5 reasons why the Seahawks shouldn't overpay for Russell Wilson

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How Much Money Does Russell Wilson Deserve?


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By JOE PISAPIA
FanDuel

Time is ticking for the Seahawks and quarterback Russell Wilson to sign a long-term contract extension. The closer the two parties get to July 31, the less likely a deal will be struck and talks may be tabled until after the season.

The latest offer is rumored to be in the neighborhood of $100 million over five years. Certainly, this type of contract is fair market value, but Wilson and his camp seem poised to push the envelope. In an age where the QB position has almost become a prerequisite for success, the Seahawks are no doubt feeling the pressure to lock up their young signal caller. However, to "overpay" for Russell Wilson's services could lead the organization down a slippery slope.

Here are five reasons that should give the Seahawks pause in these contract negotiations.

1) Wilson's Passing Stats Have Not Shown Improvement

Wilson performed well above expectation in his rookie year, and his stats were worthy of recognition under the circumstances. But no two years later, his passing yard totals have only marginally increased to a total of 3,475 (literally 15th overall, the middle of the pack in 2014). His QB rating ranked in the top 10, but he threw just 20 touchdowns and just two 300-yard passing games last season. This all adds up to a "nice, productive, young quarterback." The stats do NOT signal we have an elite signal-caller on our hands.

2) His Playoff Success is Overrated

Sure, it's an accomplishment to appear in back-to-back Super Bowls. It also helps to have an all-time great defense and an all-Pro running back to hand the ball off to. Truth be told, Russell Wilson was a game manager during Seattle's 2013 Super Bowl run, never throwing for more than 215 yards in a game, including just three total TDs. In the 2014 playoffs, Wilson played well against Carolina, but threw four interceptions against the Green Bay Packers. Honestly, the Seahawks were lucky to have every ball bounce their way and come out of that game victorious. His QB rating in the NFC Championship Game was 44.3. Seattle's playoff success the last three years wasn't due to Wilson carrying this team in any way, but rather him being a supporting player in a machine driven by defense.

3) He's a Running Quarterback

Like the tag or not, when you rush for 800-plus yards on the ground, you are labeled a running quarterback. The shelf life for this style of QB in today's NFL is short. Wilson may not have the slight build of Michael Vick or Robert Griffin III, but he's no Cam Newton, either. His style of play certainly helps his fantasy football value, which is touched upon more in-depth in my latest Fantasy Football Black Book for 2015, but that's about it. At 5'11 and 203 pounds, his body will not sustain him if he doesn't make any adjustments. Defensive players are simply too fast and too strong, and it will catch up with him at some point. The bigger concern is his lack of progess in the pocket, which may not allow him to change this style of play and be successful. There is no safe place on the football field, but the pocket is a much better start. The trouble is Wilson just hasn't produced there yet.

4) He Doesn't Make The Players Around Him Better

It's no secret that the Seahawks receiving crops is less than thrilling. However, one of the marks of a truly great quarterback is he makes the players around him better. He caters to their strengths, motivates them, demands the best out of their limited abilities and finds a way to soak every last ounce of talent out of them. Tom Brady is a great example of a QB who has done this throughout his career. No one knew who Wes Welker until he caught passes from Brady in New England.

Deion Branch, Troy Brown are other guys that come to mind, and the list goes on for days of "no name" receivers Brady won with. Heck, Julian Edelman wasn't even a receiver in college, yet now he's a pass-catching machine in the NFL. When given the short window of time with an elite receiver like Randy Moss, Brady threw 50 TDs and won every regular season game in 2007. Andrew Luck entered the league with Wilson, and he's already turned guys like T.Y. Hilton into legitimate threats. In year three, Wilson should have gotten more out of his receivers. Or perhaps, he should have demanded more as a leader.

5) The Failure at The Super Bowl on 2nd & Goal

It's not fair to judge a player on one play, let alone under the most pressurized situation of his career. However, the truly "elite" quarterbacks deliver in those situations. Put aside the obvious argument that Marshawn Lynch should have taken the ball into the end zone.

On second thought, let's not. When one single play holds a championship in the balance and everyone in creation believes the person responsible for its end is NOT Russell Wilson, does that not speak volumes about his true value? Let's not forget that Wilson failed to read cornerback Malcolm Butler sitting behind Brandon Browner, just waiting to jump the quick slant. In neglecting to do so, he also didn't realize Lynch could've blown past the linebacker and get wide open near the goal line — which he was. Not all quarterbacks can recognize and exploit these situations, but the ones that do are worth overpaying for. That's what separates the good from the great.

Russell Wilson is a fine, upstanding gentleman, and is a breath of fresh air in an oftentimes seedy NFL universe. He's the man you want your son to grow up to become. He's intelligent, classy and one heck of an athlete. But in the salary cap era, to break the bank and lock up a huge part of the budget for a player like Russell Wilson may not allow a team to surround him with the talent he needs to be successful. He likely needs more players like tight end Jimmy Graham around him, and that will be increasingly more difficult to accomplish with a huge contract eating up a good chunk of the pie.

Turn your fantasy football knowledge into cash! We're hosting a one-week $1 million league on FanDuel in Week 1. It's only $5 to enter and first place walks away with $100,000. Enter now and change your lineup anytime until 9/13 at 1:00pm (ET). Here's the link.

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