Russell Wilson usually visits Seattle Children’s hospital each Tuesday throughout the season.
On this one, of course, he was detoured away to the Super Bowl. That didn’t stop him from reconnecting with the kids there from afar in the desert.
“To all kids in all of Children’s Hospital – obviously, I go to Children’s Hospital every Tuesday in Seattle and unfortunately I had to miss today – but to all of the kids out there, I’m just praying for you guys and praying for miracles,” the Seahawks quarterback said at the Super Bowl’s Media Day. “Keep the faith and be ‘strong against cancer.’ That’s something I’ve been really big into in Seattle. I’m just rooting for everybody.”
All of the Northwest is rooting for him to remain the region’s franchise quarterback beyond his rookie contract expiring following next season.
Wilson’s four-year deal as Seattle’s third-round draft choice in 2012 is paying him $662,000 this season and is due to pay him $798,000 next season. It’s the biggest bargain in sports.
That means Wilson’s overdue for a new deal. The first full day NFL rules allow Seahawks general manager John Schneider and his negotiators can talk to Wilson and his agent, Mark Rodgers, or any player from the 2012 rookie class (such as also-due linebacker Bobby Wagner), is Monday – the day after Seattle’s season ends.
How big a challenge will this be for the Seahawks this imminent offseason?
“It presents challenges, there is no question. We haven’t sat down with his representatives,” Schneider said Tuesday. “We are still going to be drafting young players and playing young players, so we might not be able to dip into free agency like you may want to here and there or compensate somebody else that you want to compensate that is already on your team. But just the fact that we’re going to continue to keep drafted players and playing young players should help us compensate for whatever level of compensation (for Wilson’s contract) is.”
Asked how important it is to compensate Wilson handsomely now and not have him be so underpaid, Schneider said: “It’s important. It’s a huge piece of our puzzle, obviously, moving forward.
“We have a lot of different models that we work with, so we just have to figure out where that is going to go.”
BROWNER: “NO HARD FEELINGS”
Brandon Browner drew a crowd – at the same corner podium spot Marshawn Lynch sat momentarily later. His throng included two SeaGal cheerleaders that traded high-fives with the Seahawks cornerback through last season.
Browner is still considered by the Seahawks to be a member of their “Legion of Boom” secondary; they say he always will be because he was a charter member through last season.
But Browner made waves this week when he told ESPN he would encourage his teammates on offense to target on Sunday the sprained left elbow of Sherman and the dislocated left shoulder of fellow Seahawks All-Pro defensive back Earl Thomas.
“Those are my brothers, and at the end of the day there’s no hard feelings,” Browner said. “That’s like in any game; you have a guy that messes his ankle up and you’re going to tackle and make sure you land on his ankle. …That’s just part of the game.
“You guys know how close I am to those boys.”