When Kyler Murray goes No 1 in the NFL Draft, he owes Russell Wilson a big thanks.
Talk about boss moves and betting on yourself.
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson gave the team an April 15th deadline to get a new deal done. The Seahawks weren’t going to risk pissing off the face of their franchise, so they delivered with the biggest bag in NFL history for one of the most dynamic signal callers the sport has ever seen.
The Hawks and Russ have reached agreement on a four-year, $140 million extension that makes the Black quarterback the highest-paid player in the NFL, as reported on Tuesday.
Full details for the #Seahawks and QB Russell Wilson: 4 new years, $140M. $65M to sign. Total guarantee: $107M. A no-trade clause. … Now, Wilson is under contract for 5 years and $157M. And staying in Seattle.💰💰💰
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 16, 2019
Wilson announced that a new deal was done in typical social media fashion. Laid up in bed with wifey Ciara, speaking to the world from under the covers in a dimly lit room.
— Russell Wilson (@DangeRussWilson) April 16, 2019
With the four new years added to his contract, Wilson, 30, is now contractually married to the Seahawks through the 2023 season, the source said. When his deal is done, Wilson will be the same age Aaron Rodgers is now. Wilson’s $35 million annual average exceeds Rodgers’ historical contract ($33.5 million) and the signing bonus of $65 million is $8 million more than the $57.5 million that the 35-year-old Rodgers bagged from Green Bay last summer.
The money is remarkable, but nothing beats Wilson’s journey to this improbable point.
When 5’10, African-American quarterback Kyler Murray gets drafted by the Arizona Cardinals as the No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft it will be a historic NFL moment. Murray has Russell Wilson to thank for the Cardinals’ willingness to ignore every prototypical physical standard for drafting an NFL QB.
Wilson, a third-round pick out of Wisconsin, whose size was the only reason he wasn’t a first-round pick, burst into the NFL as an afterthought with RG3 and Andrew Luck; two of the most highly touted and publicized quarterback prospects in the history of the sport.
Russ has already surpassed those guys in terms of durability, productivity, Super Bowls, and celebrity. The success of Wilson’s dual-purpose skills in the current NFL landscape of spread offenses and watered down defense has totally changed the way executives access quarterbacks.
So many scouts were wrong about Russ. To top it off, Wilson is also one of the most intelligent, articulate and classiest people in the league and has forever changed the culture of selecting quarterbacks.
The fact that an African-American QB is the highest paid player in the NFL is almost unthinkable to anyone who has watched the NFL disparage Black QBs and promote white ones as the face of the sport for the past half-century. Being the highest paid at times equates to the most popular and Wilson’s broken color barriers with his acceptance, popularity, and relevance as an African-American quarterback.
Before Dangeruss came into the game, elite franchise quarterback prospects had to be tall and physically imposing. If you were shorter than 6-foot-3, most teams would never even look at you as a potential first-round pick. The physicality of the game and the inability to see over larger defensive linemen were common excuses. Murray is a two-sport athlete (baseball and football), same as Wilson. That attribute is now considered a positive when drafting NFL QBs thanks to the success of Wilson and rookie sensation Patrick Mahomes.
Dual-Threats Can’t Make It In NFL
RG3’s injury-plagued career is often used as the prime example for why dual-threat quarterbacks who rely on their legs as much as their arms aren’t safe bets to build your team around. Unless you have the gift of escapability, durability, incomparable field vision, a rifle arm and an offense that’s specifically designed to allow your greatest attributes to shine.
Wilson has all of that. Plus, he’s been able to accumulate impressive passing statistics without ever having a Top 10 NFL offense. Wilson is like a boxer who sticks and moves and jabs, but rarely gets hit with return fire because he’s so swift with his hands. At the same time, he has a steel chin and can bounce up off the mat in a minute after a knockdown.
On top of all that, there’s not a classier guy in the league. The deal took four days of negotiations between the Seahawks and Wilson’s agent, Mark Rodgers, who says despite the large bag, Wilson made some concessions to remain in Seattle.
“At the end of the day, my guy wants to live, work, thrive in Seattle,” Rodgers said. “Loves this town and its fans. He compromised to stay here. I respect that.”
Just @DangeRussWilson living his best life:
• Highest-paid NFL player ($35M AAV)
• $65M signing bonus (Most in NFL history)
• 69 pass TD since 2017 (Most in NFL)
• 75 QB wins in 1st 7 seasons (Most in NFL history)
• 100.3 passer rating (2nd-highest all time)#Seahawks
— NFL Research (@NFLResearch) April 16, 2019
The numbers are right. The stats speak for themselves as Wilson is coming off another sensational season, throwing a career-high 35 touchdown passes with a passer rating that was only exceeded by Drew Brees and Mahomes.
15 years ago, quarterbacks with Wilson’s style would have probably been asked to change positions. Wilson’s obliterated all of these outdated theories. Fast forward to 2019 and Russ is the blueprint for the QB of the future. Times are slowly changing.