Russell Wilson usually visits Seattle Children’s hospital each Tuesday throughout the season.
On this one, of course, he was detoured away to the Super Bowl. That didn’t stop him from reconnecting with the kids there from afar in the desert.
“To all kids in all of Children’s Hospital – obviously, I go to Children’s Hospital every Tuesday in Seattle and unfortunately I had to miss today -- but to all of the kids out there, I’m just praying for you guys and praying for miracles,” the Seahawks quarterback said Tuesday at the Super Bowl’s Media Day. “Keep the faith and be ‘strong against cancer.’ That’s something I’ve been really big into in Seattle. I’m just rooting for everybody.”
All of the Northwest is rooting for him to remain the region’s franchise quarterback beyond his rookie contract expiring following next season.
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Wilson’s four-year deal as Seattle’s third-round draft choice in 2012 is paying him $662,000 this season and is due to pay him $798,000 next season. It’s the biggest bargain in sports.
That means Wilson’s overdue for a new deal. The first full day NFL rules allow Seahawks general manager John Schneider and his negotiators can talk to Wilson and his agent, Mark Rodgers, or any player from the 2012 rookie class (such as also-due linebacker Bobby Wagner), is Monday -- the day after Seattle’s season ends.
How big a challenge will this be for the Seahawks this imminent offseason?
“It presents challenges, there is no question. We haven’t sat down with his representatives,” Schneider said Tuesday. “We are still going to be drafting young players and playing young players, so we might not be able to dip into free agency like you may want to here and there or compensate somebody else that you want to compensate that is already on your team. But just the fact that we’re going to continue to keep drafted players and playing young players should help us compensate for whatever level of compensation (for Wilson’s contract) is.”
Asked how important it is to compensate Wilson handsomely now and not have him be so underpaid, Schneider said: “It’s important. It’s a huge piece of our puzzle, obviously, moving forward.
“We have a lot of different models that we work with, so we just have to figure out where that is going to go."
--On the bus now to the Seahawks' team hotel for player and coach Pete Carroll availability before their practice at Arizona State University. I'll have updates here on the blog from the Arizona Grand Resort hotel after 10 a.m. Seattle time.