Mike Garofolo on Russell Wilson’s future, Seattle’s draft

Mike Garofolo has been talking about the Seahawks a lot this week. His latest piece might be the most revealing…

1. The Seahawks, at least for the time being, are not readily willing to make Russell Wilson the highest paid quarterback and might be hoping to get him to agree to a deal below Aaron Rodgers’ $33.5m a year.

2. Garofolo touts the possibility of Seattle looking at the draft and maybe drafting a quarterback early — preparing for a potential life without Wilson.

3. He also says Wilson and his agent, the notorious Mark Rodgers, asked for ‘huge’ numbers last time the two sides negotiated before finally settling on the deal they accepted before training camp in 2015.

Here are my takeaways…

Garofolo has broken stories about the Seahawks fairly regularly. He was the first to report Kam Chancellor’s season was over in 2018 due to his neck injury and the first to suggest it could be career ending. He reported a full day before Richard Sherman was cut that it would happen. He broke the news that Ken Norton Jr was returning as defensive coordinator. He revealed Tyler Lockett’s contract extension and he had the story about Pete Carroll speaking to Roger Goodell about Mychal Kendricks’ suspension.

There are various other reports too from a Seahawks perspective — including what they were hoping to get in trades for Marshawn Lynch, Richard Sherman and Earl Thomas.

There’s enough evidence to believe that Garofolo has a hotline to someone important within the inner sanctum of the VMAC.

This might be the first proper insight into how Seattle is approaching this negotiation. Rather than just being willing to part with $35m a year and make that an opening gambit of sorts, instead they appear to be trying to put on a squeeze. This doesn’t mean they’re totally against offering $35m (or more) a year but they might be trying to dissuade Wilson and his camp from any thoughts of +$40m a year.

After all, according to Garofolo this worked last time. Wilson wanted ‘huge’ money in 2015. A deal was eventually struck that was significant but it wasn’t the richest contract in the NFL.

If Wilson is seeking a deal to re-set the quarterback market — Seattle’s tactic currently (no talks while subtly dropping out their thought process via the media) could be to manage expectations and provide some sensibility to the eventual discussions.

If this is the case, it should be seen as reassuring news for Seahawks fans. It’s a game plan that makes sense. All the talk so far has been about mega money, +$40m and using the franchise tag (ala Kirk Cousins) to make astronomical numbers. We’ve seen ‘sourced’ rumours about interest in going to the Giants and media appearances set up on Jimmy Fallon to discuss such rumours and the possibility of a big new contract.

Seattle would be right to try and extinguish this by taking a modest starting position in direct contrast to this highly ambitious and aggressive approach. From there they can potentially set a deadline (eg the start of training camp) and put the onus on Wilson. ‘How badly do you want to be here?’ is a question they can ultimately ask.

They can also make him an offer — for example $35m a year — and make it very clear if he rejects it that he’s ‘turned down’ the chance to be the highest paid player in the league. Such a headline could be damaging for Wilson’s image in Seattle. It’s the kind of PR the player won’t want. This kind of approach would only work with a looming deadline though. Play this card now and it’ll be batted away without much of a fuss. Play it the week before camp when you need your franchise quarterback to be committed, all-in, a leader and the guy the fans look up to and it can have a devastating impact.

Wilson would be conscious of the reaction among fans and the players he’s trying to compete with.

Garofolo mentioning the draft is interesting too because it touches on something we’ve been discussing since January. He suggested in the video above they might have to consider spending a high pick on a quarterback, something we’ve been talking about for weeks.

Why is that a distinct possibility?

As I wrote here, they need a ‘Plan B’ for a worst case scenario of a divorce from Wilson. After all, this matter is going to be nowhere near resolved by the draft. They can also use it as some form of leverage in discussions.

It’s easier to turn to Wilson’s camp in August and say — ‘we want you as our quarterback but we’ve drafted this guy now… so here’s our highest offer and it makes you the highest paid player in the league… if you’re not interested, we’ll prepare to move on’.

Again, the onus is on Wilson. That is what they need to do here. Put it on him while being totally reasonable with your approach and offer.

If Wilson refuses to compromise — which I personally think would be unlikely if the Seahawks play their cards right — you’ve at least invested in a Plan B.

Of course that would depend on there being a quarterback available. This isn’t a fantastic QB class in 2019. Yet we identified two players — Kyler Murray and Will Grier — who could be of interest. Murray is certain not to be available. Grier, on the other hand, could easily be a very realistic target for the reasons noted in this January piece and this follow up a few weeks ago.

Some would argue it would be a wasted pick and wouldn’t help the Seahawks take the next step in 2019. That would be the wrong way to look at it.

The worst case scenario would be you re-sign Wilson and end up with a somewhat highly drafted backup quarterback. Even that would come with the carrot of having a trade-chip on your roster and a cheap long-term backup (something they’ve needed for a while).

The best case scenario is you properly insure yourself against a parting that could potentially rock the franchise.

This is why we suggested a high quarterback pick after the Dallas playoff game and it’s why Garofolo is talking about it now. It’s a distinct possibility. Ultimately they may not have a chance to draft Grier. Or they might not rate him enough to warrant the pick. Or things could change with Wilson before the end of April. As we stand here today though, a quarterback pick is an option. It’s just smart team management.

Seattle’s chances of contending in 2019 do not rest solely on the one man they select with their first pick in the draft. Many of their higher picks struggled to make a significant impact as a rookie anyway (Paul Richardson, Frank Clark, Rashaad Penny etc).

It’s a deep draft on the D-line and at receiver, nickel/safety, tight end and cornerback. They’ll be able to find their guys provided they’re able to trade back and accumulate more picks. It’s often been those mid-round or day three types that have come in and had an instant impact in the Carroll era.

We’ll have to wait to see how this situation plays out but this info from Garafolo — while not extensive — offers some insight into the way both parties might be approaching things.

For the first time in a while, it’s encouraging news because we can see a plan that makes sense. Some clarity was required I think. It’s also a refreshing antidote to the recent rhetoric about Wilson being unlikely to agree a new deal and that he’s seeking game-changing money.

Tracking the players visiting the VMAC

It’s been revealed through the media that four players have visited or will be visiting with the Seahawks before the draft:

Parris Campbell (WR, Ohio State)
L.J. Collier (DE, TCU)
Dre Greenlaw (LB, Arkansas)
Darnell Savage (S, Maryland)

We’ll keep updating this list as new names come in.

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  1. cha

    I’ve felt that a key part of the high price of having a franchise QB is the scenario discussed in the post. Drafting a backup QB with a decent pick that may never play significant time for you is still a worthy investment. In fact it may shave enough $ off of RW’s next contract extension and essentially force him back on the field, that it may pay for itself.

  2. Hawksince77

    I don’t know how the segment changes the situation. They basically said RW is irreplaceable, “the most valuable player in the league,” and that Seattle needs to pay him whatever it takes to keep him. Pretty much what teams have always done with elite QBs.

    Do we really think, knowing PC/JS, that they will agree to the mega-deal that RW is likely to demand? As Rob has made clear, RW has no need to sign now. Playing on the tag and reaching FA is the way to the mega-mega deal that he will likely command. Somebody will pay him. Will Seattle? Maybe PC/JS violates their team-building principles we’ve seen in the past. Or perhaps this is a situation that unique, one that leads to a mega deal for RW.

    It’s a tough situation. I wonder how Seattle’s ownership views the issue. That could be decisive either way.

    • Hawksince77

      And I should have acknowledged Rob’s notion that it appears Seattle has a strategy, and if read it correctly, one that RW will be likely to agree to. I just don’t see why he would. The goal (if we are reading this correctly) is for RW to maximize his earnings. Tweaking a few fans feelings seems unlikely to get in his way of achieving that.

    • Rob Staton

      Focus on what Garofolo says, not the segment.

      Ignore the chat after. Just the bit at the start from MG. Then combine it with the article because I believe it offers some insight into Seattle’s strategy to handle this difficult issue. That’s something that has been missing so far.

  3. GauxGaux


    • Bulldog


  4. Bigten

    I’m not disagreeing with you at all on drafting a QB this year as insurance, or that it would be a wasted pick. But, the worst case scenario you present I don’t think necessarily accurate, considering we already have a high draft pick back up (Lynch). The worst case is Grier (or who we draft high) is terrible and doesn’t make a good back up. That risk falls with any pick and any position. But, again, the risk is greater than the worst case presented.

    • Rob Staton

      Paxton Lynch isn’t relevant here. He wasn’t a high draft pick by the Seahawks. He’s a guy they could cut tomorrow if they wanted. They picked him up off his couch after he was cut by Denver as a draft bust and not signed by anyone else in 2018.

      The point I made about a highly drafted backup wasn’t about general draft position. It was about the Seahawks specifically making a high draft pick investment in a QB. Lynch can’t be described as such in context to the Seahawks. He’s just a guy they signed off the street. They didn’t draft him.

      The worst case scenario isn’t Grier sucks and is terrible. Because if he remains the backup he won’t have the opportunity to prove that.

      • Sanders

        I agree you gave an optimistic worst case scenario. Lets do a two year from now worst case scenario. Wilson signs with a different team, after the 2019 season. Grier whom we reached for in the 1st round of the 2019 draft, is bad when given the starting job in 2020. We only get a 3rd round comp pick for Wilson as opposed to three 1st round picks.

        • Rob Staton

          You’re asserting worst case scenarios on Will Grier.

          I’m asserting worst case scenarios on the decision to draft a QB.

          There’s a massive difference here. You’re projecting the player they draft and I’m projecting the decision to pick a QB. This isn’t the same thing.

          • Sanders

            I disagree with your argument. Take Grier out of the equation, you have made your opinion known that you are high on Grier.

            It’s the same argument, but you are blinded by your bias towards you evaluation of Grier. You are assuming the QB they draft late in the 1st round or early 2nd round, be it Grier or someone else, will be a valuable cant miss prospect that we can flip for a 1st or 2nd round pick later on. My point of view is, a QB drafted late in the 1st or 2nd round is not a player you can expect to flip for the same value in a year or two. QB’s are always overdrafted unless they have a height issues like Wilson did.

            This is a horrible year to draft a QB outside of the top-10. Next year is suppose to be a strong QB class,

            • Sanders

              Trade Wilson this year, for a kings ransom. Then use some of that draft capitol to draft one of the top QB’s in next year’s draft, while at the same time using draft capital to get legit talent on the defense.

              • Rob Staton

                No. This isn’t happening.

            • Rob Staton

              Sanders I’m sorry but you’re completely missing the point and not listening to what I’m saying.

              It’s nothing to do with Grier. Ignore Will Grier! I’m talking about the worst case of drafting ANY quarterback. You’re making this about a specific QB which is a mistake. Stop it.

  5. Trevor

    I really hope the Hawks extend Frank and Russ prior to the draft. They should make thier max offer and give a deadline to sign before draft day. If they turn down the deals then they should be put on the market to get max trade value and move on with a true rebuild.

    Extend Wagner and Reed. Use the draft picks to add talent all over the roster. Some of the cap space to add a couple of veteran pass rushers.

    At QB try and pick up Brisset to compete with Paxton Lynch and draft a QB this year and next year too if needed to see if they can find thier guy going forward.

    Love Russ and Frank as players but if Frank is stuck on $20 mil per year + and Russ wants $35 mil per year + then it is simply time to move on there are better ways to build an SB caliber team as PC/JS have already shown.

    • Rob Staton

      The Seahawks won’t re-sign Wilson before the draft. I’d say there’s less than a 1% chance of that.

      If they set a deadline before the draft Wilson’s camp will laugh in their faces. There’s no pressure to sign before the draft. There’s nothing at stake. The week before training camp is totally different because that’s when s**t gets real for the 2019 season. Him turning down a chance to be the highest paid player in the league sends a message to his team mates and the fans that is damaging. It challenges his commitment to both parties. Wilson will feel the squeeze there to accept their best offer. Before the draft? It barely registers. He just says… ‘OK… not having that. Speak to me again in August’.

      The intention here is to get Wilson signed not trade him. So they need to work the strategy that gives them the best opportunity to do that. Not the strategy that gets them nowhere then forces them to try and workout a trade at the last minute.

      • Trevor

        That is fine Rob and probably the Hawks plan but what if Russ says no thanks. I want a mega fully guaranteed deal. If he wants to go to a big market like NY as has been leaked donyou really think he cares what Hawks fans think at that point.

        Then what do PC/JS do? Deal with that media circus for a year and then tag him? That will Kill any culture or team building plan.

        I just don’t see where the Hawks leverage is I guess if he wants a mega record setting deal or to go to a major market like NY that is what he is going to get.

        I think thier options are 1)trade him now for max value. 2) sign him to a monster guaranteed deal and kill your cap situation going forward or 3) Let him play this year out, next year on the cap and hope to win an SB then let him walk for basically zero compensation because a 2nd franchise tag would be too expensive to even consider. Either way Russ gets what he wants. Where is the Hawks leverage? I certainly don’t think a deadline and the threat of some negative press or fan reaction is going to be enough to sway him.

        • Rob Staton

          If he turns it down then I’ve already said what the consequences are. He’ll have to look every one of his team mates in the eye on the first day of training camp and justify to them why he hasn’t agreed to become the highest paid player in the league. He’ll have them all doubting his commitment and the fans will wonder what he’s doing too. This will be especially difficult if Bobby Wagner agrees terms on a deal that maybe isn’t as high as C.J. Mosley’s.

          If he wants to live in that environment then that’s his call, you move on and assess the situation in the off-season. It’s not ideal but life isn’t ideal. You deal with it.

          All your scenario does is guarantee you’re trading him before the draft. Because there’s zero chance of him agreeing to a deadline in April. There’s virtually zero chance of him agreeing to a deal. There’s no pressure or consequences for not getting a deal done. You’d simply undermine your position with Wilson and then you’d be going to teams trying to trade him and they would take you to the cleaners. Because they’d know you’d screwed yourself with a draft deadline and were now rushing to get a trade over the line. You wouldn’t be negotiating with teams from a strong position at all.

          It’d be a total catastrophe.

          You have to let this process play out a bit. Like I said before, the aim here is to get a deal done not trade Wilson. You might not think the pressure of a training camp deadline won’t sway him but you’re not the one who has to walk into that locker room in August and try and lead a team of 90 guys who know you’re trying to pull a fast one to get more money in one pay cheque than most of those guys get in a career…. when other players like Matt Ryan and Aaron Rodgers acted very differently.

          • Trevor

            That’s the thing though no other franachise QB has ever played things out in the media like Russ. There were rumors of Brees, Rodgers, Brady, Stanford or Ryan wanting to play anywhere else.

            I get your point about Russ having to go lead these guys and that is my point I am not sure he has been a leader of men in tha locker room. He is the best player and his talent, toughness and durability are off the charts but I have never gotten the sense that his teammates love him or view him as a leader.

            • Rob Staton

              I guarantee Russell Wilson will want no part of walking into that locker room and trying to lead a bunch of guys on minimal salaries having just turned down the chance to be the highest paid player in NFL history.

              He needs to feel that pressure to get a deal done. At the moment none of that pressure exists. He and Mark Rodgers will just say… ‘we don’t want to accept your deal and reject the deadline. Speak to us in July or August’.

              And then what?

              In your plan you trade Russell Wilson. Which would be like selling a sports car because the gas was too expensive in the first station you stopped to fill up. There’s a process here. You need to create leverage. All you’d be doing with your plan is guaranteeing no contract was signed with Wilson, you’d weaken your negotiating position with him and then other teams would rinse you on a trade because you’d set a needless deadline of the draft.

              Let it play out. Create a small window to negotiate. Create pressure to reach a compromise.

          • Hawkin

            Every single player holdout in Carroll era has had tremendous support from their teammates for wanting more money. Theyll agree that he deserves the mega millions Wilson is asking for. Majority of fans don’t understand the salary cap struggles his contract will create and will demand “just pay the man”. I disagree things play out pressuring Wilson as you say it will

            • Rob Staton

              I bet you $100 that the guys in that locker room will feel very differently about Wilson turning down an offer to become the highest paid player in NFL history compared to Kam Chancellor and Marshawn Lynch getting a small pay bump (and not even being the highest paid players at their POSITION) having put their bodies on the line to play the most physical brand of football in any our living memories.

              • Sanders

                Rob, I’m a fan of your work at scouting for the Seahawks. That being said, I think your point of view is off. Your argument is as though you know how Russell Wilson is going to feel a certain way in the locker is a weak point of view. Are you close friends, with Wilson? Does he text you how he feels about life situations or life philosophy? You are reaching my friend to strengthen your weak argument.

                From my point of view, Wilson is his own man, strong willed! He doesn’t wilt over pressure in a game and I doubt he will wilt to players in his locker room who have never had his back as a leader.

                So that being said, take the feelings of Wilson and how his teammates will perceive him, because half of the fans may have your take and half may have my take.

                • Rob Staton

                  Good for you. We’ll agree to disagree.

                • SeventiesHawksFan

                  Russell Wilson is certainly ‘his own man’. But he’s also keenly attuned to and aware of his brand, public and team perception. Both can be quite true.

              • Troy

                Yup, 100% with you Rob…players generally back other players in their pursuit of getting what they are owed, but if it came out that Wilson turned down the chance to be the highest paid player IN THE LEAGUE to get EVEN MORE MONEY, the locker room would probably turn against him.

                Also, Wilson was never the best liked guy on the team. Let us all be honest and admit that his personality (at least what he displays to the public via interviews and such) is HIGHLY manicured and not seemingly authentic. The jokes about him being a robot exist for a reason, he is very guarded and measured in everything he says because his brand is extremely important to him. You will never catch Wilson saying something controversial because he cares about his image so much.

                His image is probably the biggest piece of leverage the Hawks hold over Wilson, and one that they could end up playing. Smart of you to think of that Rob.

                • mishima

                  I’ve never connected with Wilson and would rather ride/die with the 206 than any player/brand. I’ll always remember Bennett’s bike ride, Lynch dancing post-SB win, 4 hoodrats running to the parade yelling, ‘All We Got! All We Need!’ Watching Wilson and Ciara walk into the Met Grill to a standing ovation or cooking dinner with Jeff Bezos…hard pass.

                  One of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, but there’s more to sports.

                  That’s just me.

  6. Volume12

    Kentucky EDGE Josh Allen lost his stating contest with the Seahawks at the combine. HaHA. Take ’em off the board dammit.

    • Trevor

      Lol what is with that? Still not sure how a staring contest or keeping your eyes open shows grit.

      • Volume12

        IDK either. I’m sure there’s a method to the madness. JS and his ‘jedi mind tricks ‘ if you will, but it’s hilarious how the prospects keep bringing this up as one of the weirdest things they’ve been asked. Hope it never ends honestly. Would be a great running gag.

      • Rob Staton

        It’s about competition. You’re presented with a seemingly pointless task (a stare out) in the middle of the interview. It’s unexpected. Do you get up there and win the contest? Treat it seriously? Or do you treat it all as a joke or not really put much effort in.

        I think it’s brilliant. If you want to know how much of a competitor someone is, set them a 1v1 challenge that seems irrelevant. And if they treat it like the World Cup final (many do) you’re onto a winner.

        • Kenny Sloth

          They took Okung bowling predraft famously. He was terrible but insisted they play again iirc.

        • mishima

          Agree. It also tests how a player responds to situations they don’t understand or might find absurd. Are they dismissive or willing to buy in, compete, trust the process?

      • Volume12

        Seattle is gonna scout a guy who sleeps with his eyes open and run to the podium.

  7. SamL

    I’d be stoked if we drafted Paris Campbell and I’m very happy the Seahawks are paying attention to him. Receiver has grown into one of the top needs of this team. The good news is we may not need whoever we draft to step up immediately if Baldwin can get through one or to more years, then they can just step right in and try to fill his shoes.

  8. Hawkin

    Judging by Wilson’s comment and excitement over the idea of being the highest paid player on the tonight show, plus his ambitions, I really don’t think Wilson will settle on $35m/year only to be surpassed in a year or two. He’s gonna want to cash in big in a way they wanted to last time but couldn’t.

    And I can totally see Wilson during training camp saying “I’ve brought a championship to Seattle, I deserve this and that. Seahawks need to pay me more than just a hair over the highest contract now” and not signing. I just don’t think the card they’re playing is as strong as you make it to be. The question (in August) will be, do we wanna pay RW $43m/year? My answer is no way in hell

    • Rob Staton

      If Wilson signs a $45m a year deal he’ll be surpassed in a year or two anyway.

      Do you think Mahomes isn’t topping his contract?

      I’ve no doubt you’re right about what Wilson’s camp is saying at the moment. But you get to training camp and set a deadline and see the pressure build on Wilson then to reach a compromise.

      • Sanders

        The trend is, the cap goes up 10 million every year. But I get the impression Wilson knows this and will still ask for a more than the going QB rate part of the cap. : (

        • Rob Staton

          Great. Doesn’t mean they have to give it him.

          • Bigten

            Then what if he doesn’t blink? You have mentioned that setting the deadline before the draft is never gonna happen. So any thought of getting picks in this draft are out the window. So if he doesn’t blink, locker room supports him or he doesn’t care, then what? Our bluff called or trade him before the new season? Or Play out the year with him, knowing it will be last year with him (franchise and trade scenario), And get less picks in return for him in next years draft? Personally, I don’t mind that. But setting a deadline for before the draft, to negotiate and sign or we will be actively shopping you, has a similar effect doesn’t it? While getting us more draft capital in return? Then, if can’t shop him and get a deal done for him that we like, he still goes into camp facing his teammates knowing he could have been paid the highest and turned it down. Plus it sets a precedent, that if you want to try and leverage us, we are willing to move on. I’m sure you are going to disagree Rob, and we all value your opinion over our own, I just don’t see how getting a deadline in the summer is the only option.

            • Rob Staton

              If he doesn’t blink he doesn’t blink. You carry on, handle the situation, and consider your options in the off-season. He remains the starter. You’re going to face a lot of awkward, potentially distracting headlines. Heck — that might even be a good thing. If three weeks into the season Wilson is finding it difficult to handle, that offer he turned down might suddenly be interesting. Who knows?

              I don’t know why you say you’d get less picks next year. I don’t see any reason why that would be the case. If the price is three first rounders now it will be next year. Nothing changes there.

              As I’ve said in a few comments here — the intention is to get a deal done with Wilson, not trade him. I’ve merely presented the only scenario — in my opinion — that puts some pressure on Wilson to compromise. I think the team will be happy to compromise to an extent to keep him longer term. If it doesn’t work — there’s nothing you can do. But trading him now and giving up without giving the process a chance to play out would be a horrendous call for this team to make — putting the cart well and truly before the horse. And that won’t happen.

      • Hawkin

        But Russell’s camp is inclined to play on the franchise tag and maximize his earnings – as you’ve said before. That’s more than enough leverage over hawks. I really hope Russell wants to play in Seattle more, I just don’t think that’s going to be the way he goes. Not with Mark Rodgers

        • Rob Staton

          Sure, it’s possible Wilson sticks to his guns with that. But it’s also possible a compromise is reached. My point has never been that a deal isn’t possible at all. And after listening to Garofolo, I’ve come to realise there is a leverage point for the Seahawks. And as I’ve always said — both parties are reaching a crossroads that could go in many different directions.

          • Hawkin

            I think it’s perfectly reasonable to rationalize that Mark Rodgers and Russell won’t accept anything below what he would make on the tag over two years. What’s his incentive? Then I also don’t believe he will want his contract surpassed by a large margin in just a year or two. That sort of line seems likely to be important to Wilson. In my estimation, that puts his minimum somewhere closer to $45m/year with a lot guaranteed (again, he’d get it all guaranteed on the tag). I just wouldn’t be so quick to dismiss the rationale you had before this Garofolo piece.

            • Rob Staton

              I’ve gone over this though and why a short negotiating window and a deadline can provide some leverage with training camp.

              They might choose to play on the tag but there’s no need to think there’s ‘no way’ both parties find a compromise in the right environment.

              • Hawkin

                Sounds like we agree that the tag is the most likely (as far as we can tell now). I guess we disagree whether his teammates and fans will care enough to put pressure on Wilson. I just don’t see how so long as he’s under contract for ‘19, and he will be in camp there’s no reason for him not to be. “Hey Russ, we heard in the media you turned down the highest paying NFL contract” just doesn’t sound likely or as good leverage fodder. RW can respond a number of ways even if that situation needed defusing. Plus maybe he does want to play in NY, so that aspect doesn’t matter as much. It’s a lot of ifs and unknowns to decide if this is really leverage for Hawks. We already know what RW wants and the way in which he has leverage over his team. It’s a non-starter

                Anyways, we don’t have to agree and that’s fine.

                • Rob Staton

                  No I didn’t say the tag was most likely.

                  I said it’s a distinct possibility but have also laid out the way Seattle can create an environment to get a deal done.

                  This is a fluid situation. There’s no need to speak in absolutes about whether a deal gets done or not.

                  And you’re not getting my argument at all

      • JimQ

        I have to wonder if innovation will lead the Seahawks down a somewhat different path with RW’s contract extension. I’m talking about his pay being tied to his actual performance (not stuff like making the pro-bowl
        or winning MVP). I’m not sure if it’s been done much lately but a performance based contract that sets multiple & reasonable levels of performance by RW to achieve additional compensation. If he wants to “bet on himself” incentives may be a way to go. If he indeed wants top QB pay, he’d just need to play like one. A new contract structured that way could be of significant benefit to both the Seahawks and RW.

        • Hawkin

          No. He’ll want guaranteed money because he can and he’s Russell Wilson. Seahawks have little to none leverage

          • Rob Staton

            The Seahawks don’t have much leverage now but they can create some, as highlighted in the piece.

        • Rob Staton

          It’s an interesting thought.

  9. kevin mullen

    There definitely is a cap for RW. If it’s not realistic to sign him under that cap number, sell him to the highest bidder. Just don’t give him away like AB or OBJ.

    • Rob Staton

      What’s realistic now and what’s realistic in August could be very different.

      There’s no rush.

      • Kevin Mullen

        I would agree, nothing needs to be done this offseason or maybe start of next season. But timing is everything: if we can’t capitalize on his market value soon, other teams will just wait for his eventual departure, and we’re stuck with a 3rd round comp pick. That, to me, is worse case scenario.

        I may be in the minority here, but Frank Clark is my priority resigning, not RW. We can net at minimum two 1st round picks for RW, in terms of trade value.

        • DCD2

          I am with you on Clark. I think he should be our first priority. I think the market is set and there is little reason why it should drag on much longer. Flowers is the bar… get over it, or trade him. If you aren’t willing to pay one of the best young pass rushers in the NFL fair market, then what are we doing here?

          As for Russ, I like what Rob is presenting. Russ turns into the villain if we offer him the highest contract in NFL history prior to the season starting and he says no. If he turns that down, it is clear that he values money more than his team or teammates. I’ll stay off my soap box for the time being about what difference $2M makes when you’re earning $35M, but it will cast him in a selfish light. He’d be hard-pressed to turn that offer down and still expect the team to believe that he has anyone’s interest but his own at heart.

        • Sanders

          + 1

    • Jerry

      I hate to say this, but I agree about trading Wilson.

      The most valuable commodity in the NFL is an underpaid QB. We had that in Wilson during our best years. Thats over. It seems pretty clear that Wilson wants top money, and he has the leverage to force the Hawks to pay. The more I think about this, the more sense it makes to do something out of the box: trade an elite QB in his prime. This makes sense for five reasons:

      First, of all the teams in the NFL, the Hawks are arguably the least dependent on QB play. Carroll et al clearly want to build the team around running and defense. Having Wilson eat up a huge amount of the payroll makes it difficult to make that model work.

      Second, given their philosophy, I think the Hawks will be more able to find another QB on the cheap. Russ has never been the center of the offense in the same way that most elite QBs are. I think they could find a few under the radar options, gear the offense to not expose that new guy, and use the money and draft capital they get to bolster other parts of the roster. We essentially already run that type of offense, so it wouldn’t be a huge departure from the status quo.

      Third, QBs are overvalued in the league right now. Look at what teams are paying for guys like Case Keenum and Kirk Cousins. Likewise, teams trade huge draft capital to move up for QBs. They are the most highly valued commodity in the league. The Seahawks could probably get a ridiculous haul for Wilson. There really isn’t a comp for that type of trade, but it would be substantial.

      Fourth, the salary cap makes it very difficult to win consistently with a high paid QB. Last year, none of the eams with the highest paid QBs made the playoffs. GB (Aaron Rodgers: $33.5M), ATL (Matt Ryan: $30M), MIN (Kirk Cousins: $28M), SF (Jimmy Garoppolo: $27.5M), DET (Matthew Stafford: $27M), and OAK (Derek Carr: $25M) all missed the playoffs. Other teams, like San Diego and New Orleans have had mixed results at best. The Pats have been excellent for multiple reasons, but one contributing factors is Tom Brady getting paid less than he deserves. The Seahawks rely on passing less than most teams, so is paying $35+ million per year for a QB – even one as good as Russ – a good idea?

      Fifth, removing Wilson would solve some major roster problems. As Rob has stated multiple times, the Hawks have a major issue on the horizon with Wilson, Frank Clark, Bobby Wagner, and Jarran Reed nearing the end of their contracts. Moving Wilson would make it MUCH easier to keep the core of the defense intact.

      Sixth, this would be extremely innovative. Since Carroll and Schneider took over, the Hawks have not followed NFL dogma. They drafted huge CBs when nobody else valued them. They doubled down on the run game when the league shifted more and more to passing. This would be consistent with the Hawks tendency to zig when everyone else is zagging. They would be trading the most valued commodity in the league. Paying out the nose for QBs is a market inefficiency.

      Seventh, this is the ideal time to do this. With Nick Foles, Case Keenum, and Joe Flacco moving around, there are no good QBs on the market. This is not a great year to draft a QB, especially for a team that wants to win soon. The Giants, Cards, Dolphins, Broncos, and Washington would likely be interested. They could also wait till next year. But there is the potential for a bidding war resulting in an absolutely idiotic deal. What if the Giants sent us both of their first rounders this year, their first rounder next year, plus some mid-round picks? What about Arizona sending us a package including the first overall pick and Josh Rosen? If they don’t get an insanely good deal, they can always wait till next year. But his value is high right now. I’d imagine three first rounders would be the bare minimum.

      Teams don’t trade elite QBs. Perhaps thats a good reason to try?

      • Vin

        I agree with this wholeheartedly, especially #4. On just about any other team, especially the Offensive, QB-centric team, you want to hold on to your QB. PC, for whatever reason, wants to do it a different way and has proven it can work. So on this team, I don’t agree to paying a QB $35 mill a year, even though that’s what the market has set. Doesn’t mean RW isn’t worth it, but I don’t think he’s worth it on this team and philosophy. Either PC has to put the team on RWs shoulders and go, or take that 35 mill and spread the wealth. But even with that said, there are times I’ve wondered whether PC even knew what he wanted. Ultimately, I just want them to win. I don’t blame RW for following in steps of the other QBs before him, and can’t fault the Hawks for not just caving to whatever demands, real or made up, that have come from RWs camp. Thanks Rob. Have always enjoyed your work since 2011…..I think? Whatever year you touted Courtney Upshaw.

  10. Coleslaw

    I believe the front office will set a deadline sometime this summer where they’re either going to be fully invested in giving Wilson what he wants to strike a deal, or they’re going to start seriously listening to trade offers. Hopefully if it’s a trade it’ll happen then, or else we would be looking at a tag and trade.

    I still dont think we need to draft a QB this year if we’re gonna trade Russell. We can get one with the picks we get. Plus next year is a better class anyway.

    • Rob Staton

      1. There won’t be a trade this year. Take it to the bank.

      2. The deadline will be camp like last time.

      3. How do you know next years class is better? Or is just because you know Tua at Alabama and Hebert at Oregon and therefore the entire class is better? Who are the 5-6 2020 quarterbacks that make it superior to the group of Murray, Lock, Haskins, Grier, Jones, Stidham etc?

      4. They can draft a QB this year and next if needs be. But planning ahead is better than assuming ‘you can get one next year’. What if you can’t? Are you tanking in 2019 for #1? Is Wilson going to have the first losing season in his career to net you a high pick? Are you blowing all your collected picks to trade up? What if a team like Miami, who is also desperate for a QB, don’t want to trade down out of #1? You can’t assume you can get a QB next year. If there’s a QB you like this year you take them if the plan is to trade Wilson.

      • ZB

        I’m having a hard time justifying trading RW for any amount of picks. I don’t want to be the Browns for the next 20 years.

        • Rob Staton

          I’d be prepared for it because it’s a possibility. But listening to Garofolo gave me an epiphany moment. I will post an article explaining more tomorrow.

          • ZB

            Nice. Can’t wait to read it. BTW my brother and I have been reading this blog since about 2010 and we can’t get enough. I don’t agree with everything you say but I sure like the way you say it. Cheers mate.

            • Rob Staton

              Thanks for reading

      • DCD2

        Why are you certain that we wouldn’t trade him this year? Honest question, not trying to be argumentative.

        To me it seems that his trade value will never be higher than right now. Trading him next year when he’s on the tag creates issues of its own, no?

        • Rob Staton

          As I’ve already said, the intention here is to re-sign Wilson not trade him. If you’re unwilling to let the process play out a bit then you’re just giving up. They have to acquire the leverage pressure of training camp to try and get a deal done. If you just trade him now — you’re not even giving yourself a chance to get him signed. Which would be rank stupidity.

          • Jerry

            Is it? If Wilson is in a position to net a ~$40 mil contract, can you build a team with that much of team payroll invested in one player? Look at how teams with high paid QBs have been doing lately. The track record is bad. None of the six teams with the highest paid QBs made the playoffs last year. More importantly, since the Seahawks are one of the least passing-focused teams in the NFL, they are arguably the least likely to make something like that work.

            With the salary cap putting a huge constraint on teams, success in the NFL is largely defined by drafting well and exploiting market inefficiencies. Avoiding the veteran QB is thus a really interesting idea. If the Hawks deal WIlson now, the return would be silly. They can use that draft capital to find a new QB on a rookie salary, and keep adding QBs through the draft consistently. If the Hawks can keep their QB salary down, they can invest in other parts of the roster. Since the Hawks don’t focus on the pass anyhow, this makes a ton of sense. Plus, the QB shuffle could be sustainable. If they consistently add and develop viable starting QBs, they’ll be in a position to trade guys when they get expensive and replenish their draft capital, or recoup comp picks.

            No other team is doing this. That is why it could be brilliant.

            • Rob Staton

              $40m a year for a QB might look a bargain when the new CBA kicks in. I’ve never suggested the Seahawks would offer that by the way — I’m just countering all this stuff about not being able to win while paying a QB that much.

              At the end of the day — if you have to save $10-15m somewhere else (might be two decent-ish player BTW with the way contracts are going) to keep an elite QB. YES — you are still giving yourself the best chance to win.

              Elite QB’s matter.

              I’d rather have one and be forced to draft well, develop well and sign well than be stuck in the QB mire while also throwing money trying to build up the other 52.

          • Hawkin

            Looking forward to your piece. Trying to figure out how training camp creates pressure on Wilson, but don’t see it.

            • Rob Staton

              I’ve already explained it in here and will do so in more detail in my piece set to be published.

      • Sanders

        What we know right now is…
        1. This is considered a weak QB class
        2. Wilson’s trade value is at its peak because of this years weak QB class
        3. It’s perceived to be a great QB class next year
        4. Trade Wilson this year for a kings ransom and flip some of those picks for picks in the 2020 draft.
        5. Do the Wilson trade right and we can have two 1st round picks this year and three 1st round picks next year.
        6. Having three 1st round picks next year in a good QB class, then trade up with the draft stock we accumulated and get your QB of the future.

        • Rob Staton

          1. No
          2. No
          3. No
          4. No
          5. No
          6. No

          • Duceyq

            Couldn’t have answered that better myself. Thank you!

  11. ZB

    Rob, do you think we could possibly win another SB while paying RW 40 million a year? Honest question with no hidden motives or snappy comebacks.

    • Rob Staton

      I think it’s possible yes. I think the cap will continue to rise, lessening the impact. I think the Saints have shown that good drafting can make you a contender while carrying an expensive QB. I think in three years time the league is going to have some extremely well paid QB’s and the likes of Mahomes are going to still be winning so the narrative will change. You’d have to be more selective on your core group but I wouldn’t ever say it’s impossible to win a SB while paying a QB that much.

      But I don’t think they’ll offer him $40m and I don’t think it’ll take that either.

      • ZB

        In that case if we can get a deal done I think we should make it a long term deal. Say 6-7 years at 35-37 million per. That way by the time Russ’s 3rd year comes around all the other elite QB’s will be paid more and end up having less depth on their rosters then we would. We already are seeing KC having to let go of players in anticipation of having to pay Mahomes over 40 mil per.

        I am starting to think we should actually keep RW and hope in JS to draft well. Otherwise we could end up losing Russ and not find another premier QB for many many years and that is simply unbearable.

        • Rob Staton

          No, Wilson’s camp are not going to agree to that type of long deal. They are going to want a realistic chance to re-test the market early in the new CBA. And the Seahawks will almost certainly allow that.

          • Stephen Pitell

            Then perhaps a shorter contract?

            • Rob Staton

              Yes it would need to be a shorter contract to have any chance.

              • Joe

                The Seahawks under Pete & John don’t do contracts longer than 4 years anyway…

      • Jerry

        Are the Saints a good model to follow? The Saints missed the playoffs two of the last four years. I don’t think they are the team we want to emulate.

        More importantly, the Saints are one of the most pass-focused teams in the league. The Seahawks are at the opposite end of that continuum. As a team dedicated to the run, they are less able to justify investing a huge amount of their payroll to a QB.

        Its not impossible to pay Russ and still field a good team. Its just very difficult. Especially if it makes it less likely we can retain Wagner, Reed, Clark, etc.

        • Rob Staton

          The point isn’t whether the Saints are a good model. They’re merely an example of a team paying good money on a QB, drafting well, signing well and being highly competitive. Which is what people are suggesting is now impossible.

          And however difficult it might be to pay Wilson and field a good team — it’ll be a darn site harder to field a good team without a franchise QB.

  12. Bulldog

    Good news!

  13. John

    Is anyone concerned that Shaq Griffin was ranked 111th out of 112 for cornerbacks according to PFF. I know PFF is not great, but being rated almost dead last cannot be a good sign.

    • Rob Staton

      I’m dubious he was the second worst corner in the NFL. That sounds slightly ridiculous. But hopefully he’ll be better in 2019. He will get competition.

      • Kenny Sloth

        That narrative was such buuulll all year.

        He had some mistakes to be sure and was bullied by some elite competitors and targeted by opposing schemes, but he did much better than I expected he would taking over for Sherman.

  14. jb9

    If the Seahawks had a cool owner like Robert Kraft, he would sit down one on one with Wilson (just the two of them will ever know what’s discussed) and make an agreement to pay him $10M-$15M cash before each season if he signs a contract $10M below market value.

    • Troy

      A cool owner who gets hand jobs from seedy massage parlors? The Seahawks did have a great owner, his name was Paul Allen. Hopefully his successor is also great.

      • jb9

        “A cool owner who gets hand jobs from seedy massage parlors? ”


    • JimQ

      If only the Seahawks could appeal to RW’s real desire to one day be an NFL team owner by including in his compensation package an option to purchase a small % of the team, but only on the day he retires. With an option to purchase, no money changes hands until the stipulated date. The NFL, if they knew of it, surely would not be in favor of it, but as a private agreement between two parties, it could work & I’d expect Kraft and Brady
      MAY have something similar going on (paying an employee under the table & off the books) going on now for several years.

  15. Hawktalker#1

    I would never have believed I would ever get to a point where I would want to stop hearing about Russell Wilson. How ironic. But I am there.

    Looking forward to more discussion on our draft prospects and other non-RW matters.

    • Rob Staton

      One more article to endure on Sunday then we’ll move on I promise.

  16. Hawktalker#1

    I would never have believed I would ever get to a point where I would want to stop hearing about Russell Wilson. How ironic. But I am there.

    Looking forward to more discussion on our draft prospects and other non-RW matters.

    • Sanders

      Disappointing year for sure.

      If we trade Wilson and then trade down a bit, I would target DT Dexter Lawrence #Manchild#Stoptherungame#Eatingdoubleteams#freeupLB’s#sacksforDE’s


  17. Dale Roberts

    The Giants have the 37th overall pick and are going through a major reset. Would you trade the 21st (800pts) pick for a 37(530) 96 and 109(76pts) and a swap of next year’s first round picks? Here’s my logic. This year the Hawks would lose by appx 200 value points. However, if the Giants have a poor year and the Hawks a decent year Seattle would be in a much better position to take advantage of the QB heavy draft. It’s a gamble but if it worked it would pay off in value points and a Wilson hedge. Even if we sign Wilson next year’s draft would be a great one to own a high pick.

    • Dale Roberts

      No edit I my brain glitched… That should be the 21st for the 37th, 109th and a swap of next year’s picks.

    • Rob Staton

      Why would you swap unknown first round picks? Neither team would be down for that.

      • Bigten

        Could it be a conditional pick? Either swap of 1sts or a second? Seattle has the option to choose at the end of the league year.

        • Rob Staton

          I don’t see it. Especially if the Giants are planning a bit of a rebuild year.

  18. Dale Roberts

    No edit AND my brain glitched. It’t time for bed. Ugh.

  19. charlietheunicorn

    I’m not a huge RW fan. I enjoy his play and all that, but the financial side of the NFL can really drag a guy down. I also think his agent is steering him down the wrong path. I do not see the reason a contract negotiation needs to be contentious or overly dramatic. The market for QBs is set already. It is just like a 1st round draft pick, you get what you get at your slot…. RW top 5 QB? If you think he is, he gets top 5 money. I think it would be ludicrous to want 40M per year, the market is around 32.5M per year right now. I think the guaranteed money is where the sticking point really is at….. would Seattle (or any team) be willing to make a 100M+ guaranteed contract? (I also think the Trout contact for over 400M will not help negotiations either, since the agent for RW is baseball oriented contract guy more than football oriented one) They might be looking to try to push 200M over 6 years and over 100M guaranteed. That is ALOT of clams.

    • Hawksince77

      Except the market isn’t set (permanently) and it appears as if RW is intent on resetting it. Huge guarantees will be part of that.

  20. EranUngar

    I guess we can not stop talking about the RW extension even when the writing was on the wall for a while.

    I’ll repeat what I said weeks ago:

    1. RW will run to sign a contract making him the highest paid QB in the NFL. The Seahawks will gladly sign him for anything under that number (33.5M).

    2. The Cousins example is not applicable. Cousins was happy to play under the tag because it was a step up in earning. RW is higher on the QB packing order and will not be happy to start next year at 30.5M.

    3. The Seahawks have a safe “pay as you go” 2 year extension at 33.5M in hand. That is exactly what the tag was designed for – it gives teams a tool to keep a top 5 player for a year or two without the worrying that his baseball agent want to make a name for himself in the FA market.

    4. Because of the above and because the tag for next two years is exactly around the reasonable value for RW there is no pressure or incentive for either party to the table. It will take a lot of time for that contract to be agreed upon. It is going to feel even longer if we keep talking about it twice a week.

    I said it weeks ago and I say it again now – The RW contract is the least of our worries. It will happen eventually and we should concentrate on the problems at hand.

    Also, If anybody here was worried that the Seahawks do no have a plan to deal with their franchise QB – It’s their job, of course they have a plan A, B and C. They do not reveal it, it may not be a great or even good plan, but they have it.

    The key for the team IMO is not drafting a QB high next month. The key is getting the other 3 big names (Clark, Wags, Reed) under contract before the end of the 2019 season (preferably before the season starts) so that the franchise tag is free and clear if need. That would send the clear message to RW’s agent.

    P.S. – 4 years ago I expressed my feeling that RW’s agent is less interested in getting RW his contract and more interested in having his name known in the NFL community. I am not sure it has changed much and this time there is no incentive to get a deal done in time. I fully expect that his current demands are HUGE and the team will not step to the table and start negotiating based on those demands. The first answer is probably NO WAY IN HELL.

    • EranUngar

      The magic number for the RW contract should be – 4 years extension at 135-138M, 50M signing bonus, first 3 years
      at 100M guarantied.

    • Rob Staton

      The Cousins situation IS applicable. It doesn’t matter what Cousins’ scenario was. The fact is he maxed out his earnings. And if Wilson wants to max out his earnings he can do the same.

      • Hawkin

        It would be interesting to go back to see what Washington teammates thought of cousins while he played on the tag. Likely what happens here since Wilson’s strategy might be to play on the tag for two

        • Rob Staton

          Different scenario though. Cousins wasn’t being offered the biggest deal in NFL history.

      • EranUngar

        The Cousins is not applicable because there was no way is team would offer him anything near the tag price on a multiyear deal. Washington decided that they rather pay the tag with no future commitment than offer him a top 5 QB contract.

        Yes, it enabled Cousins to max out his earnings from day 1 with the brisk of a major injury hanging over his head. For RW – starting next year at 30.4M is far from maxing his earning. It is less than what the Seahawks are likely to offer him.

        In short – the cousins way can max earning for a top 10-15 QB, not for a top 5 QB.

        • Rob Staton

          Of course it’s applicable. You’re being a bit stubborn here. It’s applicable because Cousins maxed out his earnings on the tag. Wilson can do the same. I don’t know why you keep arguing against that.

          • EranUngar

            Sorry, I have an opinion based on the same facts and numbers we all know. If I hear a factual argument that will convince me otherwise I’ll change it. Ignoring my arguments and calling my stubborn will not.

            For Cousins the tag value from year one was above what he could get on a multiyear contract, for RW the first tag year at 30.5M is BELOW what he could make on a multiyear contract. It makes all the difference in the world.

            I.E. RW will LOSE money in his first tag year and still not make the FA after it.

            • Rob Staton

              I haven’t ignored your argument Eran. And I’m sorry but you are ignoring mine (or are at least not understanding it).

              The whole point on Kirk Cousins is this. Whatever the motivation, whatever the situation — he played on two tags, earned a lot of money and then because the third tag is so expensive, he tested free agency.

              He was the first player ever to do this. And it worked, massively, in his financial favour, because in the end he was free. He could test the market, which hardly any QB’s ever get to do.

              Russell Wilson has seen the benefit to Cousins here and could be motivated to back himself, play on two tags (while earning a nice, guaranteed sum of about $68m for two years work) then test free agency where he will have multiple teams crawling over each other to pay him.

              That’s it. Simple as that. Not sure why this isn’t it cutting through.

          • SeventiesHawksFan

            There is a bit of logic for both sides of this argument.

            If the argument is simply ‘maxing out pay’ then Kirk Cousins example does provide insight to strategy and possibilities.

            Where it does not apply though is that Cousins at no point could command more than the tag was worth on a long term deal with lots of guaranteed money.

            And no one knows what a team that is *also in a preferred market for Russell Wilson* would pay or guaranteed. But we can all agree it’s likely greater than the first two tag years.

            That leaves open the question of whether Russell can vastly exceed playing through this year plus two years of the tag for the simple reason that the Seahawks have the abilty to hold his next three years total pay to ~$92 million or $31 million per season.

            The Seahawks solely have the abilty and leverage to change what Russell can make for the next three seasons.

            And if Russell were to play through the next three seasons on the tag and then sign a $40 million per year deal (using that number just as an example) after that with three years of it guaranteed, he makes the exact same as if he signed new deal with the Hawks right now for $35 million per year for five years.

            The question really comes down to what Russel and his representation thinks he can be signed for after playing through two tags and if it will be in a market in which he will want to stay for the rest of his career.

            I still think the decision has already been made to stay right here.

            If he waits a year or two to sign a deal though the annual amount printed in the headlines looks larger. And the guaranteed money extends out farther. But his overall bottom line compensation wouldn’t change a whole lot UNLESS what teams will pay for a QB like Russell continues to advance dramatically. Which no one really knows the answer to that question.

            • Rob Staton

              1. I’ve only ever used the Cousins example in relation to Wilson being able to max out his pay. People keep validating that argument then saying, ‘but it’s not relevant in this other regard’. Why? I’ve literally only ever said — Wilson can plan to play on two expensive tags and then reach free agency if he wants to. And he’s seen that work for Cousins. That’s it.

              2. There’s no way Wilson has ‘made a decision already’ to stay here. No way. They haven’t even started talks yet. He can’t even begin to think that way until he’s been made an offer.

              3. People keep forgetting something here. If Wilson refuses to sign a long term deal this off-season and plays through his contract — it increases the chances of him being traded after the 2019 season. Because the Seahawks would then have 12 months to get a deal done or risk him becoming a free agent in 2020. So all this… ‘if he plays on two tags stuff’. If the Seahawks trade him in 2020 because Wilson’s demands for a long term deal are too high, he will get a MEGA contract from another franchise (eg New York) as soon as the trade is completed.

    • Hawksince77

      If your are right, then you are right — nothing for us to worry about.

      • AlaskaHawk

        EranUnger- Seems likes a rational plan.

        I’ve been feeling like there is a bit of a set up or circular argument going on in this blog. Wilson wants the highest salary but no matter what amount is mentioned here, someone says either Wilson would refuse it or the team won’t pay it. We don’t really know what those two parties will do or accept.

        What we know is that after next season and two franchise tags Wilson will get 92 million. But he is at risk of career ending injuries by playing on a yearly salary. That in itself is incentive to sign a longer deal.

        • Rob Staton

          Circular argument? Nope.

          The reason most contract suggestions are rejected is simply for this reason — they are unrealistic.

          The injury angle isn’t even a consideration. It won’t play any part in this what so ever.

          I’ve laid out the reasons in this article for why Wilson would consider signing a deal this year.

  21. Trevor

    Rob I thought a lot about this article last night and some of the debate and I think you have nailed dead on what the Hawks plan and strategy is with Wilson. It is really all they can do if they want to keep Russ in Seattle.

    I think my viewpoint and thinking about the strategy of a deadline before the draft stems from the fact that I just don’t think the Hawks should make Russ this highest paid QB in the history of the game. He has two wild card game playoff wins in 4 years since he signed his first big extension. Not sure how that puts you in line for that type of contract and I think it sets the Hawks up for years of being a competitive but never great team.

    Your logic in the article makes perfect sense if the Hawks want to keep Russ on that type of deal and makes the most sense given the sitution. I just think Hawks fans that really want to keep Russ at any cost are going to be really disappointed come training camp. If he signs before then I will be really surprised and likely very disappointed in the crazy contract he gets.

  22. Trevor

    I know this is to simplified but.

    Salary Cap 188 mil
    -$20 mil Clark extension
    -$15 mil Reed extension
    -$15 mil Wags extension
    -$35 mil Wilson extension

    Leaves $100 mil for the other 56 players on your roster. How do you build a team like that?

    • Rob Staton

      It’s a 53-man roster so you’d need to pay another 49.

      You build a team like that by drafting well and being selective with your core.

      • Trevor

        Sorry I thought guys on IR and practice square etc counted against the cap. I am certainly no cap guru I just don’t see any other teams where 4 players take up almost 45% of the teams cap. Add in Brown, Locket and Baldwin then 7 guys would take up 60% of the cap.

        If that is the plan they better stop trading away capital.

    • Trevor

      Not sure one team can afford to have the highest paid QB, MLB and a top 3 paid Edge +DT.

      • Rob Staton

        But why? The Saints have a highly paid QB, DE, OL and will soon have to pay their RB and WR. There’s a lot of talk about not being able to pay multiple players but very little evidence for it.

        • Trevor

          Rob there is no evidence and I mean zero evidence of a team winning a SB with a roster constructed that way.

          • Rob Staton

            We’re only just entering an era when QB’s are getting this kind of money! Of course there’s no data. Come back in ten years and let’s have this debate.

        • Trevor

          I posted this the other day and stats can sometimes be misleading but with 25 years of data these dont IMO.

          In the salarary cap era since 1994 the record for the highest cap hit percentage remains Steve Young’s 13.1% in that first season, when teams were still getting used to building rosters under a budget. Only four quarterbacks have ever won a Super Bowl while accounting for at least 11% of their team’s cap room: Young, Peyton Manning (twice), Tom Brady and Eli Manning.

          Obviously, Eli is the anomaly here. Peyton and Brady are two of the greatest quarterbacks ever, and Peyton was dragged to his second ring by a historically great defense. Manning’s Giants weren’t a great team — just a good one that got hot at the right time. Teams aren’t building their rosters to be the next 2011 Giants is all I’m saying.

          You would think that teams would look back at this data and adjust accordingly. Nope. In 2017, there were 10 starting quarterbacks taking up more than 11% of their team’s cap space, a list that includes Carson Palmer, Joe Flacco and Ryan Tannehill. There were 20 starters making more than the Super Bowl-winning average of 6.9%.

          I’m not suggesting that it’s impossible to build a Super Bowl-caliber team around a highly paid quarterback. Teams have done it. It’s just really hard. That quarterback just has to be very, very good and the front office still has to get lucky in the draft and free agency. Aaron Rodgers is the most talented quarterback I’ve ever seen, yet he hasn’t made it back to a Super Bowl since signing his mega deal. Drew Brees is a top-five quarterback all-time in my book, and he hasn’t been close since cracking the $20-million-per-year barrier. Same goes for Russell Wilson only 2 playoff wins since he signed his big deal.

          So the highest cap hit for a SB winning Q was 13.1% for Steve Young in the very first year of the salary cap and the plan is to pay Russ 20% of the cap? Really?

          Then add Clark, Wagner and Reed extensions to Baldwin, Brown and Locket and 7 guys take up 60% of the cap.

          Nothing is impossible so this could be a strategy that works but the same could be said for buying a lottery ticket and winning the jackpot next week. I just dont see how it makes any sense.

          • Rob Staton

            I just think this narrative is overplayed. You can’t pay 10 players huge money. Four is fine. You just have to draft well. The Saints are proving that.

            And using Super Bowl winners narrows the data. We should be looking at teams competing deep in the playoffs.

            • Trevor

              Rob the Saints are a reasonable example but they had back to back incredible drafts and they still have not been back to a SB much less win one.

              If being a 10 win team is he goal then signing Russ to a mega deal and figuring out how to extend Wags, Clark and Reed should be the priority I agree 100%.

              But I thought the goal was to win an SB not just be a good team that squeaks into the playoffs.

              Maybe I am spoiled and naive from the first go around with PC JS when they built such a fun and exciting roster but I would sooner them take the road less traveled and try to build another SB winner instead of taking the safe route and almost assures they won’t.

              • Rob Staton

                Come on Trevor. The Saints were a bad call away from the Super Bowl and the previous year a freak play away from the NFCCG.

                We shouldn’t only judge ‘Super Bowl winners’ and we should be including every legit contender.

                • Trevor

                  I would agree Rob that NO is legit contender and likely will be again this year.

                  The thing is they are not even a good comp for the situation the Hawks would be in trying to extend the Big 4

                  Cap Hits for the Saints top 4 next year.

                  Brees $22,700,00
                  Armstead $15,800,00
                  Jordan $14,000,000
                  Warfor $10,800,000

                  That is les than $54 mil total. To extend Russ, Wagner, Clark and Reed for the top of the market deals they want will cost about $85 mil per/yr. $30 mil is a ton of cap space.

                  • Rob Staton

                    Of course they’re a good comp.

                    If they aren’t a good comp then you’re saying nobody is paying amounts to the extent you’re talking about. Which means all your data about ‘no team has ever won a SB this way’ is redundant. Because the fact is no team has ever even tried to win a SB with the numbers you’re talking about because it’s a recent phenomena.

                    You’ve fallen down the same rabbit hole as some sections of Seahawks twitter. Come back in ten years when we know whether teams can pay +$30m and win a Super Bowl. There’s no evidence you cant carry a small expensive core of elite talent. You just have to be more selective and draft well.

    • McZ

      Of which Brown is 12m, Britt 9m and Ifedi will be at least 10m for his 5th. Baldwin and Lockett together make 18m. So, you are down to 51m and there are still 44 players to pay.

  23. millhouse-serbia

    @ trevor

    2019 cap hit

    BWagz 14mil.
    Willson – 25mil
    Clark – 17mil
    Reed – 1.5

    So for 2020 cap space(with your average salaries) you will need 27mil.

    Now you still have 12mil cap space. Next year you will have 12 more when you cut Kam. That is 24. If you let Britt go and Pocic play C that is 6 more. There is 30mil.

    If Doug riteres that is 8 more.

    And you would have the same team as this year without Britt or Doug or both. There is more then enough cap space to sign all 4.

    • Trevor

      I am not arguing that they can’t afford to sign all 4. Of course they can.

      But under your scenario they are loosing their starting Center and replacing him with a guy who since being a 2nd round pick has shown zero starter potential and losing thier arguably best WR.

      That is the thing when you pay a few players that much of the cap the rest of the team needs to be young talent on rookie deals or low priced mid level vets. I don’t see enough young talent on this roster and they only have 4 draft picks this year.

      So if they some how do figure out a way to get the big 4 signed where does all the other talent come from to take them from a 9 -10 win team to an SB contender in the next couple of years?

      • millhouse-serbia

        I doesnt have to be Britt. Dickson + Brown are same as Britt. But yes, of.corse you need to have lot.of.young cheap.players if yuo pay 4 players 85mil. First.and for moste you need to draft well.

    • Volume12

      Is Britt even worth that much? He was flat out atrocious in the playoffs against Dallas and when Joey Hunt stepped in for him did anyone notice a difference? He’s not as good as the money he’s about to make.

      • HawksBill

        Also, does Britt’s height at center hampers Wilson’s ability to throw short crossing routes over the middle?
        I have not seen any research on this, just wondering.

      • Rob Staton

        Britt is perfectly fine.

        No idea why Seahawks fans need someone to piss and moan about on the OL all the time.

        Not one person mentioned Britt during the regular season. That means he was doing his job.

  24. clbradley17

    New highlights video of WVU TE Trevon Wesco, just under 5 min., displays how this guy can make the hard catch in traffic and fights for extra yards, especially at 10 seconds, 1:40 and 3:25, and a great one-handed catch at 3:35. He’s also an excellent blocker at TE, extra OL or at FB.


    • Trevor

      He is a nice looking player.

      I think Rob is spot on that one or more of the WV guys (Wesco, Grier Jennings) could be in play for the Hawks.

      Foster Moreau, Drew Sample, Kahale Warring are three other Tight End names to keep an eye on. This seems like a really good TE class with lots of depth so I hope the Hawks can get a guy to team with Dissly long term.

  25. ZB

    I bet if we looked at most NFL rosters, teams would only have 4-6 legit pro bowl type players including a star QB. I’m not including the O-lines here.

    Here are 3 examples:

    Seahawks – RW

    N.O. Saints – Brees
    C. Jordan
    M. Thomas

    L.A. Chargers – Rivers
    K. Allen
    M. Gordon
    M. Ingram
    D. James (TBD)?

    • Kelly

      I don’t think I would be putting ABD on that list. I would want to definitely see another duplication of last season for Reed before I put him on there.

  26. ZB

    Ok then put KJ on there. Not really the point I’m making to nitpick.

  27. Frank

    If it’s about preparating for life after Russel Wilson, and trying to win with Rushing the ball, Defense and a Qb on a rookie deal I’d love to see us somehow manage to pull Grier or Jones,and Boykin (who I’m not sure why we never talk about). I’ve never seen a Wr with those kind of measurable, physically he is a Randy Moss type. Where’s the bad tape on him? I completely don’t understand why there is isn’t more hype. We want elite measurables, with our first pick, there’s our guy. Saving the money on those positions for a few years would open up the ability to add more depth to our Dline rotation, as will adding some more DB competition for Pete to coach up. The cap space would also probably allow us the ability to sign a pro bowl lvl guard next year. Rob do you think we can parlay our #21 pick for two second round picks and have a shot at a QB and Boykins hypothetically? I know we still need help on the Dline, and late rd DBs, but with Baldwin a big question mark adding a Wr seems like a rising need.

  28. Kenny Sloth

    Oh my R.I.P. Brandon Adams. My heart goes out to Georgia Tech and Brentwood. We lost a good one.

  29. GoHawksDani

    Nice work Rob, you talked about them getting a QB to be leverage in this contract situation before probably everybody!
    But I don’t get this: “It’s also a refreshing antidote to the recent rhetoric about Wilson being unlikely to agree a new deal and that he’s seeking game-changing money.”
    I think this has nothing to do with the current information. This report only says that Seahawks has a plan, and they won’t pay CAP-breaking money for Wilson (or at least they say they won’t). I think Wilson might seek record money (like 40-45 mil) after all and won’t be willing to sign any deal under 40 mil. But it’s good that the Hawks planning the extension not just thinking what to do.

    I feel they’ll find a middle ground.

    The image is really important for Russ. He doesn’t want to look greedy.
    He paints a picture of himself as a cool, nice, humble, hard working guy who wants to be recognized and be the best and be loved and be legendary.
    If you break the CAP you won’t be that.
    You’ll play on a team that struggles to reach PO and the fans will dislike him because getting to much money and hurt the team.
    He wants a big contract and a ton of money. But I don’t think he wants 45+ or no contract.
    He has a lot of ties to Seattle. The children’s hospital, the people. He is loved there. Seattle is a great football city. I wasn’t in a lot of cities in the USA, but you won’t find that dedication to football in NYC for example. I walked in Seattle and it’s crazy. Every 3 building has a 12s flag, or something Seahawks related on them. You walk on the streets and every 4th-5th person has some Seahawks merch on him/her.
    I think Russ needs this. So Seattle is a good city for him. A really big but not ridic contract will be good for him and his PR. He’s a smart guy, hopefully his agent won’t corrupt him.
    I guess the details (gtd, etc) will be more important in the negotiations.

    I think there are 3 possibilities:
    A, concentrate on APY
    B, concentrate on GTD
    C, concentrate on length

    A, 38m APY (152M), 4 years, ~62% gtd (94m)
    B, 35m APY (140M), 4 years, 85% gtd (119m)
    C, 36m APY (252M), 7 years, ~60% gtd (151m) (2019 + 6)

    But I feel like it’s gonna be the mix of all:
    6 years (the first year is 2019), 36M APY (216M), 70% gtd (151M) and would look something like this:

    28, 32, 35, 38, 41, 42
    GTDs (first 3 years fully GTD): 28, 32, 35, 28, 20, 8

    This would give Wilson a really nice fix payday for his next 3 years, a moderate guaranteed for the 2 after that. This would make him the highest paid QB right now and would let him think long term. In the over 20M APY club this would be the second highest GTD after Cousin’s fully GTD.
    As for the club, they’d have Wilson potentially for the rest of his career (if he’s good after 36 he can have a 3-4 year contract to finish it here), it would give them security for the QB spot for the next 6 years. It would hurt the CAP, but not break it. Wilson will be fine in the next 3-4 years so the GTD is not a problem. If Wilson declines after 4-5 years they can part way without a huge dead money in his last season.

    To me it seems fair for both sides

    • Rob Staton

      The fact we have some clarity of what the plan is — that’s the refreshing antidote.

  30. King_Rajesh


    Brady Henderson is saying that Malik McDowell was cleared to play football again by independent doctors.

    This begs the question… why did we release him? Too much bad blood because he thinks we tried to kill his career?

    Seems strange to completely cut bait with such a high draft pick before you see if he can recover.

    • Rob Staton

      I bet he never plays again. And if he does it won’t be long.

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