The Seattle Seahawks were rumored to be close to a deal to lock down quarterback Russell Wilson, but a new demand from the Super Bowl winner could put his future with the team in jeopardy.
Wilson and the team have been locked in a long and difficult contract extension negotiation, with reports that the Seahawks have been reluctant to meet Wilson’s demands. There appeared to be some good movement on a deal in recent weeks, but now a new report claims that Wilson is aiming to get a gigantic raise in the new contract.
Bleacher Report’s Jason Cole is reporting that Wilson wants to be the highest-paid player in the league, aiming for a contract bigger than Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
If true, the demand could throw a wrench in negotiations that appeared to be making progress. Late last month, there were rumors that the Seattle Seahawks were coming closer to meeting Wilson, and Wilson’s agent, Mark Rodgers, said there is an “ongoing dialogue” with the team.
“We’ve had an ongoing dialogue, not all of it being a negotiation,” Rodgers told 710 ESPN radio in Seattle. “Some of it just being philosophical and really trying to understand each other’s positions. I would characterize our talks as ongoing, fluid, robust at times, thoughtful and we’ve made progress. Frankly, about 95 percent of the speculation has been off point. I would characterize [the negotiations] as positive and encouraging.”
At the time, Rodgers said that Wilson’s demands were reasonable.
“What he’s looking for is what everybody is looking for,” Rodgers said, “a deal that feels fair, feels reasonable and at the end of the day makes him feel comfortable with the compensation he’s receiving from the skill and performance he’s delivered.”
But the new rumors indicate that Russell Wilson believes a “fair” deal will end up with him as the league’s top-paid player. This could put the Seattle Seahawks in a tricky situation and could eventually lead to his exit from the team. Sources close to the team had said previously that the Seahawks were willing to let Wilson play out his rookie deal — which gives him $1.5 million in the coming year — and use the franchise tag to keep him for one or two more years, but then could let him go.
It’s difficult to say how much truth there is to the Seattle Seahawks rumors. While the team has had difficulty locking down Russell Wilson, what’s going on behind the scenes can be very different from how the negotiation is playing out in public, and it’s difficult to believe the team may actually let a franchise, Super Bowl-winning quarterback simply walk away.
[Image via Getty Images/Elsa]