Note: I haven’t been commenting much on the Seattle Seahawks so far this season. With the year ending injuries to key defensive stars Cliff Avril, Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor, plus the problems with the offensive line and the running game, I have been, more or less, in “wait and see” mode as regards this […]Read the Rest →
The NFL rules governing its salary structure are a nightmare to figure out. Personally I have stopped trying and just leave it to the specialists that NFL teams now must employ to try to wallow through these regulations and do the right thing for their teams and fans. Without fully understanding them, it is clear that these rules are primarily designed to one thing well, and that is to prevent a team from doing what the Seattle Seahawks are trying to do: keep its best players and become a dynasty. It’s all part of the NFL’s effort to achieve competitive “parity”, and that concept is built in to pretty much everything the league does. When it comes to player salaries such things as league mandated team salary caps make it impossible for a team to make a simple offer to a player it wants to sign or re-sign without evaluating the “cap hit” involved and the effect of that contract on those the team wants to offer to other players or that have been recently signed by other players. This and other “parity” steps the league employs, such as scheduling the league’s elite teams to play the other elite teams each season, make it practically impossible for a team to do what the Seahawks have just accomplished—return to the Super Bowl in consecutive seasons.
That said, “cap hit” or no “cap hit”, there are some players that you make sure you sign no matter what, and Russell Wilson is just such a player. Now, I have heard all the arguments. Some say he is not as good as the other elite quarterbacks in the league and therefore does not deserve elite money. Others say he plays on a team with a great running back and a great defense and so does not have to carry his team with the great passing stats of Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers and Peyton Manning. Others still say that Wilson is short, with all of the limitations that condition implies.
But let me tell you what I know—Russell Wilson wins football games and is the PERFECT quarterback for Pete Carroll’s system. Consider the following:
- Through his first three seasons with the Seahawks Russell Wilson has won more regular season games (36) than any other quarterback in league history.
- He is the first quarterback in league history with a passer rating of 95.0 or better for each of their first three seasons.
- Across his first three seasons Wilson has accumulated 24 games with a passer rating of 100 plus—the best in league history by far.
- Over the last three years Wilson leads all quarterbacks in the NFL with 10 fourth quarter comebacks and 15 game-winning drives. No other quarterback in NFL history has ever done this in their first three years.
- Russell Wilson is the only quarterback in NFL history to rush for 100 yards and pass for 300 yards in one game. (last season vs. St. Louis Rams)
- Last season he led all quarterbacks in the NFL in rushing and his 7.2 yards per carry average was the best in the league for ALL running backs.
- During Wilson’s first three seasons the Seattle Seahawks have had the lead in an NFL record 56 consecutive games (including playoffs), far surpassing the old record of 45. Also, in games he has quarterbacked Wilson has never lost a game by more than nine points.
- Russell Wilson is durable. Despite playing more games than any quarterback over the last 3 seasons he has never missed a game, whether regular season or playoff, due to injury.
- Wilson is also the only quarterback in NFL history to guide his team to the Super Bowl in two of his first three seasons.
- Through his first three seasons there has not been a hint of misbehavior or, last year’s “not black enough” flap notwithstanding, scandal regarding Wilson.
Now, confronting all of the above, what would YOU do with a player, and especially a quarterback, so described and who was now going into the last year of his rookie deal? I know what I would do—WHATEVER it takes to re-sign him, that’s what. Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll and GM John Schneider obviously see it the same way and that is why they have inked Wilson to a four year $87.5 million extension, for the time being making Russell Wilson the 2nd highest paid player in the league in terms of annual average salary behind Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers.
Was there ever any doubt that the Seahawks would get this deal with Wilson done? Regardless of the added time it took and the endless speculation in the media over the last few months, not really. The goal Carroll and Schneider have set for the Seahawks is nothing less than building an NFL dynasty in Seattle, the league and its “parity” rules notwithstanding; and Russell Wilson is the quarterback they have to have to get it done. The simple truth is that he is worth more to the Seahawks than he would be to any other NFL team.
With the Russell Wilson deal now complete the Seahawks brain trust can turn their attention to other key business, like getting a new contract done for middle linebacker Bobby Wagner, who is also going into the final season of his rookie deal. I expect we will be hearing about that soon.
Meanwhile we “Twelves” can stop worrying about Wilson, if we were, and start getting ready for another push for the Super Bowl. I have a feeling we are all in for another magnificent ride this season.
Copyright © 2015
By Mark Arnold
All Rights Reserved