Commentary: New contracts, not much drama for Wilson and Wagner – not surprising, yet refreshing

The Seahawks now have both their quarterbacks locked up longterm: Their quarterback of the offense (Russell Wilson) and their quarterback of the defense (Bobby Wagner).

And best of all – there’s no more contract drama, and it’s not even August.

I don’t need to remind anyone that over the past five seasons, we’ve seen players absent from OTAs or mini-camps or arriving late to Seahawks Training Camp, even one player carrying a holdout into the regular season – all to express displeasure with current contracts. We’ve seen contentious back-and-forths between team and player and agent played out through the media, creating unfortunate longterm chasms between fans and their favorite Seahawks.

And yet, with Wilson and Wagner, that was rarely the case.

Now, yes, both of them got paid – and paid extremely well. It helps when there are two sides that actually want to get a deal done.

But I’d also argue that both deals are actually bargains. And before you rip my head off for saying that, it’s fair to say that both players likely would have gotten bigger deals elsewhere in free agency next year.

Take a look at the Top 5 highest-paid quarterbacks. Would you rather have 37-year-old Ben Roethlisberger for a million dollars less? At the end of the day, Russell Wilson threw more touchdown passes last season than any other in franchise history and in a couple years, his 35 million a year will likely be dwarfed by a couple other deals.

Remember: In two years, the league will have a new collective bargaining agreement, where the players will likely fight for a higher revenue split. If you add new revenue streams like sports betting, you’re looking at a significant increase in the salary cap between now and then.

For example, right now, Russell Wilson is currently earning close to 19 percent of the Seahawks salary cap. But let’s say the salary cap in 2022 goes up to $300 million. If that happened, Wilson would only be making six percent of the cap. A similar principle can be applied to Wagner too. The fact that no player’s contract is tied to future salary cap increases gives teams spending flexibility in future years.

But let’s get back to the original point: It’s refreshing to be sitting here just a few days into Training Camp without lingering questions about two team leaders. And two guys who both used innovative ways to get deals done.

Russell set a deadline of April 15 to avoid lingering drama. Wagner represented himself to take out the middle man, which he discussed today: “(When you have an agent), I feel like there’s two negotiations – there’s one between the GM and the agent, and there’s one between the agent and the player because you’re not in that room. I didn’t want them to say all the bad stuff to the agent. I wanted them to say it to my face. I can take it. Especially nowadays – you’ve got somebody telling you that you’re trash everyday on Twitter. It can’t be worse than Twitter.”

So continue to talk trash on Twitter, or don’t. But we now move forward with the two team leaders locked in. Two potential Hall of Famers who have represented this franchise and city with nothing but excellence, humility and grace. They’ve led by example. They’ve made us proud. They’ve deserved their new deals.

And for the most part, they spared us the polarizing dramatics we’ve seen with other players in past years. Why – with these two guys – am I not surprised at all?

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