After re-signing several of their defensive stars last season, the Seattle Seahawks still have a lot of contract work ahead of them. As the team prepares to head into training camp they have a lot of big names entering the final years of their contract and after the success of the past two years, everyone is looking for big pay raises. With Russell Wilson the most marquee of the group, will his contract be a factor into everyone else's deals?
According to NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, Wilson is looking to be the highest paid player in the NFL. As he continues to work off one of the smaller salaries in the NFL, the quarterback is looking to get majorly compensated for the money he has missed out on while taking Seattle to two Super Bowls and winning one. Rapoport writes that Wilson wants to get paid like a free agent in this market which means a contract of over $100 million with a higher amount of guaranteed money. Many believe he would set a new bar for what kind of guaranteed money is handed out in contracts, something Seattle will likely be forced to comply with in the coming year.
With Wilson likely taking priority in contract negotiations, what will happen to some of the other stars in Seattle looking for new deals in the coming year? Bruce Irvin is certainly someone who wants to be front and center for the Seahawks. The linebacker made noise this offseason while attending an Atlanta Hawks game and telling the media he will be playing for the Falcons next season. According to the Seattle Times, the Seahawks have no intentions of letting Irvin walk away and will re-sign him next year, but can they meet his contract demands with the money headed towards Wilson?
Russell Okung is also looking to stay in Seattle, but is going about that in a much different way than most players. According to Okung via the Players Tribune, he will be negotiating his next contract himself without an agent. The former No.6 draft pick is entering the final year of his rookie contract. He signed that deal prior to the new CBA in 2011 which means he got a contract of six years and $48.5 million with $20 million in guaranteed money, making him the 11th-highest paid offensive lineman in the league. Okung does not sound set on returning to Seattle, instead focused on getting the money he believes he deserves.
"I know my worth," Okung said. "I can look at the market and go directly to a team without an agent and tell that team my worth. And I can do so with confidence because I've done my research, I've educated myself and I've questioned the answers I've been given."
The Seahawks also have to deal with Michael Bennett demanding a new contract as he held out briefly this offseason wanting a new deal. Jermaine Kearse will also be a free agent next season along with Bobby Wagner and Robert Turbin who is coming off an injury. All of them will feel the ripples of whatever deal Wilson agrees to.