Quarterback Russell Wilson and the Denver Broncos agreed to a reported five-year, $245 million contract extension on Thursday, a deal that features $165 million in assured cash, sources instructed ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The deal is the third-most profitable contract in NFL historical past when it comes to assured cash, with solely Deshaun Watson’s $230 million and Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray’s $189.5 million outranking Wilson’s determine. The deal additionally stakes the 33-year-old’s profession to the Broncos for the foreseeable future — he is beneath contract via 2028 — as he tries to hitch John Elway and Peyton Manning in main Denver to the Tremendous Bowl plateau.
What sort of ripple impact will the extension have for the staff, and for an NFL bracing for a spate of latest contracts together with one for Baltimore Ravens star Lamar Jackson? Is what seems to be like a team-friendly deal a difficulty for gamers in a league with out the totally assured contracts seen in different sports activities? ESPN’s staff of Dan Graziano, Jeremy Fowler, Jamison Hensley and Jeff Legwold weighed in on the implications of the deal at each the staff and nationwide ranges.
What does this deal imply for the broader NFL quarterback market?
Nothing good. Wilson coming in beneath $50 million a 12 months and never even sniffing Deshaun Watson’s assure quantity is simply unequivocally dangerous for each different massive quarterback contract (and, by extension, each different NFL participant contract) to come back.
If I am Lamar Jackson proper now, I am texting Wilson, “Dude! You are killing me!” Wilson did the Broncos an enormous favor right here, and the Ravens, the Bengals, the Chargers and anybody else who’s eyeing a big-quarterback negotiation over the following 12 months can ship him thank-you notes as properly. Like Kyler Murray and Derek Carr earlier than him, and Aaron Rodgers, Patrick Mahomes… heck all people however Kirk Cousins earlier than them, Wilson declined to push the envelope on ensures.
Till the top-end quarterbacks begin doing that, there is no such thing as a likelihood NFL gamers see any significant progress towards the forms of totally assured offers their NBA and MLB counterparts routinely get. The NFLPA and brokers across the league had excessive hopes for Wilson’s deal setting a brand new commonplace on ensures. It is onerous to see how this deal moved the market in any possible way in any respect. And whereas it is easy to grasp why the highest quarterbacks do not insist on ensures – they do not want them, as a result of the highest quarterbacks by no means get reduce – till they begin getting them, nobody else will. What this deal means for the broader NFL quarterback market is, sadly for the gamers, extra of the identical. — Graziano
How ought to we anticipate the Ravens and Lamar Jackson, within the midst of an ongoing contract negotiation, to react to / interpret this deal?
The Ravens will use Wilson’s deal as additional proof that Watson’s record-setting contract ($230 million assured) is an aberration and never market worth. Since Watson signed, two franchise quarterbacks reached agreements and neither have come near Watson when it comes to assured cash: Kyler Murray ($189.5 million) and Wilson ($165 million).
Jackson can counter that he is eight years youthful than Wilson and extra achieved than Murray, which is why Watson’s deal needs to be considered because the benchmark. Jackson and Watson have every performed 4 seasons within the NFL, and Jackson (37-12 report) has received 9 extra video games than Watson (28-25) and has received an NFL MVP award.
Bart Scott breaks down how the Russell Wilson extension places much more strain on the Ravens to re-sign Lamar Jackson.
If Jackson does not signal an extension earlier than the season – he set Week 1 because the cutoff level to droop negotiations – he’s taking the chance of getting injured with no assured cash past this 12 months. However ready has been a worthwhile technique thus far for Jackson, who is among the few high-profile NFL gamers with out an agent.
Since Jackson turned eligible for an extension final 12 months, 5 quarterbacks have signed offers which have exceeded $150 million in assured cash and the typical per 12 months for quarterbacks has jumped from $45 million (Patrick Mahomes) to $50.3 million (Aaron Rodgers). Jackson will not hit free company till 2025, so there may be time for the perimeters to achieve a deal. The Ravens can put the franchise tag on him for the 2023 and 2024 seasons. Jackson will make $23.016 million in his fifth-year possibility this 12 months, and he would earn $45 million beneath the unique tag subsequent season. All through the negotiations, Jackson and Ravens officers have remained optimistic about getting a deal performed. The problem is discovering a compromise. — Hensley
What are the implications of this deal for younger quarterbacks in search of future offers, together with Joe Burrow and Justin Herbert?
The Chargers and Bengals are doubtless happy that Wilson’s deal, like Murray’s extension earlier than him, did not comply with the Watson blueprint with a totally assured deal. However Herbert and Burrow will not sweat that an excessive amount of. They’ll have infinite leverage as top-shelf passers with youth on their sides.
As Wilson’s deal confirmed, the ballpark of $50 million per 12 months is now the norm for QBs. Changing into the highest-paid gamers will not be an enormous difficulty for these two. A operating joke contained in the league is that the Bengals lately promoting naming rights for the stadium (now Paycor Stadium) can be a methodology to “Paycor” Burrow’s future deal.
The larger difficulty is whether or not Bengals’ and Chargers’ possession teams are keen to entrance assured cash of $200-plus million in escrow. They don’t seem to be generally known as the most important spenders league-wide. — Fowler
What is the threat for the Broncos at QB if Wilson is injured or performs poorly?
The largest threat for the Broncos, and albeit they took a far greater one on this regard after they signed Peyton Manning in 2012, is Wilson’s well being not holding up regardless of what has up till now been a reasonably wholesome monitor report.
It is simple to neglect now that Manning wasn’t totally wholesome when the staff signed him and there have been questions on how wholesome he would finally be. His four-year run in Denver included 50 regular-season wins, 4 division titles, two Tremendous Bowl journeys and one Tremendous Bowl win.
Marcus Spears breaks down why the Russell Wilson extension places the Broncos again in “Peyton Manning mode” of their chase for a Lombardi Trophy.
Wilson, in the meantime, has had no vital decrease physique damage in his profession, no vital shoulder damage in his profession and no again damage in his profession. He is missed solely three video games, due to a fractured finger. The Broncos have seen him work on and off the sphere, evaluated him up shut since his arrival in March. They consider the 33-year-old is primed for a protracted tenure with the staff and have additionally tried to assemble an offense that can restrict a minimum of among the hits Wilson has taken in his profession — they usually’ll must persuade Wilson to do his half on that entrance as properly.
The Broncos are all in, so a big damage or a sudden dip in Wilson’s play that hasn’t appeared but in his profession would definitely dent the plan. The deal is pleasant on each side, Wilson will get loads of the assured cash up entrance, inside the first eight months of the deal for an enormous chunk of it, and he did not power the Broncos to prime Watson’s deal. However transferring on from this is not actually a dialog proper now they usually will not plan for that wet day till they see it rain — lots. –– Legwold
What are the implications for the Broncos from an total staff building standpoint?
As we mentioned, the ten,000-foot, real-world view is that Wilson acquired a generationally life-changing deal for him and his household. Nevertheless it’s clear he did not demand to be the top-paid on any entrance. It is one of many largest offers in league historical past, however his résumé is way, far, higher than Watson’s or Kyler Murray’s, and Wilson and his representatives might have demanded a deal reflecting that. He did not, and the Broncos had been in a position to assemble a deal that offers them the chance to have the quarterback they need for a very long time to go together with the power to make use of the checkbook after they need to with a view to bolster the staff round him.
Now, the Broncos do now have the richest possession group within the league and this deal is the primary likelihood for them to flex that monetary muscle. Their willingness to do it simply 23 days into their possession tenure is a sign they are going to be aggressive after they have the prospect. Up-front money is not going to be an issue for this staff. After they need to spend it, they are going to have the ability to spend it.
Normal supervisor George Paton surrendered 5 draft picks to accumulate Wilson, together with two first-round picks and two second-round picks, so he needed to attempt to discover a deal that labored on the cap aspect particularly over the primary two seasons of the contract, till he has the complete allotment of picks once more in 2024. This deal accomplishes that on the enterprise aspect and it was clearly ok for Wilson as properly. –– Legwold