To be the best you've got to beat the best. And to be the richest you've got to, um, beat the richest. Or something. The point here is if Russell Wilson wants to be the highest-paid player in the NFL, he's got to topple Aaron Rodgers' contract.
According to Jason Cole of Bleacher/Report, that's exactly what Wilson wants to do. Cole reported Wednesday that Wilson's "contract demands have exceeded the five-year, $110 million deal that Aaron Rodgers signed with the Green Bay Packers."
Cole spoke to Wilson's agent Mark Rodgers who "did not necessarily deny that he has asked" for the biggest deal in the league and "did not dispute it in any way."
Mark Rodgers told Cole "he wanted to create a contract that created a relevant structure for Wilson going forward." Put another way, if Wilson isn't paid like a top-five quarterback now, he won't be paid like a top-10 quarterback in a year, when Andrew Luck, Philip Rivers and Eli Manning all sign new deals, to say nothing of a new contract for Aaron Rodgers.
A potential boom in the salary cap is a major issue for Wilson if he takes less money now, far less of an issue for the Seahawks. Their biggest problem is allowing this to drag on too long and allowing a salary-cap boom to create space that would justify paying Wilson what he wants.
The other issue is how expensive Wilson will be to keep around moving forward. If he plays out his rookie deal, Wilson will be subject to the franchise tag, which would net him (and cost the Seahawks) about $25 million guaranteed in 2016 and north of $30 million guaranteed in 2017 should they choose to exercise it each year.
That's $55 million guaranteed right there with no long-term security of having a quarterback. It's also, coincidentally, one million more guaranteed than Rodgers received on his 2013 contract.
So Wilson's at least already in the ballpark of beating Rodgers when it comes to negotiations while also holding the whole "hey, I won a Super Bowl" trump card. Even if it comes with the caveat of playing with Marshawn Lynch and the Seahawks defense.
It's kind of insane to think of Wilson as the highest-paid player in the NFL. But if he hits the mark he won't be for long. Someone's got to topple Rodgers so he can take the crown back.
Or maybe this is just another semi-subtle jab in the back-and-forth offseason between Wilson and the Seahawks.