Firstly, if you missed it earlier please check out the piece on Byron Murphy and the Seahawks. It’s not often I post two articles in a day but this felt like a worthy moment.
Bob Condotta at the Seattle Times is reporting the following:
Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson has given the team an April 15 deadline to complete negotiations on a new contract, a source with knowledge of the discussions has confirmed.
April 15 is the day the Seahawks will begin their official offseason workout program, and Wilson is thought to want the deal done by then. It’s also thought the two sides have had some negotiations in recent days with Wilson hoping to get the contract done quickly.
We’ve been writing for a few months now that the Wilson contract saga could get ugly, will be frustrating and will dominate the off-season.
This is simply the latest move in a game of chess.
After Mike Garofolo shared some details from the Seahawks perspective last week, it seems this could be the reaction. If the team wants to try and bide their time, wait until the opportune window to negotiate (which would be just before training camp) — this is Wilson’s counter.
He doesn’t want to play to their schedule. He doesn’t want to wait until after the draft to negotiate (when they might draft someone to offer some minor leverage). He wants their best offer now — not in August.
It benefits the Seahawks to set a deadline right before camp. Then the pressure really is on. There’s no wiggle room when training camp starts. You’re in season mode. You get serious with talks and both teams are pressured to compromise with the clock ticking.
If Seattle offers a league-high contract and he says no — it’d create an awkward dynamic in the locker room. It’d only be human nature for some of his team mates to wonder how committed and dedicated he is to them. Turn down the best deal in NFL history because you want even more? While we’re busting our tails on a much lower salary? It’s not a good look. The fans would notice that too.
A hard deadline like that motivates people to compromise. A soft deadline like April 15th is very different. There’s months until training camp. Where’s the pressure here for either party to compromise?
And make no mistake — both sides will have to compromise.
Had the Seahawks set a deadline like this Wilson’s camp likely would’ve brushed it off or flat-out rejected the team making such an aggressive move. Now the Seahawks have to decide how they want to act. They could call Wilson’s bluff and say, ‘talk to us after the draft’. If they do that it’ll be up to Wilson’s camp to decide whether they want to stick to their guns. The game would continue.
It’s hard to imagine either party, in less than two weeks with no immediate pressure other than a Wilson-imposed and non-binding deadline, will find common ground. It’s not impossible. But is it likely? And before anyone says… ‘just pay the man’. No, just don’t say it. It’s never as simple as that.
If they can’t strike a deal before the deadline — what then? The saga continues presumably. As predicted. With both parties battling for scraps of leverage. With a team determined not to cripple itself financially and a player hoping to max-out his earnings.
April 16th will be a fascinating day.
The #Seahawks and Russell Wilson have been talking contract, and Seattle has the future cap flexibility to get a big deal done … but Wilson’s not the only one they want to extend. @nflnetwork @NFLTotalAccess pic.twitter.com/gQe6UNKw3l
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) April 2, 2019
You can now support Seahawks Draft Blog via Patreon by clicking the tab below.