It’s been obvious as much as it’s been fundamental to Pete Carroll and John Schneider’s Seahawks regime.
There is no plan to have anyone other than Russell Wilson as their quarterback. Basically forever. Or as forever as Carroll and Schneider run the Seahawks, anyway.
Carroll said Monday in his season-ending press conference at team headquarters he met with Seattle’s franchise quarterback on Sunday, and that the Seahawks have every intention of re-signing Wilson beyond his current contract that ends after the 2019 season.
That coach also said talks with Wilson’s agent will begin in the coming months of this offseason.
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“We talked about all of that, yeah. Russ and I met and we talked about the future. We are talking about where we are going and what we want to get done,” said Carroll, who on Christmas Eve signed an extension of his own with the Seahawks through the 2021 season.
“And, you know,” Carroll said of an extension for Wilson, “that’s very much in our plans.”
The 30-year-old Wilson is the winningest quarterback in NFL history over the first seven years of a career. He has one year remaining on his contract at $17 million in salary.
That’s about half of what the market for him will be this time next year.
Within the last year Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers and Atlanta’s Matt Ryan have signed extensions. Those deals have set the floor for what Wilson will likely seek—and command—from Seattle in his third contract since the Seahawks drafted him in 2012. Rodgers got an average of $33.5 million from the Packers. That was after Ryan re-signed with Atlanta for $30 million per year.
Wilson is currently averaging $21.9 million annually, with $31.7 million guaranteed, in the $87.6 million extension he signed with the Seahawks in July 2015.
He is five years younger than Rodgers, who got $78.7 million of his $134 million from the Packers fully guaranteed at signing. The two-time NFL most valuable player has won as many Super Bowls as Wilson has, one. Rodgers has one more playoff victory in his career than Wilson’s eight, while playing twice as many NFL seasons as Wilson (14 years, to Wilson’s seven).
Wilson is three years younger than Ryan, who hasn’t won a Super Bowl. Ryan got $94.5 million guaranteed from Atlanta in 2018.
Those are the numbers Wilson’s agent Mark Rodgers will likely start at in his talks with the Seahawks.
Carroll said Monday those negotiations will be getting going soon.
That’s along with the other deals the Seahawks want to get done this offseason: a rich extension for 25-year-old Frank Clark, their top pass rusher; the decision on 29-year-old K.J. Wright, whose contract is ending; and the desire to keep the improved offensive line intact by re-signing veteran guards D.J. Fluker and J.R. Sweezy, among other considerations.
The last time Wilson and the Seahawks were in this situation, entering a season that could be a contract year for him, they agreed on his new deal the second day of training camp in 2015.
Is that a goal for Wilson again this offseason, to get a deal done before the 2019 season begins?
“Yeah, I think about where I am in my contract (and my career), being in year seven, having done a lot of cool things. So I think about that,” Wilson said Sunday. “To be the franchise quarterback of the Seattle Seahawks is a special, special thing. So we’ll see where that goes.
“I don’t like talking about my contract, or anything like that. But I think that, you know, I think good things will happen.”
Wilson said he would feel comfortable playing the 2019 season without a deal signed beyond this year.
“Oh, yeah, I mean, if that’s what I’ve got to do,” he said. “It’s business, and everything else.
“I know, essentially after this (coming) season I could essentially be a free agent, and that kind of thing. I don’t think that way. I see myself being in Seattle, and I love Seattle. It’s a special place for me.
“I also understand it’s a business world, and everything else.
“And so, I think for me, to be honest with you guys, I love the game of football. I really do. What I do is a few things: My work ethic, the way I love the game, the way I want to lay everything on the line every day. That’s going to be there every day, no matter what happens.
“And I hope it’s here. I really do. So, those decisions are way above my head and everything else. We’ll see what happens.”