise. All this deadline does is increase the chances of Wilson not signing a new deal unless he’s willing to compromise. So we’ll see if he is. Otherwise there are no talks for the rest of the year and he’s tagged in 12 months and then we see what happens.

    • DCD2 says:

      I’m not sure that they can have a definitive ‘best’ offer. I’m sure that both sides have their idea of what is a fair deal that they would accept, but there are too many variables to just lay out a contract and say ‘take it or leave it’.

      What if Seattle says $35M per is our best and Russ says $35.5M is the least I could do. Are they really going to blow it all up over $500k?

      Maybe the guarantee is $80M on the Hawks side and $90M on RW’s. Maybe it’s 4 years VS 3 years.

      In any high level negotiation, you want the other guy to show his cards first. You don’t want to low-ball and kill the conversation before it starts, and you don’t want to offer too much because you know a counter is coming.

      Hopefully there is a set of numbers that both sides can feel good about and they can find it. Frankly I don’t think that ‘take it or leave it’ offers or self-imposed deadlines are sound negotiation tactics unless you truly do not care about the outcome. I think both sides do care and both feel (rightfully so) that they would be giving up leverage to put out their best offer first. No matter what it is there’s always wiggle room and by going first you simply set the high or low water mark for the negotiation.

      • Sea Mode says:

        Hmmm, I don’t know about that. From what I’ve heard about negotiation tactics (in general), it’s always better to be the first one to speak and to overshoot the ask/offer. Be the first to set the frame for talks.

        So Russ will come in asking for $40m/apy, fully guaranteed, fixed % of the rising cap, etc. And the Seahawks will come in low ball with something like: “we have doubts about even making you the highest paid QB, going over $30m/apy, etc.” That way, getting down to around $35m feels like a win for the Seahawks side, and getting up to that seems like a win for Wilson’s side.

        I don’t think that constitutes “killing the conversation”, it’s just normal initial posturing in any negotiation.

        In that sense, what you say is absolutely right about not wanting to show your cards too soon (i.e. what you would actually take). You just want to let it play out and let the real deadline spark action, a compromise, because both sides fear consequences if nothing gets done.

  16. Rob Staton says:

    Schefter, Mort and Jim Nagy talking about trades BEFORE the draft https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mO5Kb_KY0VQ

    • Sea Mode says:

      So they think that if a deal doesn’t get done by April 15, that will open a 10-day window before the draft for teams to make trade offers.

      I’m just comforted by Nagy implying that, if it does come to a trade, basically JS would laugh in the face of anyone who comes along with just two R1 picks…

      • Rob Staton says:

        There’s a heap of speculation and almost giddy excitement on the topic (which may be because usually this is an incredibly boring time of year where the national media are forced to spend countless minutes discussing QB’s in the draft).

        I still think there’s a 0.00001% of a trade before the draft.

        • Sea Mode says:

          Agree 100% on the media thing. They will hype up any story or non-story they can get their hands on at this point of the off-season.

          Honestly, I don’t see why it would be any different trading Wilson before or after the draft, this year or next year. Either make us an offer we can’t refuse, or buzz off and we play out the negotiation process with Wilson. If that incredible offer were to come in the next 3 weeks, I don’t see why they wouldn’t consider it now, especially since it might set them up to draft a replacement.

          Some say, why wouldn’t teams just wait 3 years and sign him in FA? I think they underestimate how desperate some teams/front offices are. 3 years is an eternity in NFL time. Some GM/HC have no guarantee they will even be with their team in 1 year, let alone 3. And even if they are still there and RW does hit FA, then they have to compete with other teams to sign him.

          • Hawksince77 says:

            First of all, they interpreted the 4/15 deadline the same way I did: a finite time to get the best offer Seattle is willing to give, and ten days after that to negotiate a trade.

            As for this:

            “Honestly, I don’t see why it would be any different trading Wilson before or after the draft, this year or next year.”

            Several of major differences:

            1 – RW is worth the most right now because he is under contract for one year, he is a known, healthy player at the top of his game. Next year, who knows? Consider the injuries to Sherman and Thomas, for example, rendering them valueless to the team

            2 – Getting the major infusion of draft capital right now in time for a great defensive draft means you get to stock up now for the team

            3 – waiting until next means relying on the franchise tag, the only one available to the team, putting the retention of Reed and/or Wagner at risk (from today’s perspective)

            4 – there is an opportunity for PC and JS to redeem their legacy (got lucky with RW in the third, Sherman/Kam late round picks, Lynch for nothing, and the final offensive play in the last SB). Trading RW now, using the acquired draft capital wisely, they can build another championship team for 2020 and 2021.

            5 – if they don’t trade him now, and anticipate his leaving within the next couple of years, they use a top pick this year for a QB who offers nothing for the team in the meanwhile. They probably have to do it, but it costs them more draft capital and they can’t afford it.

            6 – if they trade him now, it’s possible that the cap savings contribute to retaining Clark, Wagner and Reed (although I would argue that if any of them are asking for too much, pricing themselves off the team, they need to be traded as well).

            7 – finally, if they trade him now for a boatload of high picks, this coming draft will be far more interesting. 🙂

            • mishima says:

              Agree / Well said.

            • DCD2 says:

              All good points. My biggest question is who has the need, cap space and draft capital to even field an offer?

            • With all due respect to Rob, I think the chances of a trade before the draft is more likely than 5% assuming they can’t reach a deal by April 15th.

              My number one reason for believing that is the injury factor which almost everyone here acts like is non-existent. There is a very real chance RW would get injured in the next year or three and if he has a guaranteed contract based upon a % of the cap we can kiss the next 2-4 years goodbye.

              As we have seen with lots of players, one injury can end a player’s career. In spite of RW’s ironman status SO FAR, he is still human and a neck injury or head injury or serious knee injury could wipe out years of being competitive in the NFL.

              My second reason for believing a trade might happen is Herchel Walker (?) trade which was a blockbuster trade that SHOCKED the entire league and handed over an enormous number of players and draft picks to get Walker.

              Trading Wilson would be betting on the Seahawks organizations ability to draft well, and betting against the risk of Wilson getting injured. As a rule, everyone eventually gets seriously injured and after age 30 those injuries spell a reduced effectiveness by the injured player. Exceptions abound, I admit, but do the Seahawks want to bet the franchise that Wilson remains injury free for the next 4 or 5 years?

              I’d offer Wilson a HUGE CONTRACT NOW. 40 or even 42 million/year for the next 5 years and most of it guaranteed, but without the guaranteed % of the cap. Failing to get the contract signed by April 15th I’d be looking for a HUGE TRADE with players and draft capital that sets a new record.

              • Rob Staton says:

                1. There’s zero injury concern. Even if he tears an ACL, teams will crawl over broken glass to get him next year.

                2. I was being generous when I said 0.00001% chance of a trade before the draft. I think in reality it’s 0%. There is no way the Seahawks will be trading him before this draft. No chance. If I’m wrong you can give me a hard time. Because I won’t be wrong.

          • Robert says:

            A team would trade rather than wait even one year for free agency for the same reason the ‘Hawks will draft a player in the seventh round instead of signing him as a UDFA – you don’t want someone else to get him. Free agency is a crap shoot, and if you really want Wilson, you’ll trade for him if the opportunity is there.

    • Trevor says:

      Interesting. Thanks for the link.

  17. Just saw your comment that Joel Corry thinks the sticking point could be a second year guarantee? I really cant see that being a sticking point. I know he knows more than me but if he potentially signs a 4 year $140 million deal the guaranteed at signing portion is going to be around $100 million which will for sure cover year two.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Agreed. Not sure where Joel Corry is coming from there. But as noted in another comment — he also mentioned they’d be able to make a free agent splash a few weeks ago. And now we can all accept that was never on the cards.

  18. Adog says:

    Draft a QB…maybe Grier…or Jones if he drops…let Russ play out this year. If I was negotiating…I’d be happy to go down this path. Let Russ provide more evidence that he deserves a ridiculous contract. I don’t think that Pete Carrol needs a mega franchise qb in his system. If he wins the super bowl this year…then maybe give him that crazy contract…but maybe not(hello Eli Manning). I don’t think Wilson has any intentions to sign this year…so let’s build leverage. Maybe we spend a early pick this year on a QB… but we can certainly regain it next year when Russell leaves.

    • Hawksince77 says:

      “Let Russ provide more evidence that he deserves a ridiculous contract.”

      He doesn’t have to prove anything. “Deserve” has nothing to do with it. Did Cousins “deserve” the contract with the Vikings? Ask a Vikings fan. Or Flacco, or Smith, or Carr, or Garapolo?

      The market greatly favors RW right now, and will likely in the coming years. If he was a FA right now, he would get huge offers, totally ridiculous, and he is probably better off hitting the open market in another year or two. Regardless, he is set to cash in, no doubt about it.

  19. John O says:

    Jake Heaps is reporting that all it will take is fair market value. Which given escalating contracts means about 35~ and maybe 105 guaranteed. If the Seahawks are not willing to give him this than they should trade him because he will never sign- -and I would not blame him.

    • Rob Staton says:

      We’re hearing all sorts at the moment though. In fairness, yesterday Jake was reporting ‘talks progressing’. Then shortly after Bob Condotta reported an April 15th deadline had been set. Then Gregg Bell reported the ‘talks’ were virtually non-existent and overhyped. Then Schefter reported the deadline had been known by Seattle since January. Then Mike Florio referenced a text exchange, presumably with Wilson’s agent, and brought up the possibility of a percentage contract that makes sure he always earns at a level of the very highest paid QB’s.

      So we’re hearing absolutely everything at the moment. I have a hard time believing that the issue here is the Seahawks not being willing to offer a fair market value deal for a top QB. Because if they were never going to pay him a fair deal they would’ve dealt him already.

      • Hawksince77 says:

        Interesting:

        “Because if they were never going to pay him a fair deal they would’ve dealt him already.”

        What if they are willing to offer a “fair” deal, but RW would never accept it? Does that change the dynamic? And if that’s the case, when does Seattle realize the futility of future talks?

        Rob, this thinking is your fault, and goes back to one of the first pieces you wrote, one that convincingly argued why RW would be more than willing to play on the tag. I think you are still right. This is a unique situation for Seattle, and RW. During their last negotiation, RW wasn’t considered the superstar (outside the NW) that he is now. He stands at the precipice of making unbelievable money, and all he has to do is remain patient.

        RW wants a maximum contract; Seattle wants to remain fiscally responsible and maintain a team perspective. I just don’t see how this gets favorably resolved for the fans who want to see RW a Seahawk long-term.

      • Shadow says:

        Just more evidence that any reports from anonymous sources should be taken with a grain of salt. We don’t know their agendas and we don’t know how much they truly know about the situation.

        Not saying that any reports from sources should be automatically dismissed, but they should never be taken as gospel either.

    • GerryG says:

      I’m sorry but Jake Heaps strikes me as an idiot that is lucky to have a job.

      • GerryG says:

        Let me expand on this, I don’t want this place to become another “that guy sucks” internet cesspool.

        He’s probably a really nice kid, but I don’t think he’s good at his job, he’s bad on the radio and not good on his Heaps Film Room segments. He knows football fine, but he’s not gifted at broadcasting. He strikes me as a kid that got a job there because of high school fame locally.

        We live in the hot take inside scoop world now, and regardless of slight connection to the Seahawks and Wilson I’m skeptical he’s a true insider.

  20. mishima says:

    If the Seahawks can’t extend Wilson, do they have to trade Clark? Reason for Rashan Gary visit.

    Why would Clark sign a new contract when he’ll be a free agent next year?

    (Not worried about Reed or Wagner. Reed will be extended, soon; Wagner will test free agency, but Seahawks will respect/match/keep.)

    • Rob Staton says:

      No.

      They can extend Clark and put Wilson on the tag.

    • DCD2 says:

      Why wouldn’t Frank sign a new contract if it’s a value that he’s okay with?

      Just to see how much more he can squeeze out of a team? What if the highest bidder is Buffalo and you end up on a poor team, in a state that has income tax and need to uproot your entire life to go to a cold tiny market?

      If the Hawks offer him a fair deal, it’s hard to see him turning it down in favor of all of these unknowns. If we’re offering him less than Trey Flowers than he’ll most likely walk. If it’s closer to $20M, I think he’d prefer to stay, in my opinion.

      • mishima says:

        He wouldn’t…if he’s ‘OK’ with it.

        However, if they must tag Wilson, then Clark might choose to bet on himself, play out his tag, test free agency for higher average salary, guarantees, bonus, team/location. As a free agent, he can just say no to ‘cold tiny markets’ if he so chooses. He could even sign with the Seahawks as a free agent.

        All I’m saying is that it’s possible that Wilson’s decision will affect Clark’s negotiations.

  21. Trevor says:

    A)Odds that Russ is a Seahawk in 2019?

    B)Odds that Russ is a Seahawk 2020 and beyond?

    A)95% B)50%

    Curious what others think.

    • SamL says:

      A) 90%
      B) 40%

    • Hawkin says:

      A) 60%
      B) 10%

      This is going one way, something we knew already about Mark Rodgers and Wilson’s ambitions.

      Raiders offer Hawks all of their 1s this year and 2nd next year plus CARR. Would you take it?

      • Rob Staton says:

        It won’t happen. The Raiders don’t have the cash.

        And the Seahawks aren’t rolling with expensive Derek Carr.

      • Hawksince77 says:

        Rob’s right – taking on Carr would defeat the purpose. More likely is Oakland trades Carr to NY, freeing up the cap space and gathering even more draft capital to throw at Seattle.

        Except that RW may not want to play for the Raiders, and balk at committing to a long-term contract. But if the money is there, who knows.

    • Hawksince77 says:

      Good question.

      1 – 98%. I don’t think the team has the balls, or the vision to make a trade. And/or, a trading partner willing to give them enough compensation

      2 – 10% (2020), 1% beyond. No way that RW agrees to what Seattle is willing to offer long-term.

    • GerryG says:

      80%
      40%

    • Eli says:

      100%
      100%

  22. SamL says:

    If the Seahawks knew of this deadline in January and Russell is asking for a percentage of the cap for his new deal that the Seahawks are unwilling to do, it makes the vist with Rashan Garry and interview with Josh Allen a lot more interesting. I’m not saying a trade is likely but it definitely is possible and the Seahawks seem to think so as well and are doing their homework. With that said I’d take a extended Russell over 3 1st round picks any day of the week.

    • Sea Mode says:

      *an extended Russell on a reasonable deal

    • Rob Staton says:

      As I stated in the article the other day — I don’t think the Rashan Gary visit has anything to do with a trade. They have to work the draft class for the long haul not just this one event in April 2019.

      I’m 99.999999% sure they were not planning for a Wilson trade.

      • DCD2 says:

        So you’re telling me there’s a chance?

      • Dingbatman says:

        My question then is this. Is the Seahawks having pre draft interviews with players who in all likelihood will not be available when they pick a “normal” practice for them? Have they done it in the past? On this site there tends to be a general consensus (rightfully so) that precedent is an important indicator of What actions the Seahawks might take. I’m not very adept at finding this kind of information but I looked at 3 different years and didn’t see anything like this. You may be spot on Rob, but at very least it does seem unusual.

        • Rob Staton says:

          The thing is though — we’ve never had a full list of the guys they meet with. And the people who put this info out there are usually agents trying to promote their guy. It’s not going to be a good look for a top-10 prospect to reportedly meet with a team set to pick much later. In Gary’s instance he mentioned he had the workout.

  23. Sea Mode says:

    It’s April 15th at 11pm PST.

    Wilson and his baseball agent insist they want to reset the QB market/style of contract and will sign a 3yr extension for a fixed 18% of the cap each year that adjusts with inflation.

    In 2019, at $188.2m cap, he stays on his current deal of $25.28m (13.43% of cap)
    In 2020, at a projected $200m cap (per OTC), it would be $36m. (18% of cap)
    Beyond that, it’s anybody’s guess with the new CBA, but if it continued to rise at about $10m/year:
    2021, at $210m cap, $37.8m.
    2022, at $220m cap, $39.6m.

    So that would be a total of 4yrs/$138.68m, which would be $34.67/apy. Say with $100m guaranteed just to get that top # as well.

    The Giants sense an opportunity with the deadline approaching and call and offer:
    2019: R1P6, R1P17, R2P37, R4P108, R5P142
    2020: R1, R3

    Your call, GM.

    • I love Wilson, but for that kind of ransom, he would be gone if he did not accept a fair market value extension. If the idea is to keep Wilson in Seattle, then you give him your best offer going forward, if he rejects it, then you have to do what you got to do. For me that would be go to the media and tell them that we offered to make Wilson the highest paid player in the NFL and he refused and had outrageous demands, so we had no choice but to deal him.

      Wilson can go play in New York, Ciara can be happy, and we can move forward in rebuild mode. I would also add that if this is the way it goes down, then I would do the same with Clark. Offer him my best deal, and if he refuses I would ship him out as well. Gather as many defensive players as you can get in this draft and rebuild a historically great defense. Call the Saints and trade for Bridgewater and roll with that group until we find another Franchise QB.

      Then repeat that as a business model going forward. Best deal if they do not take they get traded. Can’t do it any other way in my opinion. Wilson may be the best, but if he wont sign a deal that makes him highest paid player in NFL then he will become a cancer in the locker room, when others find out.

    • SamL says:

      It’s a really tuff call and there’s no right answer. If I were to take the trade I’d do everything in my power to trade up to #1 and take kyler Murray. The problem is I doubt the Cardinals would be inclined to let us get another franchise quarterback after losing Wilson.

      If that were the case I’d draft Rashan Garry, Will Grier, trade down and get Mclaurin. In this scenario you hope Grier is the answer. If he isn’t you lost.

      If you extend Wilson and can’t win a super bowl because the money has to come from someone where you lost. It’s hard to say which one will give you a better chance of success.

      • While there is no doubt Wilson is a top QB in this league. He was not as a second year player when the Seahawks won the Superbowl, in fact he wasn’t even a Superbowl MVP. They gave that to a defensive player that had a good game but not a game changing take over kind of game. So I put my trust in JS/PC to rebuild a defense and win with a lesser quality QB and historically great defense then I do in them winning a Superbowl with a QB that wants too much money.

        If her is willing to take 35-36 million a year resign him, and try to draft better pieces on defense. If he is unwilling to take that kind of money then I think don’t let the drama drag out. Trade him and be done with it. Identify your core going forward and rebuild around them. I really think its that simple and we make this harder than it needs to be.

        • I also think Murray will be a bust in the NFL. He is a very good prospect in college, but I have serious concerns about his game translating to the NFL. I could be dead wrong about that and will certainly be in the minority as well.

          • GerryG says:

            I have zero concerns about his game or talents. It’s his interviews, persona, skippimg some of the testing etc that give me serious pause as to his ability to succeed at the next level.

            • Kenny Sloth says:

              Baker Mayfield was tackled by the cops and went 1 overall.

              It’s a good thing that players with all kinds of different attitudes succeed in the NFL.

              It literally only takes talent. You can be the worst dude and you’ll play.

              Jameis Winston is basically a monster and the NFL lets him play.

              Skipping interviews MIGHT get him fined one day, but other than that your concerns are almost completely assuagable

  24. charlietheunicorn says:

    *NFL OFFSEASON*

    An NFL PR executive is wondering what would spice up the offseason and keep the NFL in the forefront of the news cycle…… Let’s cook up a story about RW / SALARY CAP / TRADES and behind the scenes intrigue to really stir the pot. This will build even more interest in the upcoming draft and kick the majority of the storylines from NHL, NBZ and MLB to the curb….. which has been happening at an increasing rate… with the AB trade, OBJ trade and all the FA moves the last few weeks…. The NFL is still the king.

    Note: The NFL is a PR animal only rivalled by Disney in how to build and maintain a brand in the modern world.

  25. GerryG says:

    I’m not buying the let’s just create a story in the off-season narrative.

    Russ wants to be the top guy, and he wants to stay on top. Image is everything to him. Rob predicted these sorts of demands months ago.

    If he really wants an escalating contract he’s done. This is just like Rob’s point about “just pay the man 40 million”. Every top player is going to demand the same.

    I get wanting to get a massive paycheck, and secure your future, but if he’s really demanding a contract that will literally continue to limit his teammates ability to get theirs each season, that is just extremely selfish and shallow to me.

  26. GauxGaux says:

    I think it’s worth remembering that RW is paying a team of people (including his agent) millions to negotiate, communicate, and execute these contracts on his behalf. His “entourage” then needs go prove their worth… same goes for the FO, who need maximize their annual budget (cap).

    Unfortunately, as Rob keeps reminding us, these negotiations will drag the fans (and some enjoy the drama) through the mud and the media channels until we end up vomiting blue and green all over our pancakes.

    As important as this decision is to the organization and fans, I wish it took place behind closed doors. Trade, tag, or deal… go Hawks!

    Just my thoughts… as I would much rather hear about all these young draftees, as we bid on their pontential spot on our roster in the comforts of SDB (provided by RS).

    Cheeers.

    • Frank says:

      More and more this is all making me want to get back to a Qb on a rookie deal. The video showing 9 of top ten paid Qb this not making the playoffs is pretty disheartening when you look at the state of the Franchise if Wilson gets his way, thru 2-3 years of a tag, or a short term deal to try to get a new contract ASAP after a new CBA. Seems like the only way to give him a record setting contract and not submarine the team would be to have a 5-6 year deal that’s kills you for a couple years but then becomes manageable towards the middle of the contract and borderline team friendly at the end. He seems to want out of Seattle pretty badly with the looking at having a transformation new type of contract tied to the salary cap percentage. If in the highly unlikely change Kyler Murray somehow slid to the Giants pick, would either team consider a Trade especially Wilson for Murray? Personally I’d send our first pick to the Cardinals with Wilson for Murray straight up if there was an option?. Pure rosterbaition, but should get back to the formula that won us a super bowl. The Raiders also would have the capital to be a possible trade partner if somehow the unthinkable happens and The Cards pass and build around Rosen instead, who might be a good not great player on a horrible team.

    • charlietheunicorn says:

      It is important to keep being a fan of the game and players separated from the business of the NFL.
      If you deep dive into the business side of football, it is not always pretty. People love the NFL sausage, if you will, but hate the way it gets made.

  27. millhouse-serbia says:

    Jim Nagy comment made me think that trade is possible if no deal before april 15th.

    JS and PC know for this deadline since January. And they are not unprepared for every scenario. Even for trade before this draft. Yes it is unlikely but not totally impossible.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I think it’s pretty impossible. Sounded like a bunch of guys getting a bit too excited. The Seahawks are going to exhaust every opportunity to keep RW. Not let him go at the first sign of drama.

      • millhouse-serbia says:

        I would think the same way if Nagy wasn’t with JS and seahawks for so long.

        I was really surprise when heard his opinion on this situation.

        • Rob Staton says:

          Well he wasn’t with them that long. And he’s moved on now to a media career. And if I was him I wouldn’t be pouring cold water on big stories. As has been said many times — they will exhaust every opportunity to keep Wilson. Not trade him at the first real sign of drama.

  28. charlietheunicorn says:

    Start. Stephen A Smith is not worth 10M / year. End.

  29. millhouse-serbia says:

    Trades for Sheldon and Duane were in win now mode. Not trading Sherm and Earl year earlier were win now moves.

    If Russ and his camp made a decision that they will shut down negotiation after april 15th, for me that is enough to consider long term deal is impossible.

    And not trading RW (with acknowledge that long term contract is impossible) is win now move with two year window open.

    And I don’t wont any more win now moves from JS.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Keeping Wilson is not being short termist and ‘win now’. It’s going through the process and not overreacting to the first hurdle you come across.

    • Trevor says:

      I agree with you 100% I think if they cannot get a deal done with Russ this off season then he should be absolutely traded before the draft. I want to stress I think there is almost zero chance that it will happen I would put the odds at less than 5%.

      If they put him on the market prior to the draft they would be trading him from a postion of strength with a year left on his deal at a time when there are the most teams in need of a QB. The return will be far greater than it would next off season once they are forced to tag him and the have zero negotiating leverage.

      The other thing to consider is that the Hawks stand to have 11 picks in next years draft. If they are going to have a transition year after trading Russ it would be the time to do it.

      Finally once thing that I don’t think gets talked about enough is whether or not Russ truly wants to be a Seahawk for life. I really don’t think he does. YOu never see this contract drama with other franchise QBs. Russ see’s the NFL going to a pass / QB focus with guys putting up monster #s and gettting all the headlines. While in Seattle Pete is going the other direction running the all more and passing it less. Russ is clearly about his brand and image. I cannot remember an Athlete who has ever seemed to always need to be in the spotlight and share every detail of his personal life even the way Russ does. Beastmode and the Legion of Boom get all the credit for the SB win and he gets all the blame for the SB loss. Perhaps he would like to go to a big market team with a pass heavy offensive scheme to try and add to his legacy and brand there. In fact I think this is likely the case and if the Hawks want him to stay then they will have to overpay as he will ask for the world and then some.

      I am a huge Wilson fan it I truly believe if the Hawks want to win another SB in the next 5 years that signing him to a deal that is even with and does not exceed Rodgers APY or trading Wilson now before the draft is the best course of action. Unfortunately I think this is about as likely to happen as me winning the lottery this weekend and we will have a year of this crap to deal with while the Hawks battle thier way to another 9-10 win season and early playoff exit.

      • Rob Staton says:

        But you’re not even going to be able to say ‘we can’t get a deal done’ in April. That’s just giving up. That’s not playing out the process. They’re never going to do that.

        • millhouse-serbia says:

          But Rob, if Russ’s team isn’t bluffing, and they are serious when say no negotiation after april 15th, isn’t it the end of possibility to get long term deal done?

          • Rob Staton says:

            No not at all.

            For starters they might change their mind down the line. Or they might be more open to talks in 12 months. We just don’t know.

            You don’t give up now at the first sign of trouble. And they won’t. That would be ridiculous.

            • Trevor says:

              if you think that the March 15th deadline is just a negotiation ploy then I agree Rob but if that is the case and they are going to continue to be open to negotiation why even bother throwing that threat out there. Something like that only works if you are willing to follow through with the threat. I personally have no doubt that Russ is willing to follow through and bet on himself forcing the Hawks to use the tag or give him what he wants. He is financially set already. I don’t see where the Hawks have any leverage or will have any leverage.

            • GerryG says:

              I agree with your sentiment on the first sign of trouble, but I don’t think this is the first sign of trouble.

              The first sign of trouble was in 2014 when what was thought to be a simple extension, as you mentioned, wound up being pretty tough.

              Now, I am not arguing that this threat is insurmountable and it is time to look for a trade, just that this is not the first sign of trouble.

  30. schuemansky says:

    I wonder if a cap-bound contract is all that bad for the franchise if they are really committed to RW.
    Instead of paying let’s say 35 mil APY for 4 years, which would be by the richest contract up to date you give him 17,5% of the cap starting at 33,2 mil and arriving (with the cap going up to 220 mil in 4 years) at 38,5 mil.
    Obviously RW cannot be granted 19, 20%. If he should ask for that just try to trade him.

    • GerryG says:

      It’s the precedent that it sets being bad. What’s to stop other players? As out of control salaries are getting, it removes the value toward the end of the deal, handcuffing a team trying to “win forever”.

      • Trevor says:

        +1 the philosophy should be win forever with the goal of being an SB contender. Not to have a franchise QB and always be competitive.

        I would like to poll the blog members.

        Which of these two scenarios would you prefer for the next 5 years.

        A) 2 Season of 4-6 wins missin the playoffs where you win the division with 11 + wins and are a legit SB contender with deep playoff runs.

        Or

        B) 5 seasons of 8-10 wins barely making the playoffs and loosing in the wildcard or divional semi.

        Would love to hear peoples thoughts.

        • schuemansky says:

          This is another question though and asks if you want to pay your top QB one way or the other.
          For me it is definitely B, but I think I am in the minority here.

      • schuemansky says:

        You are right. It removes the value towards the end of the deal, so it has to create value at the beginning.
        Let’s look at Frank Clark. If he would get 9 % of the cap, he starts out at 17,1 mil and in 4 years gets 19,8 mil.
        If you’re ok with paying him 18 APY this is quite close. At the end it does not change the overall numbers. You just have to adjust managing your roster in a different way.

  31. Trevor says:

    Sorry this was supposed to be a seperate post.

    I would like to poll the blog members.

    Which of these two scenarios would you prefer for the next 5 years.

    A) 2 Season of 4-6 wins missin the playoffs where you win the division with 11 + wins and are a legit SB contender with deep playoff runs.

    Or

    B) 5 seasons of 8-10 wins barely making the playoffs and loosing in the wildcard or divional semi.

    Would love to hear peoples thoughts.

    • Aaron says:

      I guess it really comes down to the debate of whether or not a team can make a deep playoff run or win a championship with a QB taking up 10+% of the cap. Teams can do it, as in anything is possible. However, the teams that typically win championships have either a young cheap QB, a journeyman vet with lots of support, or a vet that’s taken a pay cut. As of today I’d say Option A but it’s basically 50.1% Option A and 49.9% Option B. I’m really torn on that one.

      • Shadow says:

        Teams that typically win championships have elite quarterbacks, or else quarterbacks who are playing at an elite level. Look at the last several SB winning quarterbacks: Brady, Wilson, Eli Manning, Rodgers, and Roethlisberger were among the league’s best when they won their titles. Nick Foles and Joe Flacco were playing at an elite level when their teams won Super Bowls (and, not coincidentally, their teams regressed to the mean without that level of play from their signal callers.)

        There have only been an handful of times that teams have won Super Bowls without elite QB play: the Manning-led Broncos in SB50, the Buccaneers in SB37, the Ravens in SB35 readily come to ind. All of those teams carried their quarterbacks to championships rather than the other way around, but look at what happened in subsequent seasons: all of those teams dropped off of the radar. Who knows whether the Eagles will get close to another Super Bowl title with Wentz at the helm. Hell, look at the Holmgren-era Seahawks: Matt Hasselbeck got us to a Super Bowl in his best season but never made it past the divisional playoff round after that. You can catch lightning in a bottle and win a Super Bowl without a top-tier QB, but it is rare and the historical evidence suggests that it can’t be sustained.

        To be a consistent, Super Bowl-caliber team you need a franchise quarterback. The Seahawks have one in Wilson. If they have to let him leave, they need to find another one if they want to win more championships. History shows that a journeyman QB just isn’t going to cut it.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I don’t want either. I pick the option that has Seattle contending regularly for the next few years without any need for a significant rebuild.

      • Trevor says:

        Are they really contending though Rob?

        This team has had different expectations each of the last 4 years since Russ signed his first big extension but as Bill Parcels so famously said. “You are what your record says you are.”

        2015- 10-6
        2016- 10-5-1
        2017- 9-7
        2018- 10-6

        They are a consistent 10-6 slightly better than average team.

        The Hawks have basically been in NFL Purgatory for 4 years. Good enough to never have any high draft picks but never even close to being a legit contender.

        • GerryG says:

          This is true Trevor, but there was some bad luck in there too, losing Rawls and JG in 2015 hurt the offense, not to mention losing your starting Guard in that playoff loss at Carolina. Losing Earl in 2016 was season ender.

          I think I would prefer still having a chance like they did in 15, 16, 18. 2017 was never going to happen, that was an all-in season that turned into them realizing they had a 6-8 off suit when they thought they had pocket aces.

        • Rob Staton says:

          Sure they’re contending. They nearly got a playoff bye in 2016. Despite everything —- all the injuries. 2017 was even worse for injuries. Now they’re one year into a re-set. Give them a chance.

          • icb12 says:

            Every team starts as a contender, and they remain a contender right up until they are eliminated from the playoffs.

            It’s sports. The impossible is possible right up until it isn’t.

        • Starhawk29 says:

          True, but there are factors involved other than just Russell Wilson. 2015 also marked the decline of our defense, and run game. If you remember, we were a below average team that year until RW played easily the best football I’ve seen him play. That got us to 10-6, despite the early signs of decline. The next three years marked the death of the LOB and yet we had a winning record every year. There was a whole lot of big contracts those years too.

          But regardless of a declining LOB and numerous injuries, the biggest difference was drafting viable replacements and contributors. That has nothing to do with cap space, and little to do with draft position. We were a 7-9 team smack dab in the middle of the NFL when we picked our guys. Our best players weren’t 1st rounders. The point is, Russ isn’t the only reason we were mediocre, there was a plethora of other factors.

          Personally, I’m with Rob on this one, I really like the path we’re on right now, and think this year we will be legit contenders. Draft develop, sign the few guys who’re special and let everyone else walk. QB is too important.

        • Kenny Sloth says:

          14-2 or I’m gonna throw a big fit and demand pete is fired.

        • Matt says:

          Totally agree with this Trevor. The Seahawks have been in a really bad place over the last few years. A team masquerading as a contender that hamstrung it’s future by blowing capital to “win now,” when they really didn’t have the team to do so.

          I think any given year – you realistically have 4-6 teams that can legitimately win a Super Bowl. This yearning to perpetually be the 10-12th team that barely gets a wild card is just a weird mentality, IMO. I’d rather miss the playoffs for a year or 2 knowing you are building a team that can get a bye in the playoffs rather than clinging to the hope that we can magically win 4 road games in a row to take home the super bowl.

          You take away our QB…and what is this roster? Maybe 20-24th best in the NFL? I think that’s generous.

    • Sea Mode says:

      I don’t think these are the only two options. We weren’t that far off last year, even though it was admittedly a transition year. We still went toe to toe with the “NFL darling” Rams, beat KFC, were a couple back-breaking 3rd and long stops and an injured kicker away from advancing past the wildcard round and getting another shot at the Rams.

      That was with a shallow pass rush rotation, a very young secondary who hasn’t played together that long, and our star slot WR hobbled.

      Keep it together, draft some DL and a WR, continue to develop the young guys, pray for good health, and we can make more runs with our formula.

      Maybe we won’t win the division next year while the Rams are still good, but it could fall apart quickly once they pay Goff and some of their guys age and we could easily have an easier path to a first round bye and/or home-field advantage again.

      So to answer your poll, I would rather be in the mix each year and hope the dominoes fall right once or twice to get to the big game than reset/tank a couple years in the hopes that we might be able to get back to where we are now.

      • Trevor says:

        I agree with everything Seamode except that I really don’t think they were a legit contender last year. I loved watching them play last year and you could see them growing as a team and getting their identity back but at no point did I think they had a shot at the SB. I just don’t see how they take the next step by adding Iupati and Jason Myers + having only 4 picks in the draft.

        Positives

        -I think Myers was a good addition and we have perhaps the best duo of kickers in the league which should help in close games.

        -The OL should improve with continuity and another year under Solari.

        -Young guys like Jacob Martin, Rasheem Green and Tre Flowers should all improve.

        -Dissly and Jones basically had a red shirt year and should contribute

        -If KJ can stay healthy the LB group could be awesome.

        All these things are great but is it really enough to take this team to another level? Perhaps they can add some guys in the draft but after the inevitable trade backs can we really expect them to find guys who will have a big impact year #1?

        • cha says:

          I think there’s a few more arrows pointing up…

          * Griffin year 3 at CB and year 2 of “no Sherman on the other side”
          * Dickson getting his workout routine right and eliminating the occasional “huh?” punt
          * Penny having a full camp getting more reps
          * Poona progressing
          * Ed Dickson being healthy
          * Moore getting consistent
          * Shaquem Year 2
          * TT growing into the starting safety role

          And the biggest might be RW Year 2 with Schott and getting more confident that a real OL is protecting him.

    • Shadow says:

      I disagree that these are the only options, and going into the tank for a couple of years is no guarantee of future success, even with a few years of high draft choices.

    • cha says:

      I personally don’t think A is even an option as long as PC is running things. 7 or 8 wins is the floor as long as PC is the HC.

      • Starhawk29 says:

        Also think our floor with RW is probably 9 wins. 2017 was a pretty mediocre team playing a tough schedule, and we still were a few missed kicks from 12 wins.

    • mr peapants says:

      personally id rather have a chance at the big show then none at all. anything can happen in the playoffs.
      so what if we choose option A and dump russ and the new qb doesn’t work out? its gonna be a lot longer then 2 years of crappy football. personally, ive seen enough of that.

    • Matt says:

      Here’s a simple question: in 2018 and 2019 and the next 4 years – would you rather be the Browns or the Seahawks?

      Guess who didn’t make the playoffs last year but looks primed to be in a Super Bowl in the next few?

      Guess who made the playoffs last year but looks nowhere near a Super Bowl contender?

      You are either building towards a legit contender or you are treading water. My fear is that the Seahawks are a middle class team propped up by a superstar QB and eeking into the playoffs is giving false hope for a team that really can’t contend for a Super Bowl. I don’t trust a team limping into the wild card spot to magically win 4 road games to win a Super Bowl.

      I’d much rather take a step back knowing they are primed to take 3 steps forward. I’m not sure how this applies to the RW talk other than “you either feel confident you get something done long term or you have to get value from your most important asset.” I am perhaps jaded by PC/JS at this point where I don’t have a lot of faith that they will get this resolved.

  32. schuemansky says:

    As I said above, definitely A.
    The only problem I see is that this strategy might not work.
    How many years do the Browns tried this approach? And maybe, just maybe they’ll reach the playoffs this time around.
    I would love to try it though once with our above average FO and their expertise of the early years.

  33. millhouse-serbia says:

    @ Trevor

    I have one problem with option A, and those are Pete’s age.

    I think it will definitely have big influence in seahawks decision. If he is 10 years younger, I think chances of trading Russ would be much higher.

  34. RWIII says:

    $peculation! $peculation! $peculaction! We can speculate all we want. But what it really all boils down to is: What does Russell Wilson want?

    Does he just want fair market value?

    Does he want 100% guarantees?

    Does he want an accelerator clause?

    Does he want to bet on himself and be a free agent in 2022?

    Like everyone else. I am going to speculate. Matt Ryan got some where in the neighborhood of 2/3 of his contract
    guaranteed. Kirk Cousins got 100% of his contract guaranteed. So we know Russell Wilson will receive at least 67% of his contract guaranteed. I think he wants fair value. I also think he wants an accelerator clause. Where the cap goes up. His salary goes up. I think Russell Wilson would like to get a deal done. But I also think he is not afraid of free agency. He is not afraid to bet on himself.

    • mishima says:

      If Wilson wants escalator clauses tied to the cap, it’s a non-starter. Keep him for 3 years (contract, then 2 tags which have escalators), then let him walk.

      If the Seahawks show good faith commitment, Wilson should do the same.

    • Phil says:

      RWIII – let’s add Seahawks perspective to your argument. Does Jodie Allen want to trade RW and alienate the many Seahawks fans who pack the stadium on game days to see the greatest QB in Seahawks history play?

      ——-

      This all seems like a tempest in a teapot to me. All we really know is what history tells us — it is not unusual for RW to set a deadline for when he wants a contract extension done. All that has changed is the date. Instead of a date before training camp, it’s now a date before OTAs and the draft. I can see benefits to both parties if the date is changed to 4/15 — it allows the Seahawks to enter the draft with their QB needs filled, and it allows RW and his teammates to have some certainty about the near-term future at the QB position. Let’s just chill for now.

  35. Sea Mode says:

    From Albert Breer MMQB:

    Maybe a more realistic option would be a short-term, Band-Aid extension. Wilson’s due $17 million this year. It’ll cost the team $30.34 million to franchise him in 2020 (120% of his ’19 cap number), and $36.41 million to tag him in 2021, which adds up to about $83.75 million over the next three years.

    So what if you offer Wilson a two-year, $70 million extension fully guaranteed? That would give him $87 million over the next three years (better than Kirk Cousins). It would free the tag up for the team to use on Wagner or Clark next March. And it would allow the player to go back to the table just as the new CBA is starting up, at 33 years old. I don’t think it’s a crazy idea.

    https://www.si.com/nfl/2019/04/04/russell-wilson-seahawks-contract-negotiation

    • Rob Staton says:

      It also means he concedes club control to the Seahawks for four years instead of two – major stumbling block for this idea.

      • Shadow says:

        Which means that for it to be acceptable to Wilson’s camp, you’d probably have to offer so much fully guaranteed money that the cost of a future franchise tag would likely be prohibitive, so it wouldn’t end up benefitting the team either.

      • Trevor says:

        I am not a fan of the idea but if they wanted to make it work all they would have to do is put in a clause guaranteeing they would not use the franchise tag. Why would they do that however.

    • Simo says:

      I’m not sure what seems reasonable to us on the blog, is viewed the same way by RW. Under this scenario, he would “only” average $29m over the next 3 years, which isn’t top QB money. Now if the Hawks were willing to tear up the current contract for 2019 and offer something like 3 yrs/$100m, it might pique his interest. It also does the other things mentioned in the article; frees up the tag for Hawks to use elsewhere, and allows RW to come back to the table under a new CBA.

  36. John says:

    So why not a deal worth a certain fraction of the cap? Certainly not 25%, but if you could find a number that would keep him in the upper echelon, but not consistently the highest paid as deals oscillate above and below %-wise. Seems like it would keep Russell well paid, and give the team some stability and predictability.

    Lets say for instance, they agree to an open ended contract worth 18% of whatever the salary cap is that year. At the start of each season, the contract for the following season becomes guaranteed for injury (so he always has between one and two years guaranteed. Maybe you could guarantee 3 years up front. We’d be in cap hell for one year when he finished playing, but thats a small price to pay for locking him up for the rest of his career. Not sure if Russ would be incentivized for something like this since he seems to be trying to vacuum up every spare dollar, and it doesn’t account for the QB market growing as a function of the cap. maybe you could set a formula with the top5 paid QBs and their % of the cap similar to a franchise tag?

  37. uh…I am so surprised by what I just hear from Tony Pauline…he said Thornhil is the biggest riser among S, because he can play CB…and he can even be selected at the end of first round…and guess by who…by Seahawks after trade back…

    But it wasnt what was strange to me… I expect that S could be option for 1st pick…but Tony said Seattle.could draft Thornhill to play CB…big shock for.me and a little dissapointment (JS and PC would never do that)…

  38. jj says:

    Rob,

    I think I need you to do a new mock so I can get my mind off of Russell Wilson contract.

  39. Volume12 says:

    My all time favorite Hawk. Happy Bday Bam Bam 🎂🎁

    https://mobile.twitter.com/NFL/status/1113532156070903808

    • Sea Mode says:

      +12

      Saw that yesterday. Watched immediately. And to think that it’s missing some of his best off the ball plays…

  40. Logan Lynch says:

    Kind of refreshing to be on the outside looking in for one of these articles now that the team has a bit less drama…for now at least!

    https://bleacherreport.com/articles/2828649-what-happened-in-green-bay

  41. cha says:

    Brady Henderson reporting Hawks brought Cassius Marsh back on a one year deal.

  42. Kenny Sloth says:

    How you gonna call yourself 12th man when you’re letting your team lose at home. Letting Arrowhead out yell you. You’re calling for Pete, Schottenheimer, even the ST coach to be fired.

    Sayin trade our best player. Sayin JS hasn’t had successful drafts since Scot left. Sayin we’re not serious contenders.

    I think our number 1 target in the draft should be a new 12th man.
    Do your job. Let the other 11 + FO do theirs.

    • Kenny Sloth says:

      I blame every home L on season ticket holders

    • SoCal12 says:

      There should be a Fan Combine where potential fans show off their grit and dedication for prospective fanbases. Test stuff like how fast you can chug a beer keg, how loud you can scream, and how fast you can run 40… inches.

  43. Hawksince77 says:

    “The Seahawks are going to exhaust every opportunity to keep RW. Not let him go at the first sign of drama.”

    “But you’re not even going to be able to say ‘we can’t get a deal done’ in April. That’s just giving up. That’s not playing out the process. They’re never going to do that.”

    “You don’t give up now at the first sign of trouble. And they won’t. That would be ridiculous.”

    This is not about ‘giving up’, or shrinking from “drama”, or running at “the first sign of trouble”. This is about knowing when you are beat.

    Assuming that:

    1 – RW wants to maximize his earnings

    2 – the Seahawks are not going to overpay a QB given their team strategy

    then it’s possible that Seattle already knows they are not retaining RW.

    It’s like poker. Flopping the nut straight (two hearts on the board). You are in a late position and lead out with a modest bet. The turn pairs the board, but not a third heart. Not good, but you may be okay: you bet modestly and get two callers. The river brings a heart. Crap. The first player bets big (say twice the pot). The next player raises. Guess what? Your straight is no good. You have lost the hand. You can fold and save your stack, or call and lose it. It sucks – you flopped the best possible hand, but you know — with not a doubt — that you have lost the hand. If you call (keep pursuing a long-term deal with RW) you lose. Fold (trade RW now) not only do you retain your stack, you double it (at some point the metaphor breaks down).

    We witnessed JS playing a beautiful had during the RW draft. As you may recall, PC wanted to take RW in the second, but JS convinced him he would be available in the third. Who did they take with that second round pick? Bobby Wagner.

    As for time, there is plenty of it, if the players are motivated. April 15 passes without a deal (of that we can be sure) and Seattle has ten days to make a trade.

    Even if that is what Seattle wants to do (or feel forced to do) there are at least two potential issues:

    1 – what does RW really want? Is the New York thing smoke? Would he play for Oakland for the right contract? Or (and this would make me completely wrong) does he really want to stay with Seattle?

    2 – what are other teams willing to offer? We have seen JS walk away from deals he didn’t like, and it’s quite possible he doesn’t get the kind of offer he would take. Also, would the other team be willing to give RW what he wants, long term?

    These considerations could scuttle a trade before it even starts. And of course, if the basic assumptions are wrong, that would put this sideways as well.

    • Hawksince77 says:

      For the record, I think Seattle calls (attempt to retain RW indefinitely). It’s a tough hand to lay down (trust me, I have called that situation too many times that you’d think I’d learn).

      I will be impressed if they pursue a trade of RW, and even more so if they pull it off.

    • SeventiesHawksFan says:

      If the team ‘calls’ in the form offering to make Russell the highest paid QB (~$34 to $36 million APY) . . . and then Russell refuses and sits out OTA’s, how does that appreciably change things if they offer the same prior to Training Camp?

      It actually hurts Russell insofar as he has now let the league know that that won’t get him signed. It lowers what teams will give up for him. Which does lower what can Seattle can get as well. But it’s also at his expense. Why give up a bunch of firsts AND pay $40 million a season? Teams who want him will let him play out the tag. And Seattle will draft his replacement thus season or next.

      Russell will still face the same criticism and questions as if he turned down the same offer just prior to camp. The FO should not be afraid of ‘calling’ with a ~$35 mil APY that becomes publicly disclosed. They’ll look fineon the PR front.

      RW costs them trade position. But also at his own expense in terms of winning the PR fight and lowering what teams will give up to get him. And he’s locked into his salary this year and probably next while his replacement is secured and readied.

      I don’t think it gets that far. Last time around his team came in with high demands and then settled on a fAir deal to both sides.

      This isn’t a scenario where either party has all the leverage. However it is a scenario where the Seahawks FO has less and less leverage with the passage of time.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I’ll just repeat what I said before.

      There’s no way they’ll feel ‘beat’ this early in the process. It’s frickin April and he’s not even on the tag yet. It’s exactly just running away from the first sign of bother. It’s the first stage of negotiations for crying out loud. Imagine if every team gave up on their franchise QB when negotiations got a little tricky.

      There won’t be a trade before the draft.

      • SeventiesHawksFan says:

        Completely agree. Using the metaphorical example above, neither sides are anywhere close to the river. This just forces an offer (raise) onto the table earlier in the process than otherwise may have occurred.

        Russell is taking something of PR and trade risk here of he intends to not accept a deal that makes him currently highest paid player in the league with more than $100 million guaranteed and at least half of guaranteed money paid right now.

        To me this is a good sign that he is prepared to just accept that. And not drag it out and longer.

        And if the Seahawks FO do not offer at least that then the fan base and media will scream loudly; and the FO will have lost the PR battle badly.

        No one other than hard core salary cap geeks will care that Russell takes X percentage of the cap if the FO has offered to make Russell highest paid with proper guarantees. What the fandom will care about is that they lost the best QB in franchise history.

        On the flip side of the scenario of the FO makes him an offer to be highest paid with the guarantees, then Russell loses the PR fight. And takes a huge hit, criticism and intense scrutiny in the process.

        To me all signs still point to a deal getting done.

        • Rob Staton says:

          I think Russell’s camp have made this move to accelerate talks and put the ball in Seattle’s court. I don’t think it’s anything to do with Wilson being willing to accept a certain scenario that is more friendly to the team. It’s all about getting on with things now. He wants them to make a big commitment to him now otherwise he’s ending talks and rolling with the tag. Which is what I’ve been saying for a while.

          So the question is now — is there any way at all both parties can compromise on a deal before April 15th to avoid a saga? In my opinion, there isn’t. And the saga will ensue. And he’s destined for the franchise tag next year and who knows where both parties go from there.

  44. Sea Mode says:

    Now Orchard too

    Bob Condotta
    @bcondotta

    The Seahawks today are also signing defensive end Nate Orchard, who was in for a visit earlier this week.

    A street free agent who will not factor into the comp pick formula.

    12:32 PM – 4 Apr 2019

  45. Sea Mode says:

    Haha, a real scout vs. the media guys… Jim Nagy ranks his top-5 QBs:

    https://youtu.be/yB5cyRy0xtQ?t=177

  46. Volume12 says:

    4.49 is a great time for Stanford WR JJ Arcega-Whiteside.

  47. Josh says:

    Added 2 pass rushers today! The draft plot thickens!

  48. Owyhee Lerf says:

    Rob, do you think the signings of Marsh and Orchard indicate a forthcoming trade of Clark and freeing (potential) cap room for a Wilson signing?

    • Elmer says:

      I can’t speak for Rob, but I doubt if Marsh and Orchard are significant enough to clearly indicate a Clark trade. As Rob has said, I think it’s more likely that the Hawks might consider a Clark trade if they could get a high R1 draft choice and draft a top pass rusher.

      To me, Marsh and Orchard provide depth and flexibility, making it unlikely that everyone currently on the roster at DE/LB can make the team.

  49. Volume12 says:

    After some moving and shaking this is what I think Seattle targets during the draft.

    Day 1 and 2:

    Safety
    O-line
    DE

    Day 3:
    TE
    CB
    WR or DT (maybe both)

    Wildcard: QB

    Priority UDFA:

    LB
    HB
    WR or DT

  50. cha says:

    Bob Condotta

    More
    NFL announced today Shaun Alexander will announce the Seahawks’ second-round pick and Kam Chancellor
    the third-round pick. One problem — Seattle doesn’t have a second-round pick. But maybe they know something we don’t about Seattle’s plans.
    1:32 PM – 4 Apr 2019

    **************
    LOL! We all know you’re trading down, guys. No need to telegraph it though.