Who would have ever thought that a third round pick out of Wisconsin would end up becoming the starting quarterback of an NFL team let alone a Super Bowl Champion? If it wasn't for one play on the goal line he would be a two-time Super Bowl champion after just three years in the league. That is who Russell Wilson is.
The question on the minds of fans everywhere is whether the Seattle Seahawks are ever going to start paying him accordingly. With the rookie wage scale his first contract was for four years and a shade under $3 million. He is scheduled to get paid $1.54 million for the 2015 season.
That is just flat out wrong. He knows it. The team knows it. Pretty much the entire football loving free world knows it including the team's billionaire owner, Paul Allen.
So what's the problem?
The latest rumor is that the team offered Wilson a deal similar to the one that Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton received (five years, $103.8 million with $60 million guaranteed). Wilson has supposedly rejected it.
Is it because he thinks he is worth more than Cam Newton? He certainly is, but Newton was also extremely overpaid (which is not Wilson's fault).
According to the never ending rumor mill the hold-up is twofold: (1) Wilson wants to be the highest paid player in the NFL;; an honor which currently belongs to Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers ($22 million/season) and (2) Wilson wants a really good chunk of it guaranteed.
NFL players are becoming all about getting a significant portion of their contracts guaranteed. It's an idea that some owners are okay with, but others are not as quick to jump on board. No one wants to be like the NBA and have players like Houston Rockets Josh Smith, who are still making millions of their former teams while they get paid by their new one.
While that scenario is not ideal it is not the real sticking point for Allen when it comes to Wilson's guaranteed money. Per the collective bargaining agreement the guaranteed portion of a player's contract is held in escrow. Working off of Newton's contract that would mean Allen would have to put $60 million in escrow when Wilson signs his new deal.
Allen is worth over $17.1 billion. Setting aside $60 million would be like most of us setting aside $20 in the glove box in case we run out of gas. Yet, for some reason, Allen does not want to do it.
So for all intents and purposes the two sides are at an impasse.
If you listen to Wilson talk all the speculation about his future is a waste of time. He has faith that the contract process is going to play out however it should play out and he is going to remain in Seattle—which is where he says he wants to play.
However, he has also talked about how he has moved around before and would be ready to do it again if necessary.
In the end Wilson probably will sign in Seattle for a just and righteous amount. Allen is a smart business man and he knows that losing Wilson would be a disaster. What would the team do? Start Tavaris Jackson again (that worked out so well before)?