The Seattle Seahawks have had a lot of success over the last two seasons. They have made back-to-back Super Bowl appearances and they will come into this season as a serious contender to make the Super Bowl again. The biggest factor in the team making the run they have so far is the 2012 NFL Draft class. That draft class was said by some to not be the greatest at all by some. In fact, NFL Draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. rated the class as a C- at the time. But little did he know that draft class would bring the Seahawks four starters. And along with four starters, it would also bring them a couple guys that would become their quarterbacks on both sides of the ball. Russell Wilson was drafted in the 3rd round (75th overall) by the Seahawks that season. Of course everyone knows his story and how he has become one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. But before him in the second round, the Seahawks also drafted linebacker Bobby Wagner. The former Utah State linebacker was drafted 47th overall and he was plugged in the middle of the Seahawks defense right away. And with the rise of the Seahawks, he has definitely been at the forefront. Both Wilson and Wagner are up for contract extensions. Wagner and Wilson are coming to the end of their contracts with the Seahawks and could potentially enter free agency next offseason. But with both of them looking to cash in, what decision will the Seahawks make?
Even though running back Marshawn Lynch is the engine of the Seattle offense, Wilson is the face of it. He has made big plays ever since he entered the NFL and has captured the Seahawks fans’ hearts with his thankfulness and his charity work he does within the area. But all that he has accomplished on the field eventually has a pricetag. The Seahawks have been very fortunate that they found their starting quarterback in the 3rd round. Because of that, they were able to pay him the rookie salary while adding pieces on their team that were a little more expensive. They knew eventually it would catch up to them and they would have to pay Wilson, but they just were not sure what they were getting into. Rumors are circulating that both Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks are not very close on a new deal. In fact, it has been said that the Seahawks are willing to let him finish this year without a deal in place. The plan is to place the franchise tag on him potentially in back-back years. To some that may be crazy to do, but for Seattle it makes a lot of sense. Wilson is reportedly asking for a deal that would pay him $20 million per season. The Seahawks are obviously not willing to pay that and would rather opt for a franchise tag. By doing that, Seattle may save tying up their salary cap more than they want to while Wilson can get paid near or at what he wants. But the offset of the franchise tag is it cannot be spread out over years. The hope for the team is that he agrees to an extension that is reasonable for the team and Wilson. That would allow the team to load the contract on the back end potentially and have more cap room free.
But along with Wilson, the Seahawks also have to think about the case of Bobby Wagner. If they franchise tag Russell Wilson, then they must hope they have enough money to keep Wagner aboard. Players like defensive end Michael Bennett, safety Earl Thomas and cornerback Richard Sherman get the credit for the Seattle defense being as dominant as they have been. But quietly, Wagner is the engine behind what they have accomplished. His angles he takes when stopping the run are precise and perfect. And despite being a smallish linebacker in height (six feet tall), Wagner just finds a way to make things happen. When he was out of the lineup with a toe injury, the Seahawks definitely felt his absence. Of the five games that Wagner missed, the Seahawks defense gave up at least 20 points three times. But when Wagner returned from the injury, it seemed as if the defense picked up. Seattle would end the season giving up more than seven points only once and they seemed to be back on track with their defensive quarterback. Wagner was in Seattle recently and he was throwing out the first pitch at the Seattle Mariners game. During that appearance, he definitely had some thoughts in regards to an extension in Seattle. He has made no bones about wanting an extension and wanting to be paid accordingly. But up to this point, it seems as if Seattle is not willing to give him what he wants and risks losing him. The young middle linebacker may be looking at a potential payday outside Seattle if the team does not think he is worthy. Add this one to the decisions to watch in the Pacific Northwest.
The Seattle Seahawks thought they had one contract issue on their hands but now they have two. And the reality is that they cannot keep everyone and they may have to choose between one or the other. Do you keep the quarterback of your offense, who is also the face of your team? Of do you keep the quarterback of your defense that has made a huge impact? The choice is in Seattle’s hands as all the guys they found in the draft have now made it to contract extension time. The draft class of 2012 paid Seattle and now it is time for Seattle to make a decision to which they will pay going forward. Without a doubt, a decision has to be made.