The price tag for former Seattle Seahawks franchise quarterback Russell Wilson’s new contract could approach $50 million per year. Denver 9 News’ Mike Klis predicted that Wilson’s “asking price” for his new deal with the Broncos will be in the five-year, $250 million range.
“The first order of business for the new owner will be to sign Russell Wilson to a contract extension,” Klis detailed on June 1, 2022. “Five years and $250 million will be his asking price.”
The Broncos are up for sale and the new ownership group will likely be tasked with signing Wilson to a contract extension. Klis later clarified that these numbers are merely a prediction for Wilson’s presumed market and not the quarterback’s precise target.
“I clarified I misspoke in follow-up tweet. It’s my presumption of what market is for him,” Klis tweeted on June 4. “There are no contract talks. No one has asked for anything at this time.”
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Wilson Will Likely Be Pushing to Become the Highest-Paid NFL QB
The one thing that is certain is the NFL tradition of the most recent star quarterback signing a deal to become the new highest-paid signal-caller. Aaron Rodgers set the new bar this offseason by inking a three-year, $150 million contract, giving him an average annual salary of $50 million. It does not take much speculation to presume that Wilson’s competitive nature will prompt a push to become the highest-paid quarterback when he signs a new deal.
Given all the Broncos gave the Seahawks to trade for Wilson, the team’s new quarterback has all the leverage in the upcoming negotiations. Wilson has two years remaining on his current four-year, $140 million contract and is slated to become a free agent in 2024. This is unlikely to happen as both parties will push for a new deal. The Denver Post’s Mark Kiszla believes Wilson “can dictate his terms” when the negotiations begin with the Broncos.
“What’s love to do with it? Money is another way athletes keep score,” Kiszla wrote on June 4. “Wilson has not stopped grinning since the Broncos went all-in to trade for him. And why shouldn’t Wilson be happy in the knowledge Denver has little choice but to pay him top dollar when it’s time to extend his current deal? Whether we’re talking about this franchise’s playbook or the next owner’s checkbook, Wilson can dictate his terms.”
Schneider: ‘We Were Under the Impression That There Wouldn’t Be a Long-Term Extension’
During the team’s first public comments about the Wilson trade, Seahawks general manager John Schneider admitted that the franchise was “under the impression” that the quarterback did not plan to sign another deal in Seattle. This likely created some sense of urgency for the Seahawks to find a trade partner sooner rather than later.
“I don’t know if those were the exact words, but we were under the impression that there wouldn’t be a long-term extension,” Schneider explained during a March 16 press conference.
The good news for the Broncos is the NFL salary cap is projected to rise significantly in the coming years thanks to the new television contracts. For the Seahawks, the team is unlikely to have their next franchise quarterback on the roster, but Seattle could reserve a significant amount of cap space for future years by drafting their next QB1 in 2023. Building around a quarterback on his rookie contract has been a successful path for previous Super Bowl winners, including the Seahawks during the 2013 season.