The Seahawks traded future Hall of Fame quarterback Russell Wilson to the Broncos, and his new contract proves why that was the best possible move.
Yeah, yeah, I know some people will see that headline and think, “Sour grapes, you wish you still had Russ!” No, not at all. I’d be very happy if the Seahawks still had Russell Wilson behind center. I’m pretty sure that all of us at 12ManRising have made it clear that overall, we’re fans of his play. I know that I certainly have. I mean, I probably wrote two dozen articles detailing why the Hawks shouldn’t trade him. You can read the latest example for yourself. I can’t see how he isn’t a first-ballot Hall of Famer.
That doesn’t mean that this wasn’t finally the right time for Seattle to trade him, after all. I stand by everything I wrote in the article above. The Hawks didn’t give up on him at all. What they gave up on, or to be more accurate, realized, is that the business model of keeping a high-priced quarterback didn’t match their philosophy.
Come on, 12s, we all know that the Seahawks turned the corner when they named a third-round pick as their starting QB. If it please the court, let the record show that Mr. Unlimited was signed for four years at $2,996,702. Total.
Russell Wilson priced himself out of the Seahawks plans
Now that sub $3 million dollar figure, courtesy of spotrac.com, certainly isn’t what he would command today. Desmond Ridder is a near-perfect comparison, as the Falcons took him with the 74th overall pick this year. Wilson, as you no doubt remember, was the Seahawks 75th overall selection in 2012. Ten years later, that draft spot resulted in a four-year deal worth $5,362, 959. Charles Cross, drafted ninth overall, signed for $21,731,728 for four years. That’s what the Seahawks are counting on for their next quarterback.
Wilson’s contract extension with the Broncos is for a total of $245 million. It isn’t the money itself that’s the issue, as I see it. It’s the restrictions it places on your team. Back when the deal was made, Denver GM George Paton told The Athletic’s Jourdan Rodrigue this rather revealing comment. Yes, The Athletic has a paywall, so unless you subscribe you won’t be able to read the original piece. It’s a great site, and no, we get no kickbacks. Anyway…
"“You build a different way (after making a move like this),” Paton said. “You aren’t going to go on a spending splurge every free agency; you just can’t. The model doesn’t work like that. We realize — we had all of these talks about how, three years down the road, how this impacts us.“Do we have to hit on picks? Yeah. Everyone has to hit on their picks. But the stakes are higher. You gotta hit on the sixth-rounder, the seventh-round safety or else the model doesn’t work.”"
So imagine signing a player for so much money that you know you now have to draft viable players with your sixth and seventh-round picks. Yes, the Seahawks managed that with Chris Carson and David Moore in the seventh round, and Travis Homer in the sixth. The Hawks also signed Kristjan Sokoli and Ryan Murphy in the late rounds. The Broncos have a new front office in place, but it’s clear that for any team, late-round success stories are the exception, not the rule.
This is why the Seahawks agreed to Wilson’s wishes. He wanted more talent around him, especially on the offensive line. I certainly can’t blame him for that. If I only got hit one time by Aaron Donald, I’d be dead about three times. But it takes money to field an NFL team. When you admit that you have to get a solid player with every single pick, you’ve admitted your future is gone. I’m glad the Seahawks aren’t facing this future any longer.