On Monday, April 15, Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson signed a 4-year deal worth $140 million. The contract includes a $65 million signing bonus, and $107 million in guaranteed money. It will make him the highest paid quarterback in the league. The signing came after weeks of speculation and rumors of the Hawks dealing the veteran to the New York Giants. Rumors were that Wilson wanted to play in a bigger market. For the Giants, they were looking to replace veteran quarterback Eli Manning. New York recently picked Daniel Jones sixth in the NFL Draft, putting the nail in the coffin of what could have been a blockbuster deal.
There was a lot of controversy when the contract made headlines. Many media pundits saw the contract as overcompensating. “When we ask the question of who should be the highest paid player, I think the highest producers should be paid,” said ESPN analyst Stephen A. Smith. There is a conversation to be had in professional sports in regards to properly compensating athletes. This is to be had especially when it comes to the NFL. Typically the highest paid players are the ones that draw the most eyeballs. Box office names like Brady, Rodgers, Odell Beckham Jr. and J. J. Watt. Guys who juggle high performance and marketability with ease. Russell Wilson throughout his career has mastered this and then some.
Wilson’s performance the past two-to-three years has kept the Seahawks’ offense stable despite having a non-cohesive, injury-plagued offensive line. He’s a short scrambling QB in the mold of Fran Tarkenton, yet he can sit back in the pocket and deliver quality passes. He has to overcome so much running the gauntlet that is the NFC. Facing off against defenses like the Los Angeles Rams. In 2018, he finished top 10 in passing touchdowns (32), passer rating (110.9) and wins (10). Pro Football Focus had him ranked as the seventh best quarterback in the league. Throw in his corny yet down-to-earth personality, and you have one great ambassador for the team. He‘s especially a net positive to Seattle’s public image. Standing at 5 feet, 11 inches, “DangeRuss” is doing all of this despite not fitting the conventional standards of an NFL quarterback, and it’s a crazy sight to see. While this new contract might seem too generous, it’s absolutely deserving for a person who despite having so much to deal with, has given fans in the Emerald City something worth cheering for.
Photo courtesy of the Seattle Seahawks