There are levels of fanfare with any given sports team transaction. At the top of the list is signing a superstar, best-at-his-position free agent right at the beginning of his prime. That’s, you know, if you’re a good team or on the cusp of being a good team already. Otherwise, you’ll take just a half a notch below that level, which is: having the #1 pick and drafting the next Peyton Manning.
New players are usually going to trump existing players on the excitement factor. When people think about the most recent Mariners off-season, they think of Mike Morse, Kendrys Morales, Raul Ibanez, and Jason Bay. They also think about the ones that got away like Justin Upton, Josh Hamilton, Michael Bourn, Mike Napoli and the like. Then, after being reminded about it, they remember that one Felix Hernandez was re-signed to a long extension. He’s the best player on the team! And his extension is almost an afterthought!
Now, recall that Iwakuma was also signed to an extension. Mind. Blown.
When you’re a fan of a good team, or just a regular team with good players, you tend to want to lock up your guys. The guys who make the team good; especially if they’re draft picks. You’re invested! You’re invested because Seattle is all they’ve ever known, because you’ve been watching them for a few years, and because you like to rub it in the faces of everyone else. Oh yeah, WE drafted this Pro Bowler in the 5th round, because we’re smarter than you! And by the way, YOU can’t have him!
It’s a little more satisfying when you’re talking about Felix Hernandez, and you’re thumbing your nose at the New York Yankees, but there’s not really a New York Yankees equivalent in the NFL. Nevertheless, these are the good times. This is a good thing that happened, and it often goes overlooked when taken in the big picture.
When people think about this offseason for the Seahawks, they’re going to think of Percy Harvin, our defensive line free agents, Antoine Winfield, trading away Matt Flynn, and maybe at the end of it all they’ll remember, “That’s right, we also re-signed Kam to a 4-year extension!”
Even though, arguably, this is the most important deal of them all. Most people would point to Percy Harvin, but I’m not so sure. Yeah, Harvin’s deal was more costly. It got more press. But, in the long run, there’s a lot to like about the Kam deal.
It’s vital to take care of your guys. We’ve got a SHITLOAD of guys on this team to extend in the next few years. Locking down Kam at a reasonable rate now not only sets a nice precedent (guys seeing other guys being taken care of, they’re more apt to expect a similar conclusion), but it sets a reasonable rate. We didn’t just sell the farm to extend Kam; we brought him back for $17 million guaranteed, spread out over the next five years. Which, I’m sure if worse came to worse, we could restructure in three.
It just feels … right. Don’t you feel a little more at ease than you did at this time yesterday? Getting guys extended before they hit the open market is one of my favorite things in sports. Right up there with building your football team through the offensive and defensive lines. I’m so satisfied right now, I think I could use a cigarette!