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Commentary: Criticism of Russell Wilson during negotiations is ridiculous, unjustified

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We start tonight with a story about a college graduate named Joe.
Joe gets job at a corporation. We’ll call it “Bicrosoft.”
Joe signs a multi-year contract with “Bicrosoft” that pays him entry-level wages.

To everyone’s surprise, Joe comes up with ideas that helps “Bicrosoft” rise to national prominence. Joe becomes the pride and joy of a company that was already somewhat successful, but is a primary reason for its meteoric rise. Because of Joe’s intuition, innovation, and decision making, “Bicrosoft” is now a household name.

But for all the publicity, notoriety and respect, Joe is still being paid $15 an hour, because of his entry-level contract.

Now, I don’t know about you – but I think Joe deserves one heck of a raise. I think he’s entitled to try to maximize his value – especially since he’s been making so little already.

It’s exactly what Russell Wilson is doing with the Seahawks. And, in my opinion, the criticism he’s receiving from some is completely uncalled for.

In theory, Russell Wilson is doing what every employee in this country is entitled to do: Attempting to maximize their value and maximize their earning potential. When you’re offered a significant raise but believe you deserve more, you have every right to turn it down without the public shame of being labeled greedy or selfish.

In Joe’s case, he loves it at “Bicrosoft.” He loves the city. His co-workers. His entire job. Plus, he’s the ultimate team player.

But if they don’t offer him a new deal that he thinks is fair, it’s Joe’s right to finish out his current deal and look elsewhere, to see what he’s worth in the open market. That’s just business.

In the ongoing Russell Wilson contract talks, guaranteed money is part of the current dilemma, according to NFL.com. Other outlets have reported that the Seahawks have offered a package worth close to $21 million per year. If both sides don’t come to terms by the end of this week, then contract talks will likely be delayed until the end of the season.

I understand our passion for the Seahawks runs strong – that we ultimately want what’s best for this team. And with a salary cap in the NFL, we’re worried that a contract too large will hamstring the franchise over the longterm.

But it’s no reason to berate Wilson for not being a “team player.” Regardless of his pay, we know he’s going to give his all once he steps on the field. It’s not fair to confuse his effort between the lines and the contract talks outside the lines. And whether he’s worth as much as he’s asking for is irrelevant too. It’s his right to do so – like it would be for Joe at “Bicrosoft,” or anyone else.

Because in Wilson’s position right now, we’d all do the same. In fact, in principle alone – employees do it every day, standing up for their worth.

Ultimately, that’s not called being greedy. Instead, it’s simply the American Way.

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40 comments

    • JohnESalisbury

      my co-worker’s half-sister makes $61 an hour on the internet . She has been fired for eight months but last month her pay was $14300 just working on the internet for a few hours. look at here>>>>> Read More

  • tygre

    Man hesb good. Those qb ratings are off the charts. Against dallas 47 rating carolina 77 oak 63 nyg 53 san fran 69 rams 81 packers 44.

    • Riley R.Walker

      It’s hard to believe that “anyone ” has a problem w/ Russell Wilson! C’mon ya bandwagon, fair- weather haters! Mr. Wilson, in 3 seasons has won more games than “ANY” Quarterback in NFL history! ANYONE!!! So, if Russell wants to stand on the Space needle nd negotiate with a mega- phone, I say go for it! This Guy you give him what he wants and don’t be cheap. Front office!Pay the man what he’s worth!!! Thanks Aarron, at least your channel still has a sports department, 4,5,&7, got nothing to speak of, I mean what happened to”4″ people sitting at the desk? And weather does not go before sports! Blasphemy!!!Hahaha! 💣tick,tick,🅱🅾🅾Ⓜ‼🏈🏈

  • C French

    I understand what you’re saying and I love Russell Wilson (both for what he does on the field and as well as off). True, he has the right to get the largest contract he can get, but being the 3rd highest paid quarterback isn’t enough? Will he (and his agent) only be satisfied if he is the highest paid? You can understand why some feel that comes across as being a little greedy. Will be so happy when all the contract talk is over and we can get down to playing some football. Can’t wait to see what the Seahawks will accomplish this year. GO HAWKS!!! 🙂

    • zevgadol

      Reports are that he would be paid $84 million for a 4 year extension. Add the 1.5 million scheduled for 2015. That’s $17.08 million per year for the coming five years. Hardly 3rd best. For the 2015-2019 period would be Rodgers, Roethlisberger; Cutler; Dalton; Kaepernick; Tannehill; Brees; Flacco; and assuredly Luck when his new contract comes in. Alex Smith will also make $17 million per year. Top 3? Not really.

      • zevgadol

        I forgot. Cam Newton would be making a ton more.BTW, the $21 million guarantee doesn’t protect Wilson if he is cut or traded. Only if he is injured. So many Hawk fans talk about loyalty. The contract offered is insulting relative to Wilson’s market value and performance. Loyalty cuts both ways.

      • Riley R.Walker

        ZEVGADOL, Your math is correct! I don’t care who makes what for how long, I dislike some of the QB’s on your list, but I respect their stats(Ben can blow me though) . Flacco and Luck should be paid a lot, cause they’re both scary lucky!!! Flacco be back on his own 15 and not moving, then, you look up and he’s moved the ball 60 yards! Luck is like that too, so,Wilson, who is a master at making something out of nothing, should get the equivalent!

  • Mike K

    Using your analogy, the Bicrosoft employee, by getting paid what he asks for, will cut the amount other employees are allowed to earn, which may cause discontent and then they go look elsewhere for work, because that is their right

  • sharon brinkley

    He is not being greedy, just smart about his worth and his future. It is utter non sense to believe that the billionaire owners of the Seahawks can’t afford to pay Wilson and any future players. After all, the owners aren’t risking life and limb, but instead are enjoying mega profits from Wilson’s contribution to the success of the team. Wilson has every right to expect the best for himself, without being made into a villain. I admire the confidence he has in himself, which makes him a winner. Go Wilson!!!

        • DJ

          But not individual greed?
          And it doesn’t matter if you think you understand corporate greed if, in this case, you have no clue how an NFL salary cap works. Stick with things you know, otherwise you embarrass yourself…..

  • Jerry McLain

    You say Russell will give his all once he steps on the field, we don’t know this yet. Isn’t it possible that his performance could decline since he was not being paid what he thought he was worth? There is a salary cap and this 12th man feels he is threatening the balance that created this winning team with unreasonable salary demands. He is not yet among the elite in the position.

    • Riley R.Walker

      The way he acts, I doubt it,but if it did affect him, he wouldn’t be faking it; He probably (as anyone would) would be thinking: taken this team tovthe post- season all 3 years and I’m having trouble negotiating?

  • melanie

    There is worth and there is greed. Yes, he deserves more but at what point does it get stupid? Who is to say he won’t be injured, have a bad season, etc….. then what? You paid a season for 1.6 million instead of 21? Come on- sign

  • d_2

    especially since he’s been making so little already. Absurd… has nothing to do with him negotiating a new contract. As Mike Holmgren points out… this will not be his last contract to sign. If you want a real informed opinion on this topic… I suggest you read Holmgren’s thoughts on the topic Aaron. Might learn something. http://blog.seattlepi.com/football/2015/07/22/mike-holmgren-huge-mistake-if-russell-wilson-doesnt-sign-very-fair-seahawks-offer/#33904101=0

  • Vic

    Unfortunately he’s not Aaron Rogers. He’s a guy that’s good in the clutch, but not great enough so the team does not need him to always rally from behind. Without the Beast or LoB, Wilson will definitely would be looking for another job or setting for 15M. He’s not top 5 QB and he does not deserve No #1 QB contract.

  • SeahawkRan

    OMG – the ONLY people making this a story is the friggin’ media. Spinning it this way and that – fueling rumors and speculation – labeling greedy and selfish – saying he wants to be the highest paid player – blah, blah, blah – anything to generate a story and attention. It’s like they start a fire and then put it out so they can be the hero. RIDICULOUS! The only folks that really know what is going on are the Seahawks front office and Russell/his agent. Quit fueling and putting out your own fires and let the two sides get it done when the time is right. Russell is our QB now and for the foreseeable future and Seattle will do him right despite the media stirring up all this crap. I really expect a deal by training camp (Fri) or pre-season start at the latest. And technically he is still on contract thru 2016 if given the franchise tag next year, but I don’t think Seattle waits that long. Screw the media and their self-serving, self-generated stories and spins, etc. GO HAWKS!

    • DJ

      Correct. Apparently Mr. Levine doesn’t understand that part of it, or he just conveniently left it out of his silly “Joe” analogy because it detracted from his argument.

  • George

    Well first off football is a sport if you don’t enjoy playing maybe you should flip burgers in Seattle for 15 dollars an hr. The owners of these teams need to learn the value of the dollar. I don’t think any player should earn a million for playing a sport Pro or not. The president of the U.S. makes approximately 500,000.00 a year and you want to pay 21 million to play a sport? The owners need to get their head out it’s sunny out side.

  • DJ

    So, the example of “Joe” is an extremely poor comparison to the Wilson situation. Joe’s company most likely doesn’t have a salary cap. And you’d would need to add that Joe has already been offered an incredible raise and a HUGE, HUGE salary that would make him one of the most highly paid employees in the entire industry. Aaron left that part out.
    So much of Aaron’s sophomoric argument is his statement that Wilson has “the right” to negotiate. Of course he does; no one is claiming otherwise. That isn’t the point. The point is, at what point are Wilson’s demands out of line, and at what point do they hurt the team?
    Wilson (and Joe) both have the right to negotiate? Good job, Aaron, you won an argument against nobody. And your commentary was meaningless.
    It appears the Aaron doesn’t even understand the issues; no one questions Wilson’s right. Seems we should be able to expect a more reasoned and relevant commentary from our sportscasters.

    • getaclueortwo

      Every company has a salary cap. In real companies as in the nfl, people are compensated by their potential future abilability to bring profit. Wilson has brought enough profit in the first three seasons to pay for the next two. If you think of it as a form of retroactive pay, he’s worth more than everybody else. He’s already earned vastly more than he was paid

      • DJ

        No, not every company has a salary cap in the same sense as the NFL. Not at all. And your post seems to suggest that you think the Seahawks haven’t offered Wilson a giant raise. Of course he should get a raise, no one is arguing that.
        My point is that Aaron Levine wants to argue that Wilson has the right to negotiate, which no one disagrees with. And that he also seems to think the Seahawks haven’t already offered him a HUGE contract. And he somehow doesn’t realize that the more they pay Wilson, the less they can pay (and keep) other important players on the team. Those are all factors that Levine’s silly “Joe” story conveniently ignore.
        I don’t know if the Seahawks have offered a fair contract or not….(nor do you, nor Levine, nor anyone else on the outside). So to assume the Seahawks are being unfair or unreasonable is simply naive. And I would expect a sportscaster to know better than that….to some extent, it is his job to know better.

  • getaclueortwo

    There’s a big difference between Joe and Wilson. Joe may have had one idea and done. Joe getting a raise based on a future with his past success 8 speculative. Wilson has a far more predictable future than Joe. Pay him more money than any player in the nfl. In 2 years, he’ll be way down the lust

    • DJ

      Your advice is to pay him more than others who have performed better? Why not pay him what he is worth, and in two years if that needs to be changed, change it? How do you know that in 2 years he shouldn’t be “way down the list”? Your ability to see into the future is quite impressive.

  • Bud Grent

    That comparison (Joe at Bicrosoft) is rediculous and Levin, your a moron. Its no one employee/player that makes it successful and if you took away beast mode and a few offensive lineman and got rid of thomas, wagner or sherman this team would be looking for anther QB. Furthermore, WA state is an at will employment state and who gets an employment contract at 15 per hour, thats just an awful example? 21M per year (tunred down) vs what the average US citizen makes in the US is GREEDY. Wilson is a good QB but hes not a top 5 player and is surrounded by an outstanding cast on offense and defense. Dude, get a grip on reality as 1.5M per year (Wilson current salary) is more than people make in a lifetime..

    • SeattleConservative

      How much should someone be allowed to earn? Go ahead, Bud- give us a number. What is the maximum amount that one person should be allowed to earn? We’re all curious.

  • Tattooed_Angel

    Playoffs, Superbowl win, Superbowl. That’s just the iceberg of what Russell Wilson accomplished in his first three seasons as a NFL qb. If there is any player ever in history that is worth a massive salary bump, it would be Wilson. He’s been playing for peanuts and HAS showed his worth. I don’t think he’d walk away from Seattle over money but I don’t blame the guy for trying to get as much as he can out of the team he’s lead out of the deep abyss Hasselfuck left us in.
    My only suggestion is that next time you’re told to pass at the one yard line, Mr. Wilson, ignore that call and run the ball.

  • ShaunA

    I love the seahawks as much as the next 12, I don’t consider him greedy but don’t say you want to say in Seattle and then when contract time comes around you start going back and forth and saying it’s in God’s hands when really it’s in the bigger paycheck. Be honest to the 12s who have supported you through out wins and losses.

  • Q

    Your analogy is flawed. The Seahawks are not offering him the league minimum. They are offering him the 3rd highest paid salary in the NFL. That would be equivalent, according to your analogy, being offered the 3rd highest salary in the country or even world in the “Bicrosoft” type industry. Not $15/hour.

    • DJ

      Well put. Levine’s commentary was about as sophomoric as you could get…..the man needs to understand issues much better before telling us all how things should be.

  • Rick H

    I have trouble with the contract and Russell Wilson. As the leader of the team, he has said that everyone should go for the NFL maximum, if possible, even if you are young and still to be proven. At this point it is hard to put him into the same league as Aaron Rogers and others like him, as sports illustrated implies. The problem is that the salary cap presents a zero sum game, and taking his lead, everyone, who is good. should now push for the maximum salary. There won’t be money to do this. A great leader would have come in lower but high enough and set the tone that the quality of the team exceeds his personal financial aspirations.