Russell Wilson has given the Seattle Seahawks a deadline for a record-breaking contract extension, hoping that it will help push negotiations along. Wilson made it clear to the Seahawks that he wants a new deal by April 15, when Seattle begins its offseason program.
Wilson is entering the final year of a four-year extension that he signed in 2015. Wilson said a couple of weeks ago that there was “great potential” that he could become the league’s top-paid quarterback this offseason. Aaron Rodgers is currently the highest paid QB in the league after his four-year $134 million extension, which gives him an average annual value of $33.5 million per year.
While Wilson stated his desire to get a deal done by April 15, it is currently unknown what his plans will be if no deal is reached. Although, it is assumed Wilson will most likely not show up to any offseason program and potentially hold out throughout the summer until a deal is reached.
Wilson is currently scheduled to make $17 million during the 2019 season.
This isn’t the first time Wilson set a deadline for an extension. He did so back in 2015, but that wasn’t until the start of training camp. The two sides eventually agreed on a four-year $87.6 million deal. After the deal was done at the last minute, Wilson said he would have put contract talks aside and played out the final year of his rookie deal had the two sides not met a deadline.
That deal made Wilson the second-highest paid QB in the NFL behind Rodgers. Since then, Wilson has dropped to the 12th highest paid QB in terms of annual average salary.
Last season Wilson threw for 3,448 yards and 35 touchdowns and finished last season with a 110.9 passer rating, third in the league behind Drew Brees and Patrick Mahomes, and tied his career low with seven interceptions. Wilson threw 427 passes last season, his fewest since 2013.
At the end of last season, Wilson said he would be okay with going into the final year of his current deal if that is what needs to be done.
“Oh yeah, if that’s what I’ve got to do,” said Wilson. “It’s business and everything. I know essentially after the season, I could potentially be a free agent, that kind of thing. I don’t think that way. I see myself being in Seattle. I love Seattle, and it’s a special place for me.”
Head coach Pete Carroll said at the end of last season that an extension for Wilson is “very much in our plans.”
If a deal doesn’t get done this offseason, the Seahawks could keep Wilson under contract for 2020 via the franchise tag, which would come with a salary of $30.34 million. A second franchise tag in 2021 would cost $36.41 million.