Russell Wilson reportedly expects Seahawks to franchise tag him instead giving an extension
The Seahawks quarterback's future is very much in doubt based on how he thinks things will play out
The quarterback situation we should be focusing on has managed to slip through the cracks for the most part, with Russell Wilson's contract situation in Seattle going largely unnoticed this offseason. Maybe it's because nothing will come to a head until after 2018: , but it wouldn't impact this coming season.
And Wilson is under contract through 2019. But, according to a report from Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio, the quarterback is under the impression the Seahawks will franchise tag him rather than work out an extension.
Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the current expectation from Wilson's perspective is that he'll finish his current deal and receive the franchise tag in 2020. Based on his 2019 cap number of $25.286 million, it will cost the Seahawks $30.34 million to keep him for another season after the expiration of his current deal.
Expectations can change in the NFL overnight; if the Seahawks are good next year and Wilson has an MVP-caliber season and they go to the playoffs , it might be hard to do anything other than pay Wilson like a franchise quarterback.
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But there is also a chance the Seahawks aren't good. First-round-pick Rashaad Penny is excellent at breaking tackles behind the line of scrimmage, and he's going to have to be for Seattle next year. The defense has talent and could compete to be a better-than-expected unit next year, but losing Richard Sherman, Michael Bennett, Cliff Avril and Kam Chancellor in the same offseason is a tough blow.
The backdrop for all of those changes is a lack of contractual negotiations between the two sides, somethingway back in the middle of March.
There is the possibility, as Florio floated, that the Seahawks and Wilson could approach the situation in a Kirk Cousins-like fashion. If that was to play out, it would get pricey. At minimum, it would be $30.34 million (120 percent of Wilson's 2019 cap number) and potentially higher depending on the franchise-tag cost for quarterbacks in 2020. If he was tagged again, it would cost the Seahawks $36.41 million (again, at minimum) with a 120-percent raise over the previous year's cap hit.
At that point, to keep him a third year on the tag would be and absurd $52.43 million, which is just not going to happen.
Regardless, Wilson is going to get a lot of money. It's just a question of who pays him. All of which points back to this year: if the Seahawks succeed with their new setup and in the middle of a restart, it's not out of the question to imagine Wilson signing a long-term deal with Seattle next offseason. But if things go south in 2018, it's entirely possible next year will be spent wondering about the long-term future of where Wilson plays.
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