Despite its current state of being a quarterback league, it’s no secret that the NFL has a shortage of truly elite quarterbacks. Because of that, if you have a quarterback that’s helped you win one Super Bowl and come within a yard of winning another, in consecutive seasons, you take care of him. No matter the circumstances.
That’s exactly what the Seattle Seahawks did. Russell Wilson got the raise (4-year $87.6 million) he was looking for, and will make over $21 million next season after making a mere $1.5 million this season. I can dig that kind of cost of living raise any day of the week! However, there are many that question, for different reasons, whether or not Wilson should have gotten that much.
That shortage of elite QB’s has been the main contributor to a number of average to slightly above average QB’s being paid like they’re the second coming of Joe Montana, or Dan Marino. We’ve seen it recently with average, unproven guys like Ryan Tannehill breaking the bank (6yr – $96M) with the Miami Dolphins. We’ve also seen it with guys who have huge expectations, but haven’t quite lived up to the hype. Carolina Panthers QB and former Heisman Trophy winner, Cam Newton, (5-yr $103M deal) is a great example of that.
Newton, was drafted number one overall in 2011. That made him a franchise QB right out of the box. Tannehill, would hardly be called a franchise QB. But, with the shortage of QB’s currently in the NFL, and coming out of college, what’s a team to do? Let him walk? Then, take they’re chances to find someone better? Good luck.
The Seahawks found themselves in a very similar position. No one would rank Wilson as the top QB in the game. Most wouldn’t rank him second or third, or even fourth or fifth. So, why is he set to make nearly the salary as Green Bay Packers QB, Aaron Rodgers? First, it’s hard to imagine anyone but Wilson leading the Seahawks offense. There’s a fit between Wilson and Carroll that can’t be denied. Obviously, despite some inconsistencies that fit has been highly successful.
While there have been no Super Bowl appearances for the Dolphins, or playoff appearances for that matter, Tannehill seems to fit in Miami. That’s why I think the Dolphins made the right decision in securing him for the future.
In Carolina, there have been a couple of playoff appearances. But, we haven’t exactly seen big time consistency from Newton. Still, the Panthers have quite a bit vested in Newton. It’s hard to just start all over after drafting a QB overall number one when you’ve at least had some success.
In Seattle, there have been Super Bowl appearances. Back to back Super Bowl appearances. What Pete Carroll and the Seahawks have done is truly remarkable. Despite what has probably been the best defense in the NFL over the last few seasons having a lot to do with that, the Seahawks aren’t in this position without Russell Wilson. If we’re ranking QB’s by talent. No. Wilson doesn’t deserve to be paid this type of money. But, it’s the intangibles mixed with enough talent that makes Wilson worth every penny.
The other question being asked, is how will the Seahawks be able to pay the rest of their star players – namely their defensive stars – and keep that winning formula. Perhaps, they could have gotten Wilson to sign at a cheaper price. But, it’s very likely that several teams would have stepped up to the plate. Willing to pay whatever it would take to steal Wilson away. It won’t be easy to make sure players like Richard Sherman, and Kam Chancellor are taken care of. But, they’ve already taken care of one of their dominate defenders.
Linebacker, Bobby Wagner has signed a 4 year deal worth $43 million. That’s one huge piece that’s very responsible for the Seahawks’ success. Now, it’s time to focus on the others. Keeping the ‘Legion of Boom’ intact has to be a top priority. However, if Seattle doesn’t keep everyone, it’s always a lot easier to rebuild defensively than it it is offensively. The offense should be more consistent this season, with (‘Beastmode’) Marshawn Lynch back and Jimmy Graham coming on-board. There’s still no pronounced deep threat, but we’ve seen Pete Carroll make things work out. So, if you thought the end was near in Seattle, get used to it. The Seattle Seahawks appear to not be going anywhere anytime soon.
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