Russell Wilson contract extension – Answering largest questions and fallout, from Lamar Jackson’s future to Denver Broncos’ roster

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 informed 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 below contract by 2028 — as he tries to affix John Elway and Peyton Manning in main Denver to the Tremendous Bowl plateau.

What kind of ripple impact will the extension have for the group, and for an NFL bracing for a spate of recent contracts together with one for Baltimore Ravens star Lamar Jackson? Is what appears like a team-friendly deal a difficulty for gamers in a league with out the absolutely assured contracts seen in different sports activities? ESPN’s group of Dan Graziano, Jeremy Fowler, Jamison Hensley and Jeff Legwold weighed in on the implications of the deal at each the group and nationwide ranges.

What does this deal imply for the broader NFL quarterback market?

Nothing good. Wilson coming in below $50 million a 12 months and never even sniffing Deshaun Watson’s assure quantity is simply unequivocally dangerous for each different huge quarterback contract (and, by extension, each different NFL participant contract) to return.

If I am Lamar Jackson proper now, I am texting Wilson, “Dude! You’re 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 isn’t a likelihood NFL gamers see any significant progress towards the varieties of absolutely assured offers their NBA and MLB counterparts robotically get. The NFLPA and brokers across the league had excessive hopes for Wilson’s deal setting a brand new customary on ensures. It is exhausting 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 minimize – 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 count on 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 completed than Murray, which is why Watson’s deal must be seen because the benchmark. Jackson and Watson have every performed 4 seasons within the NFL, and Jackson (37-12 document) 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 stress 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 to this point for Jackson, who is without doubt one of 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’s time for the edges to succeed in 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 choice this 12 months, and he would earn $45 million below the unique tag subsequent season. All through the negotiations, Jackson and Ravens officers have remained optimistic about getting a deal completed. The problem is discovering a compromise. — Hensley

What are the implications of this deal for younger quarterbacks searching for future offers, together with Joe Burrow and Justin Herbert?

The Chargers and Bengals are seemingly happy that Wilson’s deal, like Murray’s extension earlier than him, did not comply with the Watson blueprint with a completely assured deal. However Herbert and Burrow will not sweat that an excessive amount of. They may 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. Turning into the highest-paid gamers will not be an enormous concern for these two. A working joke contained in the league is that the Bengals just lately promoting naming rights for the stadium (now Paycor Stadium) can be a technique to “Paycor” Burrow’s future deal.

The larger concern is whether or not Bengals’ and Chargers’ possession teams are keen to entrance assured cash of $200-plus million in escrow. They are not often known as the largest spenders league-wide. — Fowler

What is the danger for the Broncos at QB if Wilson is injured or performs poorly?

The largest danger for the Broncos, and albeit they took a far larger 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 observe document.

It is easy to neglect now that Manning wasn’t absolutely wholesome when the group 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 imagine the 33-year-old is primed for a protracted tenure with the group and have additionally tried to assemble an offense that may restrict a minimum of a number of 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 major 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 either side, Wilson will get loads of the assured cash up entrance, throughout the first eight months of the deal for a giant chunk of it, and he did not power the Broncos to high Watson’s deal. However shifting 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 group development standpoint?

As we stated, 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 much, far, higher than Watson’s or Kyler Murray’s, and Wilson and his representatives may 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 along with the power to make use of the checkbook after they need to with the intention to bolster the group 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 possibility. Up-front money is not going to be an issue for this group. After they need to spend it, they are going to have the ability to spend it.

Basic 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 total allotment of picks once more in 2024. This deal accomplishes that on the enterprise aspect and it was clearly adequate for Wilson as properly. –– Legwold