Russell Wilson agrees 4-year, $87.6m extension

It took a while to get there, but all’s well that ends well.

While Kam Chancellor stays away (at great expense) and Bobby Wagner ponders his future in Seattle, this is the deal the Seahawks had to get done. And nothing can put a dampener on the significance of this move.

Only a month ago, Mike Florio Tweeted the following:

A future without Wilson simply wasn’t fathomable. There are so few good quarterbacks in the NFL. In May Tom Cable suggested college spread offenses were making it very difficult for quarterbacks to transition to the pro’s.

Training a new college quarterback (presumably without an early pick) is not an attractive proposition. Neither is a situation where you deal Wilson, he flourishes elsewhere and the replacement struggles.

Seattle was never going to be the team that messed this up. Not in this way. Not with this front office.

Look at the situations in Miami or Cincinnati. Two franchises challenged to pay average quarterbacks handsomely on long term deals — without really knowing if either Ryan Tannehill or Andy Dalton will take the next step. Both teams decided the alternative — trying to find a replacement — was a bigger gamble than sticking with what they had.

Wilson is far more talented than both players. The Seahawks weren’t going to let go.

He’s also the best quarterback in Seahawks history. A uniquely gifted franchise passer. The type people will compare other players to for a generation. It was supposed to be Michael Vick or Robert Griffin III. Instead it’ll be Wilson’s name mentioned every time we find a young, mobile, productive passer. “Can he be the next Russell Wilson?” is a phrase you will hear in the future time and time again.

The stalled negotiations and soap-opera feel to the media coverage painted a negative picture. Perhaps that should’ve been anticipated? We all assumed (or at least I did) a deal would come quite quickly. Wilson had gone well beyond expectations as a third round pick. He wanted to be compensated like the best — and it’s what he deserved.

Seattle equally showed incredible judgement in drafting Wilson — and earned the luck that came with it. A third round franchise quarterback at a dirt-cheap price. They had every right to benefit from the final year of his rookie deal — and had to find a way to keep the rest of their group together.

The impasse lasted right until the final hours before training camp began. Now? A collective sigh of relief — from the fans, front office and probably the Wilson camp too.

The cumulative Seahawks roster benefits from their quarterback just as much as he does from a league-leading defense or Marshawn Lynch. He compliments Lynch perfectly. He takes advantage of a stingy defense.

Look at the Bills. Destined again in 2015 to present a ferocious defense and, more than likely, a frustrating offense. They have offensive talent. Sammy Watkins, LeSean McCoy and Percy Harvin to name just three examples. Yet with Matt Cassel throwing the passes, they’ll do well to make 8-8.

That would be the Seahawks without Wilson. Good and very close to great — but missing the final piece.

Perhaps the most impressive part of Wilson’s success so far is the way he’s done it without a top-tier receiver or tight end. Doug Baldwin, Jermaine Kearse, Golden Tate (and others) — all good at what they do but not the elite, rare talent that quarterbacks like Tony Romo and Peyton Manning currently benefit from. He has had Marshawn Lynch of course. But the amount we’ve talked about college receivers over the last two years shows the vacancy for a true #1. It’s why the Seahawks seemingly showed interest in Dorial Green-Beckham before he was drafted by the Titans. It’s why they’ve looked at a number of different receivers over the years — including Brandon Marshall, Vincent Jackson and eventually Percy Harvin.

Jimmy Graham will help here. Wilson has room for improvement going into year four. Having that dynamic target at tight end — a special talent — can aid that progress.

Even without Graham, Wilson has excelled whoever he’s been throwing to. From the days of Sidney Rice to the crucial 4th down score to Braylon Edwards against the Patriots in 2012. The link he formed with Chris Matthews in the latest Super Bowl or the connection he had to Zach Miller and then Luke Willson last season. He hasn’t needed a Dez Bryant, A.J. Green or Julio Jones to excite and produce.

You won’t see a better pass than this. Pressure right in his grill, unable to step into the throw. Wilson launches a perfect 47-yard bomb to Jermaine Kearse, hitting him in stride. And yes — he made the throw while remaining in the pocket.

Need further evidence of his quality? How about the overtime wins against Chicago, Denver and Green Bay? No fuss. In the most intense pressure, in the biggest games — Wilson calmly managed each occasion like a 2-minute drill in practise.

The Seahawks are right in the middle of a Championship window. It’s why they’ve been aggressive to land Graham (and previously to get Harvin). They know the time is now. Wilson is signed until 2019. Their core group of stars are mostly committed for the next three years at least. Barring unfortunate luck with injuries, they’ll compete for each of the next 3-5 years and possibly beyond.

Wilson will be right at the heart of that challenge.


  1. Colin

    Great day. Good deal for both sides.

  2. UKHawkDavid

    Welcome back Rob! Great to have you active again! How’s the family?

    Very pleased for the ‘Hawks and very pleased for Russ. Is it a four year extension on top of his final rookie year, or just a straight four years?

    • Volume12

      It’s 4 year’s on top of rookie deal. So essentially a 5 year deal.

    • Rob Staton

      The family are really good David and thanks for asking. Been great to spend some quality time with them this summer.

  3. CA

    Sounds like a fair deal. He got a smidge more $$$ than Big Ben but deservingly didn’t get paid more than A Rodg. This is a win win deal, we’ve locked him up and this whole process will give him that chip on his shoulder to work undeniably hard. Now time to get Bobby and Kam happy.

    Great to have you back Rob thanks for touching base.

    • Rob Staton

      Thanks CA

  4. Volume12

    Happy blue Friday everyone!

    Rob, great to have you back my man. Hope ypu enjoyed the much deserved time off with the fam

    About damn time. We all remember what it was like having Whitehurst and TJAX back there. RW got Big Ben money as someone said, but his money is spread out like say Jay Cutler. Seattle again gets a steal even with a franchise QB. Couldn’t have a distratced RW after adding Jimmy this offseason.

    I’m flat-out shocked by Bam Bam. Wasn’t expecting that from him. He’s still my boy and I love him to death, but no compassion for holdouts. Didn’t like the deal, shouldn’t of signed it. But IMO he’ll only miss a couple days at the most. Other than that, damn excited, good to have Rob and everyone else back, now let’s go be the first fanbase to watch their team make 3 straight SBs in the salary cap era!

    • UKHawkDavid

      Here here! Good to have you back V12 also!

    • Rob Staton

      Thanks V12

  5. David M2

    And suddenly months of depression were wiped away with one single post…

    Welcome back Rob, hope you enjoyed your much deserved vacation.

    V-12 good to see you back as well, meanwhile, I’m in a glass case of emotion…

    • Rob Staton

      Thanks man

  6. Screeching Hawk

    Yay Russel signed a fair deal as far as I’m concerned and first thing I thought was the boys are back to blog! I understad Kam wants a bit more money but Pete and John were faithful to him when he signed that contract and he should honor it. He might get some more money out of this but it’s disapointing. Bobby sent a Twitter or whatever saying you can’t sign everyone? What is he implying? We miss you Rob. Hope to hear more from you soon. Go Hawks forever

    • Rob Staton

      Thanks Screeching Hawk — blog will be back to full time very soon with some interesting ideas for 2015 including a weekly podcast.

      • Beanhawk

        Love the weekly podcast idea, Rob!

    • Volume12

      That tweet was interesting, but he ain’t going nowhere. They’ll franchise him worst case.

    • david m

      i understood the tweet as the following, Bobby knows that in order to sign a big contract, one of his defensive buddies, in perticular a d lineman is going to be cut. that have t odrop a big salery player like McDaniel (3mil), restructure Mebane and we are good to go. That is what the tweet means… at least i think

      • bigDhawk

        Yay Rob! Welcome back after some much-deserved time off. This is obviously a very joyous day for 12s everywhere, though somewhat sullied. The Wilson deal is, without doubt, a huge win for the organization. Perhaps the best franchise QB deal ever in the salary cap era, given Wilson’s previous status as the best value player in all of sports for his first three years. And it follows the same template the team has used to extend all its core players – a four year extension added onto the end of the existing deal. The Seahawks FO never deviated from their plan and ultimately got the deal done within their parameters. Very impressive.

        Which brings me to the few blemishes on the start of TC. My main take is that for all the shrewdness of our FO in negotiating team-friendly deals for its superstars, it seems to have gotten us to the point of too many team-friendly deals for too many superstars. Bennett’s quote today is disturbing. He has apparently come to the realization that his only true leverage is to become a locker room cancer and perhaps force a trade. He can’t hold out or tank during the season if he wants a pay raise. But he might get paid if he forces his way out. Kam’s holdout is surprising, but also not surprising. And he may not be the last. As the cap increases we could see this happen with ET and Sherm next season…and, heaven forbid, Russell in a couple years. Wilson’s deal is very team friendly. Even more so if he goes on to win more Super Bowls. First-world football problems, I know. We’ll deal with that drama when it happens. But today we celebrate, and start the process of wrapping out head around what it’s like to be a perennial championship contender for the first time in team history.

        • bigDhawk

          Woops, reply fail. This was supposed to be a new post.

  7. AndrewP

    Rob- Glad to hear the family is doing well! Welcome back, and I’m glad my fears that the site was quietly going into the night were unfounded!

    • Rob Staton

      No chance of that Andrew — the blog will be back for sure! Had to take some time off though although as we get closer to the college season we’ll get back into it.

      • AndrewP

        If there was a ‘like’ button I would hit it. Love this site, looking forward to the return of regular stories… Oh, and the football season, too, I guess…

  8. Volume12

    Rob, I wouldn’t be me without throwing out some prospects. IDK if you’ve watched any tape this summer, but curious as to your thoughts/opinions of 2 guys.

    1. Texas A&M OT Germain Ifedi. Kid looks like a power forward, nasty, versatile, highly confident almost bordering on cocky, and some bloodlines.

    2. UL-Lafayette HB Elijah McGuire. This kid is so damn explosive, his production is off the charts 2 years running, runs routes like a WR, has speed, power, balance, vision, patience, and IMO he’ll be a SPARQ demon. He’s also currently weighing 210-215.

    • Rob Staton

      Ifedi is on my watch list for early in the season as a player I haven’t studied much. Will see if I can find some McGuire to look at.

    • JRJ

      Just watched tape on the McGuire kid. Damn. He has some ankle breaking moves. Granted, limited tape. Would like to see him against a higher level of competition. He’d probably be a damn fine WR too.

  9. Turp

    Huge sigh of relief, and now awaiting Bobby Wagner extension! Welcome back Rob!

  10. CC

    Welcome back to the Blog Rob! Miss your articles, but enjoying you talk football on Twitter.

    This is what we all wanted and hoped for. Spending 2015 talking about his contract would have been awful. Truthfully, I have been avoiding most Seahawk talk because it was all – will he or won’t he – for the past 2-3 months. I

    Hope everyone one here on the blog is doing well and having a great summer! Let the games begin!

    Go HAWKS!

  11. Ehurd1021

    Welcome back Rob!!! Missed the blog and you’re great work!!

    Rob do you think its pretty much a done deal now that after we take care of Bobby (assuming we sign and don’t tag) that Okung, Sweezy and Irvin are all gone? And do you have any idea what happens with Mebane this year?

    Its great to have you back, ITS FOOTBALL TIME!!!!!!!

    • Rob Staton

      It’s hard to say. I imagine on Okung they’ll let him test his market. If his best option is to stay I’m sure he will. I sense he’s determined to stay put and that’ll be key. His rookie contract came the year before the new CBA so he already has big money (and he’s seen out the full deal). There could be reasons to be optimistic there. I think Irvin will depart. Sweezy is tough to work out. Carroll always speaks highly of him. They need some consistency on the line. The Mark Glowinski pick screamed Sweezy backup/possible replacement. I think they’d like to keep him if they can.

  12. Philip

    Just so I’m clear on the deal…

    His salary will still be $1.54 million for 2015, right (the extension covers 2016-2019)?

    He receives his signing bonus now, but it is pro-rated against the cap over the life of the contract, right? Does that begin in 2015 (with 1/5 of the $31 million counting each year) or not until the extension kicks in in 2016 (with 1/4 of the $31 million counting each year)?

    Assuming the answer to the first question is “yes,” and the answer to the second question is “over five years beginning in 2015,” the cap numbers will be:

    2015 = $7.74 million (1.54 salary + 6.2 signing bonus)
    2016-2019 = $20.35 million (14.15 salary + 6.2 signing bonus)

    I realize that the salary probably won’t be evenly split over the four years of the extension, and the numbers will likely start a little lower and grow through the contract — but as far as I know, the exact breakdown hasn’t been reported.

    Is that all correct?

    (And welcome back, Rob!)

    • Philip

      Actually, no . . . the way it’s been reported hasn’t been completely accurate.

      They emphasize “new money” so that Wilson can claim a higher salary, but it’s really not the salary.

      Per Mike Florio (

      “The truth is that the last year of his current contract, at a base salary of $1.542 million, has been ripped up and replaced with a new five-year, $89.1 million deal.”

      And further down in the same article:

      “The base salaries are, via Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, $700,000 in 2015, $12.34 million in 2016, $12.6 million in 2017, $15.5 million in 2018, and $17 million in 2019.

      “This makes the cap numbers $6.9 million in 2015 (plus any remaining bonus proration from his rookie deal), $18.54 million in 2016, $18.8 million in 2017, $21.7 million in 2018, and $23.2 million in 2019.”

      The one thing that’s not yet clear is what the nature of the guaranteed money is beyond the $31 million signing bonus. Is it fully guaranteed and what part of it is guaranteed (better for the team if more of the earlier money is the guaranteed portion).

      • CHawk Talker Eric

        That was my question: Is the $31mm signing bonus part of the guaranteed $60mm or in addition?

        It has to be part, otherwise he’d have $91mm guaranteed on an $87.6mm contract.

  13. Ukhawk

    Any thoughts on the merits and demerits of the interact from a team perspective? And what is Wagner on about??

  14. Zane

    Great to have you back Rob! It’s neat that this deal gives the Hawks the flexibility to tag Wagner next year!

  15. mrpeapants

    welcome back rob! great to have the blog back! go hawks

  16. Nichansen01

    Is there any way we can resign Wagner without having to cut McDaniel or Mebane? How about cutting Kearse or restructuring mebanes contract?

  17. Old but Slow

    Good to have our QB signed to a strong deal, good to hear from you, Rob (nice reporting), and good to see that the posters are still here in force.

    It’s all good!

  18. JeffC

    Nice to have you back, Rob. The hawk blogosphere wasn’t the same without you.

    Aside from what every one else says, what areas do you personally hope to see Wilson improve this season?

  19. Hawksince77

    About those receiving targets…

    Adding Graham an obvious upgrade. But what about the WRs? A potential emergence of 6’5″ Chris Matthews; a healthy Paul Richardson; Tyler Lockett already running with the 1s as the starting slot WR in 3 WR sets. And that’s not counting the two WRs the team has largely relied for almost 2 full seasons, Baldwin and Kearse. Or Norwood, who may be an upgrade over Kearse (in my perfect world).

    The point is, maybe we have seen the last tepid passing game for awhile. “The deep ball is back,” Hawkblogger asserts in his camp notes from today. Remember last year at this time it was all bubble screens and jet sweeps to Harvin. A truly dangerous passing game would make the offense almost unstoppable, making it impossible to focus solely on stopping Seattle’s rushing offense.

    And with returning 10 of 11 starters on defense (do I have that right) and with lots of promising depth, barring catastrophe, this could be Seattle’s best season ever. Perhaps one for the history books.

  20. Michael M.

    Great to see a new post on my favorite Seahawks site! Hope you enjoyed the time away Rob, and that the family is doing well.

    I truly don’t understand why this was made into such a story. I know the media sensationalizes everything (especially during the off-season) but anyone who bought into the idea that Russell wasn’t going to be here long term is pretty foolish. I am not breathing any kind of sigh of relief at this news. This was always going to happen. Once you’ve found a franchise QB – the most elusive asset in the NFL – you simply don’t let him get away.

    • franks

      That’s how I’ve been reading it too Michael, I think the public has been taking negotiation stances too much at face value. But for me the deal is exciting! Didn’t know how much he was looking for but when I see the figures I see a “hometown discount.”

      Really excited to have you with us for 5 more years Russell!

  21. peter

    I’m stoked to see the old names! And of course that the captain is back at the helm. Rob I’m looking forward to this seasons new ideas from you.

    As per the contract I’m a Wilson guy but have contemplated both sides all off season. For me a contract like this seems legit. When luck signs his and the next qb’s redo theirs its going to feel like a solidly middling contract. As for talk of home town discounts etc, this off season, the NFLPA is pretty weak but even if Wilson wanted to take less and why would he? The only thing they have going is escalating deals. The money would have to go in this direction…up..

    Rob excellent analogy about the bills…let me suggest another team that was great in two out of three areas…the Sanchez Jets. Its easy to talk about defense and lynch but even in the division look no further then St. Louis a team many thoughtful fans will concede has a defense as punishing as ours… Yet they’ve gone nowhere for years without a legit QB.

    Anyways time to start cranking through the names to get ready for draft nerdness!

  22. Tomahawk

    Glad to have you back, Rob.

  23. Forrest

    Yay, no more “speculation” articles about the Wilson situation. Also, welcome back Rob!

  24. Barry

    Man its good to have the blog back! I am optimistic that with the cap rising next year we shouldn’t worry about Bobby’s contract.

    I think this year is going to bring the normal or abnormal high-ups and some downs. Overall very excited to see what the new additions to the offense can do along with some of the current young players growing their game.

    Good to hear from yah Rob, here’s to another great insightful draft blog year!

  25. Mylegacy

    The tide comes in, the tide goes out. The swallows return to Capistrano. Rob, refreshed, revitalized and ready to roar – returns to his SEAHAWKS Draft Blog. Order has been restored to the Universe. The Force has returned, football is back. Rob, the King of our hill, will once more will lead us, his forlorn hope, into the breach!

    Welcome back Rob!

  26. CHawk Talker Eric

    This had to happen. Just like with Lynch.

    Not sure why all the drama, as the final numbers are pretty much in line with what we’ve been talking about (e.g., 4yr/$80mm, 5yr/$100mm, etc.). I’m not even surprised by the the ~66% guaranteed salary (btw I’ve never been less concerned about a player performing under a new contract as I am with RW).

    T’was longer than a fortnight but so glad to have the SDB community active again! Thank you Rob.

    Thus ends our Midsummer Night’s dream. Bring on the season!

    • Volume12

      Everything good with the fam CHAWK?

      • CHawk Talker Eric

        Hey V12! What’s up my man?

        Fam is good. Gonna visit some of them in Seattle in a few weeks. You in the area?

        • Volume12

          Glad to hear that buddy.

          As of now I am, used to live here, also have family that live here, but by then unfortunately, I’ll be back in Spokane.

  27. Volume12

    Just some observations.

    Does anybody else think those green jerseys the defense is wearing are as dope as I do?

    ET looks like he’s in phenomenal shape. Dude appears extra jacked this year.

    Athyba Rubin is a monster! The guy doesn’t have an ounce of fat that I can see and he’s 325-330.

    Our offensive lineman all look low post players in the NBA. This team does not like messy, sloppy, body types.

    Really looking forward to Pinkins and Tye Smith. IMO those 2 guys are going to be flat-out studs.

    Rob, you nailed it my man. TLock and RW are attached at the hip! Every time I see one of them, the other is close by.

    And Cassius Marsh. This guy looks destined for some big things. Great shape, worked his tail off this off-season, and his versatility has me geeked! 5 tech, LEO, SAM, if he stays healthy, he’ll be a big part of this defense going forward.

    • Volume12

      Forgot to add LB Alex Singleton. Keep an eye on him. I think he’s a classic Seahawks UDFA that will contribute on STs at the very least, perfect PS candidate, and in all likelihood will be a valuable piece down the line.

    • Ho Lee Chit

      It is nice to not have any serious needs on this roster. We are loaded and the depth guys could step in if they get the chance. Our draft selections will be determined by injuries and contract casualties. If the O Line performs well enough to open holes for Marshawn and keep Wilson clean we will be right back in the SB. Okung could be the next one out. With Bailey and Terry Poole on the roster we have insurance at his spot.

      • Volume12

        Definetly. Although I’ m not sure about Okung. IMO they’ll keep him or Sweezy, but not both. Hope I’m wrong.

        Gilliam also looks like he could possibly play there in a pinch.

  28. Therick05

    While everyone is excited about Tyler Lockett i’m excited about Chris Matthews! Really, this guy is gonna have a monster year, i think that he can become our Number 1 WR this year, his SB performance makes me excited everytime i think about it!

  29. CHawk Talker Eric

    Wags signed for 4 years. Well done FO. Well done.

    • Colin

      Now the question becomes….which DT is getting cut….

      • Barry

        Wags signing feels great. Down the stretch I dont know if there was anyone making as many plays from the playoffs to the SB.

        Mebane maybe getting a restructure but we have more depth going into camp this year. Heath withstanding….

        • Volume12

          I kind of hope they don’t cut a DT personally. I know Seattle isn’t worried about DT’s because their really only 2 down players, pure run stuffers are typically easy to find, and give me a guy that when he crosses an O-lineman’s face, his quickness is too much to handle. Having said that, Seattle has no DTs with any experience on it’s roster after this year. So if re-structuring Mebane keeps him around past this year, I’m all for it.

          Right now, another 3-tech is what I think this team adressess first in next year’s draft. Getting that guy who can play all up and down the line with some size is super important.

      • CHawk Talker Eric

        Looks like Tony McDaniel is the odd man out

  30. kevin mullen

    So.. Can we talk about 1st round OLineman again??

    • peter


      Well played!

      • Volume12

        Keep an eye on Texas A&M OT/OG Germain Ifedi.

  31. CA

    With Wagner now locked up and McDaniel waived, the picture is much clearer. Kam will likely get his updated contract within the week after restructuring takes place on Mebane’s contract. I see them picking up another rotational DL from another squad, but I like our rotational depth as is.

    IMO: 2016 draft focus shifts to OL, RB, DT, CB, WR in no particular order- subject to change of course

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