Mark Rodgers, agent for Russell Wilson, sent a 16-page letter to the Seahawks regarding his view of contract negotiations, according to the league’s house organ, NFL Network. My first reaction to the news Monday:
“I love you” can be sent in a tweet, and still have room for a bunch of “xoxoxoxoxo.”
No contents of the letter were disclosed, but it seemed fairly unusual that after three-plus months of negotiations, Rodgers felt compelled to go to lengths reserved for tax code changes to explain himself.
Perhaps Rodgers perceives general manager John Schneider as dense. Then again, the letter could have included a bunch of pictures of Wilson in a Texas Rangers uniform.
I’m sure that there are many details to dissect and extrapolate. But from the outside, the essence, in light of recent developments, could be tidily explained:
Ryan Tannehill: Four years, $77 million, $45 million guaranteed; Dolphins can opt out after 2016.
Cam Newton: Five years, $103.8 million, $60 million guaranteed.
Neither are the player Wilson is.
BVD: . . . “For it is written, vengeance is mine . . .” (Romans 12:19),
I don’t think Rodgers is plotting a plague of locusts here, but I do think that he believes the Seahawks should pay in the future for Wilson’s massive over-performance of his contract in the first three years. And he really can’t care one bit about the Seahawks’ long-term future.
Not his job.
Consider that the contracts of Schneider and coach Pete Carroll expire after 2016. If the club hasn’t secured the architects of the Seattle renaissance beyond the next two years, then what is the club doing offering four- and five-year extensions for Wilson?
Given the recent words from Wilson and Rodgers about being OK with playing 2015 under the fourth and final year of his rookie contract at $1.5 million, and then in 2016 playing under the franchise tag of $22 million to $25 million, it seems more likely that that scenario works for all parties.
Certainly, it’s the cleanest road to a third consecutive Super Bowl for the franchise.
“Russell is under contract with the Seahawks,” Rodgers told 710 ESPN radio 11 days ago. “He absolutely would be fine playing his fourth year under the contract he signed coming out and then moving on from there. I don’t feel any particular crunch on time or any real particular deadlines.”
Said Wilson after an OTA practice last week: “I’m prepared for that 100 percent if that’s the case. I want to be here for a long time. I just have to get ready to play. I love the game, and I love being out here with these guys. Ultimately, I just take it one day at a time and see where it takes me.”
Particularly in view of what assistant coach Tom Cable said last week at the Seahawks’ annual town hall meeting for season ticket holders, the shorter term makes sense for another reason: RB Marshawn Lynch.
“Marshawn needs Russ like Russ needs Marshawn,” Cable said. “It’s like ham and eggs or peanut butter and jelly. They’ve got to have each other for this thing to work. Neither one of them is bigger or greater than the other. And they probably wouldn’t be very good without the other one, to be quite honest with you.
“I think our system allows them both to prosper. What we all understand as coaches is we really need that dynamic of how one plays off the other. One’s the bruiser (Lynch). He’s the street brawler. The other guy (Wilson) looks like the artist and they’re both very productive.”
Cable is almost lyrical in his accurate assessment of the tandem that makes the Seahawks so hard to defend, particularly with TE Jimmy Graham as another weapon. Lynch is key to everything the Seahawks under Carroll want to accomplish on offense: Wear out the defense, minimize turnovers and make big plays.
What Cable didn’t mention is that 2015 is Lynch’s big payoff season — in his age-29 year, he gets $12 million. While it’s true that he signed a three-year deal, Lynch’s age, health and desire make thinking beyond 2015 a waste of time: Unknowable.
So far, there’s no replacement for Lynch in the pipeline. Neither Robert Turbin nor Christine Michael have shown beyond the NFL average, if that. Not to say there couldn’t be a suitable replacement by this time a year from now. But if you’re Rodgers, why would you bet beyond 2016 on the Seahawks if you know jelly will be denied his peanut butter?
Rodgers joins Wilson in betting on the QB. Because in the NFL, there are too many unknowns under the salary cap to beat on any team, even one as well-managed as the Seahawks.
Rodgers is eager to get Wilson into free agency. That is most likely two years away. In two volatile NFL years, worlds collapse and are created. Long-term extensions are for guys who have yet to do great deeds.