Seahawks make Wilson top paid in NFL

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The Seattle Seahawks and Russell Wilson have reached agreement on a four-year, $140 million extension that includes a $65 million signing bonus and makes the quarterback the highest-paid player in the NFL, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Tuesday morning.

With the four new years added to his contract, Wilson, 30, is now contractually tied to the Seahawks through the 2023 season, the source said.

In addition to topping Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers‘ contract as the richest ever in terms of annual average at $35 million per season, Wilson’s signing bonus also sets a new record. Rodgers was first in both categories at $33.5 million and $57.5 million, respectively, on the extension he signed last summer.

The deal includes a no trade clause, a source said, confirming a report by NFL Network.

Wilson, without specifying terms, said he had reached a deal in a video he posted to Twitter about 45 minutes after the passing of the midnight deadline that his side had set for an extension.

“Hey Seattle, we got a deal,” a sleepy-sounding Wilson says while lying in bed next to his wife Ciara. “Go Hawks. But I’ma see ya’ll in the morning. Time for ya’ll to go to bed.”

The deal was apparently finished after four days of negotiations between the Seahawks and Wilson’s agent, Mark Rodgers, who arrived at the team’s headquarters Friday.

It keeps Wilson, a five-time Pro Bowler and the quarterback of the only Super Bowl-winning team in Seahawks history, with the team through 2023. And it avoids the messy route of Wilson going year-to-year on the franchise tag, which would have paved the way for an eventual divorce.

Wilson was set to make $17 million in 2019, the final season of the four-year, $87.6 million extension he signed in the summer of 2015. His side had given the Seahawks a deadline of midnight Monday for a new contract, and according to Schefter, did not intend to revisit negotiations this year if there wasn’t a deal by that point.

Wilson had said at the end of last season that he would be comfortable going into the final year of his current deal if need be.

“Oh yeah, if that’s what I’ve got to do,” Wilson said. “It’s business and everything. I know essentially after the season, I could potentially be a free agent, that kind of thing. I don’t think that way. I see myself being in Seattle. I love Seattle, and it’s a special place for me.”

Coach Pete Carroll, also speaking at the end of the season, said a Wilson extension was “very much in our plans.” More recently, he said at the NFL’s annual meetings last month that the two sides were “on it” in terms of a potential Wilson extension without elaborating. But when the deadline was first reported in early April and especially as midnight Monday drew nearer, there was no indication of whether or not they would come to an agreement.

Despite the uncertainty over his contract negotiations, Wilson was present for the start of the team’s voluntary offseason program on Monday as his agent and the Seahawks continued to meet.

Wilson’s 2015 extension averaged $21.9 million, which at the time made him the second-highest-paid quarterback in terms of annual average below Rodgers at $22 million. Wilson had fallen all the way to 12th on that list before his latest extension put him at the top.

With Wilson taken care of, the Seahawks can now focus their attention after the draft to potential extensions for All-Pro middle linebacker Bobby Wagner and Frank Clark, the team’s top pass-rusher. However, it will be no easy task to extend both of them given how much money they’re now paying Wilson and the fact that Wagner’s and Clark’s extensions would be near or at the top of the market for their positions. Clark has been the subject of trade rumors and has yet to sign his $17.128 million franchise tag.

Wilson is coming off arguably the best season of his seven-year career. He edged his previous career bests with 35 touchdown passes and a 110.9 passer rating while tying his career low of seven interceptions. Wilson did that on 427 attempts, his fewest since 2013, as the Seahawks operated one of the league’s most run-heavy offenses. Only Drew Brees and Patrick Mahomes finished with a better rating than Wilson’s 110.9, which also established a new career-high.

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