Russell Wilson Asks For New Contract From Seahawks, Does Seattle QB Deserve To Be Added To Pro Bowl Roster?

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Jan 22, 2013 09:09 AM EST
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson throws a pass against the Atlanta Falcons during the second half in their NFL NFC Divisional playoff football game in Atlanta, Georgia January 13, 2013.(Photo : Reuters) "

Russell Wilson was one of the most dynamic players in the NFL last season as a rookie-and now he wants to be paid like one.

According to ESPN's Chris Mortensen, via Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com, a representative of Wilson's (possibly Bus Cook) has reached out to the Seahawks and said he is "insisting that something be done" to adjust Wilson's slotted third-round rookie contract. According to Yahoo, Wilson will make $1,189,051 over the next two seasons ($526,617 in 2013 and $662,434 in 2014).

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Unlike other star rookie quarterbacks who took their teams to the playoffs like Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin, Wilson was not a first round pick, meaning he did not get a top flight rookie contract. Clearly he has played above his experience level and now he wants to be rewarded for that. Wilson is currently signed to a four-year contract that pays out $2.996 million not per year but over its lifetime.

According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, Cook denies reaching out to the Seahawks.

Even if the Seahawks would like to get Wilson under contract for the long term, no adjustments can be made to Wilson's contract until after the final game of the 2014 season. As stated in Article 7, Section 3(k)(i) of the CBA:

"A Rookie Contract for a Drafted Rookie may not be renegotiated, amended or altered in any way until after the final regular season game of the player's third contract year."

According to Yahoo Sports: "Wilson had a $544,868 cap number in 2012 and played in 96.36 percent of the Seahawks' offensive snaps. Based on performance-based bonuses in previous seasons, Wilson could receive a bonus in excess of $200,000."

The Seahawks already have Matt Flynn signed as a backup quarterback for three-year, $26 million, while Wilson is now the clear-cut starter. The team signed Flynn in the offseason before they knew what they had in Wilson, but clearly GM John Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll are happy with handing the reins over to Wilson.

The quarterback from Wisconsin is a candidate for Rookie of the Year this season after helping the Seahawks make the postseason. He passed for 3,118 yards and 26 touchdowns while completing over 64 percent of his passes. Wilson added another 489 yards and four touchdowns on the ground.

Wilson was stellar for the Seahawks in the playoffs, passing for 572 yards, including a rookie single-game record 385 yards in a 30-28 loss to the Atlanta Falcons on Jan. 13, with three touchdowns and had 127 yards and another touchdown on the ground. Wilson won one game against fellow rookie Robert Griffin and was the last man standing, as Griffin hurt his knee in the game.

According to Pro Football Talk, other options are available, but not likely: "Several already have asked in the comments and on Twitter whether the Seahawks could simply cut Wilson and sign him to a new contract. The answer is yes, if he clears waivers. But he wouldn't clear waivers. Indeed, he wouldn't get past the Chiefs, who hold the top spot in the pecking order - and will continue to hold it through Week Three of the 2013 regular season."

Wilson started this season as backup to Flynn, but Carroll made the quarterback job a competition in training camp and the rookie was the clear winner. He tied a rookie record with 26 touchdown passes and was fantastic over the second half of the season, throwing for 15 touchdowns and just two interceptions over the final eight games.

Against the 49ers in Week 16 he passed for 171 yards and four touchdowns with just one interception in a 42-13 win, improving greatly from an earlier 13-6 loss where he threw zero touchdowns and one interception. Wilson appeared to improve as the season went on and played like a veteran in the huddle.

Now, due to an injury sustained by Matt Ryan in the NFC championship game, Wilson can add
Pro Bowl quarterback to his resume. According to ESPN.com, Wilson has been added to the team, making it the sixth Seahawks player to go to Hawaii, including offensive linemen Max Unger and Russell Okung, running back Marshawn Lynch, safety Earl Thomas and kick returner Leon Washington.

Other players added to the roster included Atlanta Falcons safeties Thomas DeCoud and William Moore also were added to the NFC roster, replacing San Francisco safeties Dashon Goldson and Donte Whitner, who will be preparing for the Super Bowl in two weeks.

Wilson was voted as a third alternate for the NFC roster and will be one of a number of rookies making it to the NFL's version of the All-Star game. Last season Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers criticized the play of the game, saying that no one took it seriously. Commissioner Roger Goodell echoed that sentiment and said that the game could be disbanded if it continues that way.

The Seahawks likely will trade Flynn as the offseason gets deeper and even though they can't work around Wilson's contract yet, they will find another way to compensate him for the performance he put up in 2012.

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