Signing quarterback Russell Wilson to a contract extension is undoubtedly a big priority for the Denver Broncos‘ front office.
Wilson’s current deal is set to expire after the 2023 season.
Mike Klis of 9news spoke about Wilson’s contract on June 1.
“The first order of business for the new owner will be to sign Russell Wilson to a contract extension,” Klis said. “Five years and $250 million will be his asking price.”
Klis later clarified his statement on Twitter. Wilson has not asked for a five-year, $250 million deal. That is what Klis expects Wilson’s market value to be.
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Wilson’s Projected Contract Would Be On Par With Other Elite QBs
A five-year, $250 million contract for Wilson makes sense, as it will be comparable to the contracts of other elite quarterbacks.
A $250 million extension for Wilson would be the third-largest contract in the NFL in total value trailing only Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen.
His average annual salary of $50 million would also be the second-highest in the league trailing only Rodgers.
Waiting to Extend Wilson is Risky for the Broncos
When the Broncos traded a collection of draft picks and players to the Seattle Seahawks for Wilson, they already knew how high his market value would be.
Inevitably, they will have to pay him.
Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio discussed the idea of waiting until after the season to extend Wilson.
“This approach entails some risk for both sides. If Wilson is spectacular as the centerpiece of the Denver offense, the price goes up. If Wilson struggles, it becomes harder for his agent, Mark Rodgers, to advocate to make Wilson the highest-paid player in league history.”
Florio is right. Waiting carries risk for both parties. It is in the interest of both sides to get a deal done before the season.
The market value of star players in the NFL continues to increase. Defensive tackle Aaron Donald just signed a three-year, $95 million deal with the Los Angeles Rams.
Let’s take a look at the quarterback market, in particular. In 2017, Derek Carr was the highest-paid player in NFL history after signing a five-year, $125 million contract with the Oakland Raiders.
Five years later, Carr’s average annual salary of $25 million would only rank 15th among quarterbacks.
This offseason, two quarterbacks signed contract extensions worth more than $45 million annually (Rodgers and Watson).
If the Broncos wait to sign Wilson to an extension, the market should continue to increase. As large as $50 million per season sounds right now, it will not be as daunting in a few years, as the market continues to be reset. Derek Carr’s contract in 2017 is proof of that.