One of the most popular phrases of the NFL offseason has been the term “voidable years,” and there was some speculation that the Seattle Seahawks could utilize this mechanism with Russell Wilson’s contract to open up more short-term cap space. During the Seahawks rookie mini-camp, head coach Pete Carroll was asked if the team considered restructuring Wilson or Bobby Wagner’s deals.
“As always, we have all of the options available to us,” Carroll explained in a recent press conference. “We’ve talked about all of that as we do every year. What are our possibilities? Where do we need to go? What do we need to do? If we get to certain levels of need to stay in compliance, for the money that we need to come up with for other contracts. We’ve done all of that. So, know that we’ve looked at every single option that’s out there, even to the point where those guys [Wilson and Wagner] know we’ve discussed that, too. It just hasn’t been necessary at this point.”
Some teams have utilized voidable years in contracts which opens up cap space for this offseason in exchange for taking on dead money in future seasons. Wilson is under contract with the Seahawks through 2023, and Seattle had a few options to restructure his contract. The quarterback could have signed some sort of an extension which would have allowed the Seahawks maximum cap flexibility to move money, but it was unlikely given Wilson is already signed for another three seasons.
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The Seahawks Believed There Was More Downside to Restructuring Wilson’s Deal Than There Was Benefit
The other option would have been to move some of Wilson’s 2021 salary back to future years when the cap is projected to go back up. Carroll admitted that they talked with Wilson about this possibility but deemed it unnecessary as the offseason progressed. Back in February, ESPN’s Brady Henderson detailed why the Seahawks would likely avoid restructuring Wilson’s contract.
“The negative cap ramifications would likely make the Seahawks less inclined to do this type of restructure again with Wilson, especially under the circumstances,” Henderson noted. “Pushing more cap charges onto future years would make it more difficult to tag or extend him, since negotiations of that size are typically based off the tag. And it would add to the already-whopping amount of dead money the Seahawks would have to eat if they traded Wilson.”
Seattle Denied Actively Negotiated in Trade Talks for Wilson
Some viewed a potential restructure as a way to cement Wilson’s long-term status with the Seahawks, but the team has tried to squash the rumors that their franchise quarterback is going anywhere. After months of silence, the Seahawks addressed Wilson’s media tour along with the trade rumors during their pre-draft press conference. Seahawks general manager John Schneider denied he “actively negotiated” with any team about their franchise quarterback.
“There was a number of teams that called after that media blitz that happened, right, but no I never actively negotiated with anybody, with any team,” Schneider responded when asked about the recent Wilson trade rumors. “Now, did people call? Absolutely, but I’m not going to get into specific teams. There was never ever a conversation, you know, people think that trade talks happen, like hey, you just start negotiating right away. There’s a lot of calls that are very, very periphery calls unless you’re dealing with trading a seventh-round pick for a player that may be getting cut and that’s going to be on the wire and those happen very quickly. But yeah, there were no active negotiations going on.”