Considering he’s engineered 15 game-winning drives in the fourth quarter or overtime for the Seattle Seahawks, fans should have expected last-minute dramatics from quarterback Russell Wilson.
Maybe he would squeal his car into the parking lot, dodging a few parking attendants, spin past a security guard, sprint up the stairs and whip out a pen to sign his contract extension as time ran out on his self-imposed deadline Friday morning.
After leaving fans to spend a summer fretting over his future, the four-year veteran reportedly agreed to a four-year extension for $87.6 million, making him the second-highest paid quarterback in the NFL – second only to Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers.
That it went down to the final moments was not unusual as this deal had a lot of moving parts. Wilson’s agent, Mark Rodgers, apparently wanted to test the accepted NFL limits on contract guarantees. The Seahawks’ management hoped to sustain their standards on extensions and guarantees.
Both sides knew the obvious: Wilson is the face and future of the franchise.
Although an undersized prospect (5-foot-11) and a somewhat overlooked third-round draft pick, Wilson led the Hawks to a 36-12 record for a .750 winning percentage – trailing Tom Brady (.773) in winning percentage among active quarterbacks.
The Seahawks have been to two Super Bowls, winning one, since Wilson arrived.
His ability to avoid sacks, turn bad plays into first downs, and stay cool under pressure has made him one of the league’s most difficult quarterbacks to defend.
Wilson not only hasn’t missed a game in his first three seasons, he’s never missed a practice.
In a league where a franchise quarterback is the most valuable commodity, the Seahawks did the smart thing: They kept Russell Wilson. They kept him happy. They made him rich.