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Projecting a Russell Wilson extension

The clock is ticking on a Russell Wilson extension.

With a deadline of Monday at midnight, reports indicate that both sides are moving to get a deal one. For what it’s worth, and it’s worth very little, my gut tells me a deal gets done. Russell Wilson is the franchise. The Seattle Seahawks are Russell Wilson. Russell Wilson is the Seattle Seahawks. Pete Carroll knows it, John Schneider knows it, Jody Allen knows it, Matt Thomas knows it. Everyone knows it. I believe a deal gets done.

As we approach the deadline, I wanted to quickly put out some numbers in what an expected contract could look like. Excuse any writing formalities, this article is focused on numbers and details. Let’s start at the top… there’s three contracts that are relevant to me in analyzing a potential deal:

Below is what I think Russell Wilson will end up signing for, or close to it. I’ll explain my logic in bullet points.

  • Russell Wilson’s new money APY will be $34.5M APY, just a shy under $35M a year. This would make him the highest paid player in the NFL, just topping Rodgers’ $33.5M number.
    • His 2019 cap hit would drop by around $4M.
  • The deal will be a total of $138M over four years (4), with Super Bowl/MVP/and other incentives bringing it even higher.
  • The deal has a $60M signing bonus as well as $79M in full guarantees (59% of the deal fully GTD at signage).
    • The first two years of RW’s base salary are fully GTD at signage (total of $19M + the $60M signing bonus = $79M fully GTD at signage), a middle ground for the two negotiating sides… as SEA doesn’t like to guarantee base salaries beyond year one.
    • $105M of the deal in total guarantees. His full 2021 base salary would be guaranteed for injury, along with $8M of his 2022 base salary ($26M + the $79M fully GTD = $105M total GTEs).
  • RW’s 2021 & 2022 base salaries vest into full guarantees a year early at the beginning of each NFL year’s waiver period (2021’s base salary would vest in the beginning of 2020, etc).
  • If you’re confused by the 2019 signing bonus, don’t fret: it’s simply the $12M equal signing bonus proration ($60M divided by 5 years) + the signing bonus proration under his old deal, which was about $8.2M.