Would Seahawks pass on paying Russell Wilson again?

Pro Football Talk

The deadline arrives in three days. If, as of April 15, the Seahawks and quarterback Russell Wilson haven’t worked out a new contract, what happens next?

One possibility, as casually tossed into the fray by Jack Del Rio on Monday, is that the Seahawks will decide against doing the year-to-year franchise-tag and trade Wilson, before the start of the 2019 regular season. Whether it would happen this year or next year (when holding his rights would entail a $30.34 million franchise tag), the philosophical question becomes whether the Seahawks would choose to give up a franchise quarterback in order to avoid devoting so much cap and cash space to a franchise quarterback.

Ever since the 2011 labor deal made it dramatically cheaper to pay high-end rookies quarterbacks than top-tier veterans, the possibility has been percolating of a team consciously saying “no thanks” when faced with the prospect of paying a healthy franchise quarterback. The Ravens became the first team to blink after the 2012 season, opting to making Joe Flacco the highest-paid quarterback in league history in lieu of applying the franchise tag and risking that someone would sign him in exchange for a pair of first-round draft picks. (Someone would have.)

That process continued, with teams finding ways to keep a quarterback they had drafted and developed in lieu of drafting and developing another one. It ended (sort of) when Washington paid franchise-tag money twice to Kirk Cousins and couldn’t/wouldn’t do it a third time, when his $24 million payday from 2017 would have spiked to more than $34 million for 2018. But Cousins isn’t really a franchise quarterback, which is why Washington wasn’t really interested in paying him big money on a long-term deal.

#football, #professional

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