Russell, his Value, and his Odd Deadline

I love Russell Wilson. I do. I know he can be a bit odd and challenging to relate to with the whole NanoBubbles thing, the Trace Me app, all his brandings, not sleeping, and even I have to admit that the whole celebrity QB thing is more than a bit much, especially for the provincial Pacific North Westerner such as I, and I know that this ultra, squeaky clean, nice guy sort persona thing that he has at time feels surely too good to be true. Surely, behind closed doors, he has to be a d*ckhead every once and a while, right?

Yeah, I don’t really care because he says and does the right things, and frankly, I think that is a big part of a quarterback’s job. He’s the closest player on the roster to management, and a big part of his job is to reflect the head coach, which he does.

He doesn’t have to be “one of the guys” for the very simple reason that by the nature of the position, it would be difficult for a quarterback to be one of the guys. Being one of the guys, at times, can mean being at odds with management when they let a popular beloved player go. Being one of the guys could also mean tuning out during team meetings when you’ve heard all the catch phrases and stories shared by the head coach, and you decide to just quietly read a book instead. Hey, you’re an established vet, you earned that right, right?


The quarterback can’t do that. There’s too much spotlight, and there is too much responsibility on the field and off of it. Not only do you have got to be able to read defenses, make line calls, and know the offensive plays and audibles inside and out, you have got to tow the line for your coaches so that others will buy into their messaging. You have to believe in the play calling, and when things far short, you have to say the right things at the right times, even if that comes across cliché.

“We could have been better, I could have been better.. but there are a lot of great things we did, and we just fell a little bit short.”

How many times have you heard Russell Wilson say those words or a close variation of them after a close loss?

Yeah, it’s pretty much what he always says, but really, he’s not ever wrong in any of that. A receiver could have caught a ball that bounced out of his hands, the right guard could have been savvy enough to pick up that stunt instead of helping the right tackle, and Russ could have not overthrown that wide-open receiver deep. But, he also did hit that other receiver in perfect stride, and line did start blocking better in the fourth,, and the defense did force that turn over that got them back in reach.

The reason why I’m bringing all this up is because I have felt the Russell Wilson divisions in and amongst the Twelves for a long while now, growing more intensely with seemingly every season, and with an offseason that is clearly going to be about the next Russell Wilson extension, these divisions are primed to deepen, and ripen. On one side, there is the faction that believes without Russell Wilson, the Seattle Seahawks would not have won a Super Bowl, and he is most important player on the team. They aren’t wrong in that, and for the faction on the opposite side that says that any quarterback could have quarterbacked that 2013 squad to a Super Bowl victory, I say simply; that’s nuts. It’s total nutty talk, but I think when the Anti Russ squad starts listing all the top salaried quarterbacks and their lack of championships and playoff wins, they come up with some pretty compelling points. I think both positions can be, and are true.

Russell Wilson is the most important Seattle Seahawk, and he has been that since his rookie year when he won the starting job. The starting quarterback is the most important player on the team, and the good ones get paid, and the really good ones get paid a lot. Russell Wilson is certainly is really good quarterback. I would argue that if Kirk Cousins was quarterbacking the 2018 Seattle Seahawks, they probably would have been closer to 6-10 than the 10-6 finish that they had. Wilson had some absolutely INSANE game saving plays down the stretch, especially during the Sunday Night standoff with Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs.

It’s also true that when you pay your quarterback more than fifteen percent of your salary cap, it’s becomes an increasingly difficult challenge fielding a deeply strong roster. You’re going to loose some really good players when their salaries come up in free agency, and that places a greater need to draft and develop really well. On top of that, you have to find really good value in free agency. It’s all easier said than done, but I believe it can be done.

Where I sit in all of this is that I hope that Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks get another extension done. I believe that it is best for both parties. I think that Russell is a great extension of Pete Carroll for the team, and that the team should be built around him, and if that means that they can’t keep a Frank Clark or a Jarran Reed, so be it. It sucks because I deeply want both of those guys on the roster, but Seattle drafted and developed those guys, and there is no reason not to think that they can’t draft and develop more defensive lineman. Drafting and developing a quarterback is, frankly, much harder to do, even for a team that wants to run the rock like Seattle does.

I would actually argue that running the ball the way Seattle seems committed towards on first and second downs actually put more pressure on the quarterback on the third down when it is obvious that it is going to be a pass, and Russell has handled that chore really well. He is not afforded the luxury of being a rhythm passer like a lot of other passers in this age. He has got to be on it, and it’s tough to do that when you aren’t afforded a lot of reps.

Yes, sometimes his passes are off. Sometimes they sail a bit high, or he puts too much mustard on them, but a lot of the times, he comes off with the absolute jaw-dropping throw at a crucial juncture of the game. It’s amazing, and validating as a lover of DangeRuss.

Russell Wilson did something very interesting this week. Out of nowhere, he set a hard deadline to get a deal done with the team by April 15th, two weeks before the 2019 NFL Draft. It’s an odd thing to do because, by NFL standards, it’s a substantially early time in the year to work out big time contracts. Most teams wait until Summer. Russ wants it done now, and it’s fair to say that he wants to do it now because if the team drafts a quarterback, they can use the rook as leverage in negotiations during the Summer. By doing a deadline now, he puts pressure on the team to negotiate without great leverage.

Short of drafting a quarterback with their first pick, I’m not sure how much leverage an unproven rookie is going to have over Russell in the Summer, though. “Oh, you’re really ready to roll with Ryan Finley?.. Okay, I’m more than happy to test free agency.”

I’m not really even sure how much leverage they would have if they stayed at pick twenty-one and drafted a quarterback there. The Arizona Cardinals traded up and took Josh Rosen tenth overall last year. There was some belief during that draft process that Rosen was the most NFL ready QB in that class, and now there is talk that they could be looking to trade him away for maybe a measly third round pick because they are now strongly considering taking Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray tops overall. First round quarterbacks are no guarantee, mi amigos. Nope.

So, I’m going to say that, with a some sufficient soul searching on the Russell Wilson contract saga (Russocalypse, as I like to call it), I think it is a good thing the Russell is stepping up to create this semi-odd deadline. I think it is good to ignite a fire that gets the two sides talking, and word has it, both sides have been over the few days, or so.

I would also encourage the Pay Russ camp not to get overly discouraged by all the recent Colin Cowherd insider hot takes about Russ and Ciara wanting to move out of Seattle to NYC. I think that the high probability in all of that is that Cowherd has been purposefully fed info from Russ’s agent as a big negotiation ploy put forth in the media, and he knows this feeds his nationally syndicated talk show, and is perfectly willing to run with it. Journalists much closer to the team pulse feel that a deal will get done, and I trust those sources considerably more than Cowherd’s brand.

Deals get done with deadlines, and while Russ might have the leverage in this, John Schneider might feel a huge sense of relief banging out one of the Big Three deals he has pending with Russell, Frank Clark, and Bobby Wagner prior to the draft. It could help shape the draft board considerably better if quarterback is less of a concern. That could be incentive enough for Schneider to be willing to deal now.

Russell is fully entitled to maximize his earnings, and he should be. He has done and said all the right things from day one. He has quarterbacked his ass off under duress when Seattle has had one of the worst lines in professional football. He has never complained, even when three seasons ago he was quarterbacking with a high ankle sprain, a sprained knee, and an injured upper body. As nice a guy as he is, he is as gritty on the field as they come, and I’m sure that is something that Pete Carroll beyond cherishes about him.

He has been the perfect extension of Carroll, and he deserves to be the highest paid player for a bit, but I will also say that, if he is earnest about wanting to remain in Seattle for a third contract, I think it is essential that Russell also concede a bit here and there to help Schneider retain players and field a roster that will help him potentially win another title. If he is entering into these discussing with that mindset, I actually think it is quite possible that a deal actually gets done.

But even if a deal doesn’t get finalized before the April 15th deadline, it still might be a bonus. It would allow Schneider and Carroll to consider drafting a quarterback more intently. Knowing that you’re not going to be negotiating with his QB would give Schneider the ability to also focus more intensely on negotiating with Wagner, Clark, and Jarran Reed, knowing that he can use the franchise tag on Russell in 2020, and try jump starting negotiations with him again then, or possibly even trading him, if talks aren’t happening.

I don’t really see any wrongs in this deadline, honestly. I also don’t really seeing anything wrong with making Russell Wilson the highest paid player in the league, even on a running team. Jared Goff, Carson Wentz, and Patrick Mahomes are going to break that deal around the corner. It is the cost of having a really good QB.

But I also don’t see a ton of wrongs if a deal doesn’t get done, either. I love Russell, but ultimately, I trust Pete and John, and it will be interesting to see where this goes.

I don’t see him going anytime soon, but we shall see.

Go Hawks.


4 thoughts on “Russell, his Value, and his Odd Deadline

  1. An unusual concept was mentioned on my morning show. What if the Hawks were to trade
    Russell to the Giants for their 6th and 17th picks for Russell ? Do you think it possible that
    Dwayne Haskins could be a good replacement for Russell. It’s a total unknown situation but
    The money saved by not paying Russell a max deal could be used to hold and draft many
    Players to help build the team.
    This whole process tends to be so hit and muss on so many levels. I listen to many football
    Analysts give there draft picks and who should take who and why. They usually miss many
    More than they hit. Making big bucks to do so.
    I also love Russell and know how much he means to the Hawks but does he really want to
    Stay here ?
    Thank you for amazing insight into all aspects Seahawks. My knowledge of professional football has increased with your sharing.


    • I’m not 100% sold on Haskins, at least as an immediate starter, and possibly even for the type of offense Seattle likes to run. For one, he only had one year as a starter in college, and it was on a team that had an offensive line that was the best in college football. He didn’t face hardly any pressure. The other thing, is that he seems more of a drop back passer than the athletic roll out type that Carroll seems to favor since returning to the pros.

      Personally, I don’t think John Schneider would bite on just the 6th and 17th from the NYG. I think NY would also have to throw in their first pick in 2020 and probably a collection of second rounders to even start a conversation with Seattle. But if they did reach a deal, I can actually Seattle Seattle perhaps going for some of the premier defensive line talent at 6th and possibly even 17th, and maybe targeting West Virginia’s Will Grier with their native pick. Also, it was rumored last August that they had interest in trading for Jacoby Brissett in Indy. They could well just look to acquire a veteran passer for 2019 and look to draft a QB in 2020 or 2021 when the team is more built up like it was when they drafted Wilson in 2012. But in the end, I don’t see Seattle willing to trade at all in 2019. It would have to be a MEGA DEAL that would be too ridiculously good to pass up.


    • Going to have a piece up soon exploring that trade scenario with the Giants. While I think it’s pretty unlikely, I think there are some aspects that might make sense for Seattle to consider it


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