Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, who is heading into the final year of his contract, gave an April 15 deadline for a new deal to the team in January, sources confirmed to ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Wednesday.
The two sides have had recent contract talks, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said at the owners meetings last week. However, sources told Schefter those talks are not thought to be too far along.
The Seattle Times was the first to report Wilson’s request for a new deal.
The significance of the April 15 date is that’s the first day of the Seahawks’ offseason program, and one possible reason for that deadline is that Wilson wants his contract situation settled before getting back to work.
The five-time Pro Bowler, who threw for 3,448 yards and 35 touchdowns last season, is currently scheduled to make $17 million in 2019 while carrying a cap charge of $25.286 million.
Getting an extension by then would be a departure from the Seahawks’ usual order of offseason business. They’ve tended to put off extensions for players already under contract for the upcoming season until after free agency and the draft.
Wilson also set a deadline for an extension in 2015, but that wasn’t until the start of training camp and the two sides agreed on a four-year, $87.6 million deal at the last minute. After that extension, Wilson said he would have tabled contract talks and played out the final year of his rookie contract had the two sides not met the deadline.
His last deal made him the NFL’s second-highest-paid quarterback, behind Aaron Rodgers‘ $22 million per season. Wilson has since fallen to 12th in terms of annual average salary among quarterbacks, and it is believed he wants his next contract to hold up longer than his last one did.
Rodgers is back atop the quarterback pay scale after signing an extension last year that averages $33.5 million.
One day after Carroll confirmed the two sides were “on it” regarding talks about a new deal, Wilson told ESPN that his plan was to “just keep my head down and keep working, and that’s all I know.”
Wilson and his wife, Ciara, attended the owners meetings to speak in front of a group of about 200 spouses and guests of NFL executives.
Wilson is coming off arguably the best season of his seven-year career. He edged his previous career bests with 35 touchdown passes and a 110.9 passer rating while tying his career low of seven interceptions. Wilson did that on 427 attempts, his fewest since 2013. Only Drew Brees and Patrick Mahomes finished with a better rating.
He said at the end of last season that he would be comfortable going into the final year of his current deal if need be.
“Oh yeah, if that’s what I’ve got to do,” Wilson said. “It’s business and everything. I know essentially after the season, I could potentially be a free agent, that kind of thing. I don’t think that way. I see myself being in Seattle. I love Seattle, and it’s a special place for me.”
Carroll said at the end of last season that an extension for Wilson is “very much in our plans.”
If the Seahawks do not get a deal done this offseason, they could keep Wilson under contract for 2020 via the franchise tag, which would come with a salary of $30.34 million. A second franchise tag in 2021 would cost $36.41 million.
The Seahawks are using the franchise tag on defensive end Frank Clark in 2019, but he has yet to sign it.
Source : ESPN