The Seahawks finally secured their star quarterback today. Russell Wilson signed a 4-year extension worth around $87 million, including $60 million guaranteed. Wilson will now be one of the highest paid quarterbacks in the NFL based on annual salary, and along with Cam Newton, has the third most guaranteed money amongst current quarterback contracts.
Wilson is entering his fourth year in the National Football League. In his three years, he’s taken the Seahawks to the Divisional playoffs, a Super Bowl Championship, and came within one play of winning another Super Bowl. Wilson has won a total of 36 games in his three seasons, all as a starter, which are the most by any quarterback in his first three years in the Super Bowl era.
This has been a busy offseason for the Seahawks as they attempt to keep their young core together. They’ve already locked up Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas, and Doug Baldwin. While Wilson was certainly their primary focus, linebacker Bobby Wagner is entering the last year of his rookie deal as well, and Kam Chancellor is holding out of camp, as he’s unhappy with his current deal. Pass rusher Michael Bennett has also said he’d like a new contract, despite signing a 4-year $28 million at the end of the 2013 season.
There’s one position in this league that is more valuable than any other, and that’s quarterback. A lot of people are bothered by the amount Russell Wilson is going to make compared to other quarterbacks in the league. It doesn’t matter. The Seahawks have to pay him. People need to get over the Super Bowl and the NFC Championship. Wilson played terribly in the NFC Championship. Everybody has a bad game, and he was still able to rally in the second half to pull off the miracle. In the Super Bowl, Wilson wasn’t exceptional, but he played fine, yet people get hung up on the interception that won the game for the Patriots. It wasn’t a bad throw. Malcolm Butler made a great play. Not every interception is the quarterback’s fault. Russell Wilson threw a pass that was in a good spot, but Butler knew what play was coming and jumped the route.
While people focus on those two games, let’s look at the rest of Wilson’s career, which is what the quarterback got paid for. He’s had a completion percentage over 63% every year as a pro. He’s thrown for over 3,000 yards and 20 touchdowns every year. After throwing 10 interceptions his rookie year, that number has gone down each year. Wilson is also a dynamic runner. He averaged over five yards a carry his first two seasons, and over seven yards a carry last season.
Will this contract make it more difficult for the Seahawks to resign those three key defensive players mentioned earlier? Of course. But Seattle should let Chancellor and Wagner pout. They can win games without a good linebacker, and with just one great safety instead of two. But they’re not going to win a lot of games with Tavaris Jackson at quarterback. A lot of fans and media members have labeled Wilson as an average quarterback who benefits from a great roster. He does have a great team around him. But anyone who acts like the Seahawks can put any clown at quarterback and win Super Bowls, think of this. The Buffalo Bills are very similar to the Seahawks. They have a tenacious defense, with Pro Bowlers all over the place. They have a solid running game, and better receivers than Seattle. But anyone who looks at the Bills as a Super Bowl contender with what they have at quarterback is delusional. The Seahawks, on the other hand, are a Super Bowl favorite every year. People don’t want to hear it, but Russell Wilson just got paid, and he absolutely deserves it.