There are few certainties in life and when it comes to NFL teams, things like death and taxes are joined by the fact that you are going to have pay up if you are lucky enough to have a top-tier quarterback.
No signal caller in the history of this league has won more in their first three seasons than Seattle’s Russell Wilson, who already has one Super Bowl ring and came up a yard short of another in February.
So Judgment Day is looming for the Seahawks in the form of $100 million-plus for a former third-round pick who has made under a million per year during his rookie contract.
And that eventuality means John Schneider and Pete Carroll are going to have to be a little sharper in allocating assets or the back end of their roster is going to take a significant hit.
Walking away from Wilson is a ludicrous strategy even for those who believe he’s been buoyed by a great running game and a historic defense.
There simply is no alternative to paying the Wilson the going rate.
Quarterbacks like Miami’s Ryan Tannehill and Carolina’s Cam Newton, whose success pales in comparison to Wilson’s, have already cashed in this offseason and set the floor for signal callers like the ‘Hawks Pro Bowler and Indianapolis’ Andrew Luck.
Understandably Wilson wanted his check this offseason and it’s tough to justify Seattle’s
wrangling because you never want to upset the face of the franchise and the guy at the controls every Sunday.
The only possible explanation is that the Seahawks want to extend their window as the most talented team in football and keeping Wilson on the cheap for a few more months could help the team’s cash flow.
But, that’s specious. It’s June and NFL teams have already cobbled together their 90-man training camp rosters. There are no big ticket items available to bring in at this stage so if Seattle’s hemming and hawing seems penny wise and dollar foolish, give yourself a gold star.
Haggling with the only man who has ever led the franchise to the promised land is as obtuse as it gets.
So to the hardliners who harp on Marshawn and that running game or Richard Sherman and the “Legion of Boom,” flashes in the pan do not win as consistently as Wilson has.
Meanwhile, if you watch the film, you see the prototype for the 2015 brand of football, at least minus the height. Wilson is a guy who can extend plays with his legs and still stick his foot in the ground on 3rd-and-7 to move the chains.
And you can count the quarterbacks who can do that consistently on one hand.
The only thing Seattle has accomplished with this strange strategy is alienating Wilson, who has at least paid lip service to walking away from the Pacific Northwest.
“I’ve gone through the ups and downs before and been moved around before,” Wilson told a Raleigh, N.C., radio station, the city where he played three seasons of college football at North Carolina State before moving on to finish his eligibility at the University of Wisconsin.
To hedge his bets Wilson has already taken out an insurance policy in the event he’s injured in ’15 and never sees the monster contract that seems assured.
“At the end of the day I trust the process,” Wilson claimed. “I know God’s going to take me and put me where he wants to have me. I hope that’s Seattle. I love it there, it’s a great place. But I’ve gone through the ups and downs and been moved around before. I loved NC State and loved playing there and then having to go somewhere else and start new.”
The Seahawks hold all the cards of course. If forced they will certainly franchise Wilson when the times comes to keep him but having a leader who is all in when it comes to the program is certainly a more desirable scenario than having a guy who lines up under center because he has to.
“Reciprocity,” Wilson ominously tweeted the Seahawks recently, a not so subtle message that he has outperformed his rookie deal and helped take the organization to heights its never seen before.
“It’s a good word,” Wilson quipped. “I like to get some dictionary words out there every once in a while … But I think everybody should use it. It’s important for everybody to have a reciprocal relationship.”
And Wilson is right.
So far the Seahawks have been taking content with the knowledge they hit a home run at the game’s most important position later in the draft.
Now it’s time to give back.