Quarterback Russell Wilson has reportedly set an April 15 deadline to finalize a new contract with the Seattle Seahawks. The NFL player is currently paid about $21.9 million a year as part of a four-year $87.6 million contract, which expires next year, according to the Seattle Times.
April 15 is the first day of the Seahawks’ official offseason training program, and it’s believed, the Times reported, that Wilson wants to finalize the contract to avoid speculation that followed him throughout his 2015 season when he was negotiating until the day before their training camp opened at the end of July.
In January, Wilson told the Times he wouldn’t have an issue playing through the season without a contract. “Oh, yeah, if that’s what I’ve got to do,’’ Wilson told the newspaper. “I know essentially after this season I could potentially be a free agent, that kind of thing. I don’t think that way — I see myself being in Seattle. I love Seattle, special place for me.”
Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers, the highest paid quarterback in the NFL, makes a reported $33.5 million a year, with Wilson trailing as the 12th highest-paid, according to the Times.
Even if Wilson doesn’t sign a new contract, he may still not be a free agent. The team could use the franchise tag (binding him to the team for one year), which would raise his salary for the 2020 season to $30.6 million. They could also potentially do it in 2021, which would raise his salary even more, according to Pro Football Talk.
Wilson has been with the team since 2012, and led the team to a win in Super Bowl XLVIII in February 2014. Last season he threw for a career-high 35 touchdowns.
Wilson’s agent, in response to the Seattle Times, said he would not comment on contract negotiations.