When Colin Kaepernick’s new deal was announced – that guarantees him $61 million and runs through the 2020 season – Seahawks fans around the nation had a couple of reactions: first, a mixture of glee and snarkiness as we imagined our whipping boy getting throttled by the Seahawks through the end of the decade; and second, a wary eye towards Russell Wilson’s impending extension next year.
Colin Kaepernick is a total tool, that’s just a given. But, people seem to get the idea that his douchebaggery somehow sets him apart from Wilson when it comes to a long-term contract extension. I think there’s more than a fair share of Seahawks fans out there who believe that Russell Wilson would be willing to take a discounted deal in order to allow the Seahawks the proper flexibility in order to thrive in other areas of team construction. I’m here to tell you that’s simply not the case. Russell Wilson will get his, for sure. He’s GOING to get over $20 million per season, and he’s GOING to get a higher guarantee than Kaepernick. Just put everything else to the contrary out of your minds right now.
For starters, Wilson beat Kaepernick to the Super Bowl promised land. He’s proven in a number of ways that he’s the better quarterback and leader on the field, and he’s not the risk that Kaepernick is off the field. As I’ve said before, you would NEVER see Russell Wilson in a similar situation that Kaepernick faced with that woman in the hotel room. He’s been nothing but a model citizen, and one of the hardest workers you’re ever going to see in this league. It might only be a million dollars more, it might be upwards of five or ten million dollars more, but Russell Wilson WILL earn more money than Colin Kaepernick. Just because he’s a good guy doesn’t mean he’s also not completely competitive in every aspect of his life, up to and including how much he’s got in his bank account.
So, the Seahawks have that to look forward to next year. Here’s to hoping they can structure it in such a way that we can continue on this path for the duration of his time here; so we don’t face any down years where we have to rebuild on the fly. I WANT A NEVERENDING STRING OF CHAMPIONSHIPS, FOREVER!!!
Something else caught my eye after reading about this deal. Read HERE. But, try not to stare too long at the annoying and grotesque picture of Kaepernick at the top and scroll down to the very last section. Specifically the final two paragraphs.
It’s kind of a lame argument; Super Bowl winners are such a small and specific group. I’d be more interested in how many quarterbacks were part of teams that were legitimate Super Bowl CONTENDERS. So much of winning a championship is such a crap shoot as it is (look how close the 49ers came last year, for instance). Maybe it makes his argument even stronger. Either way, there has certainly been a run of teams performing heroic feats with quarterbacks on their rookie deals. The Seahawks, 49ers, the Packers for a little bit, the Giants for a little bit, the Steelers for a little bit, the Colts, Bengals, Falcons, Ravens, Panthers, Redskins. The list goes on and on. There’s definitely something to be said for building your team up first, and then bringing in a young quarterback to steer the ship as best as he can.
Here’s the thing: if you’re going to do it the way the Seahawks and 49ers have done it, you’ve got to get REALLY lucky. It doesn’t seem to be too difficult to build up the positions around the quarterback – especially if you have a quality set of coaches and an elite development system like we have and the 49ers have – but that quarterback position is always a coin flip at best.
In any given draft class, you’re lucky if you’ll see two or three quarterbacks who are capable of being “franchise quarterbacks”. More likely, you’ll see one or none, in spite of the best efforts of those teams (Vikings, Jags, Browns, Raiders, etc.) who keep trying and failing at the tops of drafts. In that case, I don’t think it’s EVER the smart option to – as Robert Mays says in his piece – “roll the dice on a dirt-cheap option every three years and hope you hit”. Because more often than not, you’re going to come up snake eyes.
The main problem with that line of thinking – aside from the fact that it’s so difficult to find franchise quarterbacks to begin with – is that it would take you an extra year of sucking before you had the draft spot required to find one of the better quarterbacks in a given draft. Like, let’s say for example the Seahawks decided to let Russell Wilson walk at the end of his rookie deal (which, again, would never happen in a million years, because who throws away an elite quarterback?): we’d have to suffer through the subsequent year with some league-average guy, then hope we lose enough games to get a high draft pick. Because in spite of Russell Wilson’s third round status, it’s RARE to find a franchise QB outside of the first round.
Anyway, in conclusion, there’s a lot of dumb out there in the world. Try to prevent it from swaying your line of thinking too much. Russell Wilson is going to be around for a very long time, and he’s going to be very wealthy. Thanks to the Kaepernick deal, we have a pretty good idea just how wealthy he’ll be.