Former Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson shared his first public comments after signing a new five-year, $245 million contract extension with the Denver Broncos. Wilson still had two seasons remaining on the last deal he signed with the Seahawks but has now committed to staying in Denver through the 2028 season. The Broncos quarterback emphasized that his goal was to keep enough future cap space to make the Broncos a “destination location” noting his new deal is about “how many Super Bowls we can win.”
“I had an amazing first decade of my career,” Wilson explained during a September 1, 2022 press conference. “The next decade I’m really excited about and so to me, what it’s really about is being able to win championships and being able to have enough space in the salary cap so [Broncos general manager George Paton] can make his magic, and we can get guys like Randy Gregory when he comes on the team or other great players. I think that we want to make this a destination location. I think that it’s one of those things, we have amazing tradition, amazing football team.
“…I think what’s important, too is making sure that you surround yourself around amazing players, and so for me I love these guys, man, we’re having a blast. It’s been an amazing joy, and so, for me, it wasn’t really about how much [money] necessarily. It’s about how many. How many Super Bowls we can win, and that’s really the focus.”
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Despite Deshaun Watson’s new fully guaranteed contract, Wilson did not follow suit as $161 million of the $245 million is guaranteed, per Spotrac. Wilson may have a modest (by NFL quarterback standards) $17 million salary when his new contract begins in 2024 but this number escalates all the way up to $50 million in 2028. Wilson will turn 40 years old when the quarterback is making this $50 million salary in Denver.
Tom Brady earned a reputation for consistently taking less money during his two decades with the Patriots, but Wilson’s contract is not similar in that regard despite the Denver QB1’s comments. That said, the NFL will continue to see quarterback contracts explode in the coming years as the new television contracts kick in. Wilson is still making plenty of money despite the quarterback’s comments about keeping enough space for the Broncos front office to work their “magic.”
Much has been made about the Seahawks’ breakup with Wilson, but this new deal may be as big of a factor as anything else as to why Seattle opted to trade the quarterback. Seahawks general manager John Schneider previously admitted that Wilson was not planning on signing a new contract with Seattle after his deal expired heading into the 2024 season. The Seahawks were also unlikely to be comfortable giving their starting quarterback an eventual $50 million salary.
“Make no mistake: Russell Wilson’s new mega deal with Denver is why Russell Wilson is [no] longer the Seahawks’ quarterback,” The News Tribune’s Gregg Bell tweeted on September 2.
Seattle will square off with the newly-paid Denver quarterback on September 12 in the debut “Monday Night Football” matchup of the season.
Wilson was a great player when he could move and when he didn’t hold the ball so long also missing open receivers as his last two seasons with the Seahawks show. He is a great guy though and I wish him all the best with the Bronco’s. Beating Seattle on their first game won’t be a problem even if he’s not in the lineup. It’s going to be a few years before Seattle is competitive again.