About 45 minutes after the deadline he imposed on the Seattle Seahawks to finalize his contract extension, Super Bowl-winning quarterback Russell Wilson posted a humorous, rather "sleepy" celebration video along with his singer wife Ciara from bed.
"Hey Seattle," says Wilson. "We got a deal," Ciara, who's snuggled up next to him, adds sleepily, "Go Hawks."
"Go Hawks," echoes Wilson. "But I'ma see y'all in the morning. Time for y'all to go to bed."
"Good night," says Ciara, adding, "Finally, you can go to sleep..." which prompts Wilson to chuckle.
"See ya'll in the morning," the QB says before cutting off the video.
According to ESPN's Adam Schefter's sources, Wilson's celebration is much-warranted, coming in response to having secured the most lucrative contract in the NFL: "a four-year, $140 million extension that includes a $65 million signing bonus" that "makes the quarterback the highest-paid player in the NFL."
The reported deal extends his contract to 2023 and gives Wilson a new record of $35 million per season as well as a record-high signing bonus. Schefter's sources also say that the deal contains a no-trade clause.
The new deal makes Wilson a higher paid QB than Green Bay Packers star Aaron Rodgers (who gets around $33.5 million per year and was given a $57.5 million signing bonus). Wilson's annual salary also matches Peyton Manning's high for a single year cume. USA Today provides the following new list of the NFL's top 10 highest paid QBs, Wilson at the top, having catapulted from 12th place:
- Seahawks QB Russell Wilson: $35 million
- Packers QB Aaron Rodgers: $33.5 million
- Falcons QB Matt Ryan: $30 million
- Vikings QB Kirk Cousins: $28 million
- 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo: $27.5 million
- Lions QB Matthew Stafford: $27 million
- Raiders QB Derek Carr: $25 million
- Saints QB Drew Brees: $25 million
- Colts QB Andrew Luck: $24.6 million
- Redskins QB Alex Smith: $23.5 million
Wilson's pay raise is significant. He was going to make less than half of that ($17 million) in 2019 if he and the team didn't reach an extension agreement. Though the team had made clear that they wanted to work out a new deal with Wilson, tension reportedly mounted as the midnight deadline approached with no clear public signs of progress. ESPN reports that the deal was finalized around the midnight deadline Wilson had imposed and came at the end of a grueling four-day negotiation process. Among other things, it avoids the team having to use the franchise tag and all the potential tension extended negotiations bring.
After winning the role as starting QB for Seattle in 2012, Wilson helped lead the Seahawks to the team's first Super Bowl victory in 2014, dominating the Peyton Manning-led Denver Broncos 43-8 (Denver would go on to win in Manning's final year in 2015). Wilson had a strong 2018 season, finishing with his second best completion percentage (65.6) of his NFL career and his highest passer rating (110.9).