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.