Seahawks GM John Schneider talks contracts, prospects, Russell Wilson, more at NFL combine
Tyler Lockett and D.J. Fluker have done some outstanding work as Seahawks.
Lockett was a Pro Bowl kick returner as a rookie a few years ago. Last season he had a career year receiving.
Fluker debuted wonderfully in 2018 as Seattle’s starting right guard. He pancaked Ndamukong Suh and other opponents while plowing paths for the NFL’s top running game. His intensity on the field and humor off it made him instantly popular in the locker room and this region.
But Lockett and Fluker haven’t done anything, absolutely nothing, more fabulous than their work Tuesday.
Russell Wilson made it official early Tuesday he had agreed to the richest contract in NFL history with the Seahawks. He did it through the most bizarre announcement on Twitter: in bed shirtless wearing multiple chains at nearly 1 a.m., under the covers with his wife.
Hours later, teammates Lockett and Fluker parodied the Wilsons’ odd announcement.
And it was glorious.
The sight of the massive, 350-plus pound Fluker peeking through covers to mimic Ciara’s soft “Go Hawks!” reaction to the $140 million deal will live on in the Seahawks’ locker room about as long as Lockett’s imitation of the quarterback’s faux-bass voiced “Hey, Seattle, we got a deal.”
Which is to say, the roasting may last forever.
If you can see through the tears of laughter, the playful roasting is an example of how happy Wilson’s teammates are to have their franchise cornerstone and Seattle’s only Super Bowl-winning quarterback under contract through 2023. He’ll be 35 years old then, and presumably done broadcasting announcements online with his wife after midnight from their bed.
The conventional (other than the historic value), four-year deal contains $107 million guaranteed. It has a league-record $65 million signing bonus. It guarantees Wilson $70 million within 12 months. It has an NFL-best average value of $35 million per year.
Wilson’s agent Mark Rodgers confirmed the contract’s figures to The News Tribune at 1:35 a.m. Tuesday, about 100 minutes after he finalized it with the Seahawks. The deal came together after Rodgers and Wilson dropped their insistence to Seattle general manager John Schneider for an unprecedented escalator clause that would have tied Wilson’s salary each year to a percentage of an ever-rising league salary cap.
For Wilson, the third contract with the Seahawks cements his desire to remain in the only NFL city he’s known.
So, yeah, those rumors Wilson wanted to be traded to New York for Ciara were basically garbage, as previously described. Just not by Tyrann Mathieu.
“For me, for my family and for Mark, we love Seattle. And it’s the place I want to be,” Wilson told the team’s website after officially signing the contract Tuesday. “I’ve always wanted to be here. When I first got drafted in 2012, I wanted to be here forever. This helps solidify that.
“I’ve got many more years to go and a lot more winning to do—we’ve got more Super Bowls to win. I’m excited about that.”
The Seahawks will host a press conference at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday at their headquarters in Renton to formally announce the re-signing of the winningest quarterback in NFL history over the first seven years of a career.
“I’m very excited for Russell and his family, as well as the entire Seahawks family,” Schneider said to the team’s website. “But most importantly, I’m excited for the 12s to have a quarterback of Russell’s caliber for the next five years.”
The traditional structure of the deal with a signing bonus, then guarantees that come due in subsequent years, follows the Seahawks’ model of previous extensions for Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas, Bobby Wagner, Kam Chancellor, Doug Baldwin, Wilson in 2015 and other foundation players under Schneider and coach Pete Carroll.
Though hugely expensive, that structure and money prorated against future cap years in Wilson’s contract allow the Seahawks to continue pursuing top-of-the-market extensions for lead pass rusher Frank Clark and Wagner, the three-time All-Pro linebacker.
That’s where the Seahawks win in this deal.
“We’re all really pleased that we were able to take the next step to stay together and keep this moving,” Carroll said Tuesday, according to seahawks.com. “Russ has been a huge factor in everything that has happened, and this allows us to stay on track with continuing to push to find that consistency.
“Russell is a unique player, a unique competitor...”
And, as his teammates will never let him forget, he’s a unique promoter of his, uh, finest moments.