Russell Wilson’s good week continues. Not only did he have a spectacular contribution to the Seahawks’ 41-38 win over Houston Sunday, the Seahawks Monday traded for a premier left tackle, Duane Brown, to protect his backside. Tuesday, Wilson agreed to take millions in cash right now in order to accommodate Brown’s salary under the NFL cap.
In the arcane world of NFL contracts, Wilson agreed to a renegotiation of his deal that converts $6.26 million of base salary into a bonus paid immediately, but pro-rated for purposes of the cap over the remaining three years of his contract. The base-salary relief gave the Seahawks room to help pay Brown the $4.9 million balance due (nine games) in 2017 on his original $9.4 million compensation.
The story was first reported on Twitter by Andrew Brandt, former president of the Green Bay Packers who has a weekly column for Sports Illustrated’s MMQB.
The Seahawks needed to move money before Brown could be added to the roster because they were down to $1.4 million in space under the cap.
Seattle traded to Houston fifth-year veteran CB Jeremy Lane and the $2.1 million balance on his contract to help with the math. Lane, who played six snaps Sunday before departing with a thigh injury, had missed the previous two games with a groin injury and found that he had been replaced at corner by rookie Shaquill Griffin. He also lost playing time in the slot corner spot when veteran Justin Coleman was acquired. He tweeted his displeasure last week, a move that did not help his precarious position.
The deal isn’t official until the the NFL’s trade deadline passes at 1 p.m. Tuesday.
The maneuver takes pressure off the Seahawks to offer an extension on Brown’s contract to make the deal happen. General manager John Schneider indicated Monday that he was will to consider extending the deal for the 32-year-old Brown, who is scheduled to make $9.75 million in the deal’s final year of 2018.
Wilson’s deal includes base salaries of $12.6 million this season, $15.5 million in 2018 and $17 million in 2019.
Seattle made a similar move Sept. 1 with WR Doug Baldwin in order to create cap room to acquire DT Sheldon Richardson and his $8 million deal with the New York Jets.
Since Brown is from Wilson’s hometown of Richmond, VA., the Seahawks QB had even more reason to be delighted for the week’s developments.
— Russell Wilson (@DangeRussWilson) October 31, 201
In the bigger picture, it’s clear the Seahawks are pushing hard to get to the Super Bowl this year in a wide-open NFC, not only by acquiring veteran talent for immediate help, but by pushing salary expenses into the future, something Schneider typically tries to avoid.