Mark Rodgers, the agent for Seahawks’ quarterback Russell Wilson, told 710 ESPN Radio Thursday that negotiations for a contract extension for his client have been “positive and encouraging,” but added that there is no deadline in place to get a deal done. Wilson is reportedly seeking a multi-year extension worth at least $20 million annually.
“We’ve had an ongoing dialogue, not all of it being a negotiation,” Rodgers told the station in his first public comments about the negotiations. “Some of it just being philosophical and really trying to understand each other’s positions.
“I would characterize our talks as ongoing, fluid, robust at times, thoughtful and we’ve made progress. Frankly, about 95 percent of the speculation (about Wilson’s potential contract) has been off-point. I would characterize (the negotiations) as positive and encouraging.”
The slow pace has invited speculation of trouble, but Rodgers contended there is no deadline hovering over the conversation. Many believe the preference is to get a deal done by the July 31 start of training camp, but Rodgers said that isn’t necessarily so.
“Neither side has any real deadlines,” he said. “I know the public and the fans and some of the media has put a sense of urgency on this, but there really are no deadlines. Russell Wilson’s under contract with the Seahawks and he absolutely, if he has to, would certainly be fine playing his fourth year under a four-year contract that he signed coming out, and then moving on from there. I don’t feel any particular crunch on time and any real particular deadlines.”
Asked how he would look upon the talks if he were a fan, Rodgers said he was a fan and was thinking positively.
“As a Seahawks’ fan, it’s a no-brainer to think that Russell Wilson will be a Seahawk for life,” he said. “And I tend to be very, very optimistic . . . as long as I am talking to the Seahawks, it’s with a ton of optimism, it’s with the idea of optimism
“The goal here is, at the end of the day, we have a successful negotiation with the Seahawks.”
Rodgers said Wilson was back Friday as Seattle’s organized team activities continue. Wilson attended funerals in Florida Monday in support of Jimmy Graham after the passing of his manager and mentor, then Thursday in Jacksonville for the father of Seahawks teammate and DE Cliff Avril.
The agent praised the Seahawks for supporting Wilson’s trip, adding Wilson is “very, very happy to be with the Seahawks” and “loves playing for Pete Carroll.” He said Wilson understands there is “something special” going on right now with the franchise coming off two consecutive Super Bowls and an early favorite to reach a third one.
“He wants to stay a part of that for a long, long time,” Rodgers said.
Wilson, who quarterbacked the Seahawks to two Super Bowl appearances in his three seasons in Seattle, is entering the final year of his rookie contract, a four-year, $2.99 million deal he signed in May 2012 shortly after the Seahawks made him the 75th overall selection in that year’s draft.
Rodgers would not confirm that Wilson is seeking a five-year contract worth more than $100 million, as has been widely reported, choosing instead to speak in generalities.
“What he’s looking for is what everybody is looking for,” Rodgers said, “a deal that feels fair, feels reasonable and at the end of the day makes him feel comfortable with the compensation he’s receiving from the skill and performance he’s delivered.”