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UPDATED: Projecting Russell Wilson's Extension

UPDATED: Projecting Russell Wilson's Extension
Untitled Document

Contract Forecast: Russell Wilson, 2.0

In just a few short weeks, Russell Wilson will finally become eligible for a greatly-earned contract extension. Arguably no other player currently active in the league is more deserving of a pay raise, and the Seahawks seems inclined to financially appease their franchise QB.

We'll re-address a forecast compiled earlier this year, putting Wilson through our projection formula, pressing him up against four variable quarterbacks of similar skill and age to compare his statistical production both in the passing and rushing game over the past two seasons. In terms of Wilson, we'll use statistics from the 2012 & 2013 season, while also projecting out his current 2014 figures for a full 16 games. The result will be a large, but doable forecast for Russell Wilson's next contract in Seattle.

Notable Notes
  • To date, Russell Wilson has earned approximately $2.2M in his 3 NFL seasons. 496 NFL players (37 QBs) are earning more than that this year alone.
  • Wilson is earning $662,434 in 2014 cash for his efforts. 15 QBs are earning more than that per WEEK this season.
  • 33 Seattle Seahawks are earning morning in 2014 than their starting QB.
Comparable Quarterbacks
To generate a prediction the Spotrac team determined that the following quarterbacks were viable targets to use in comparing with Wilson. The key was to locate players with similar numbers, who signed their second contract around the age of 26, the age Wilson will be come the offseason. To determine a more likely starting point for our numbers, we'll perform a linear regression of each contract listed below.
Player Length Value Avg. Salary Guaranteed Age When Signed
Aaron Rodgers 4 $110,000,000.00 $20,000,000 $20,000,000.00 30
Colin Kaepernick 6 $114,000,000 $19,000,000 $61,000,000 26
Alex Smith 4 $68,000,000 $17,000,000 $45,000,000 30
Andy Dalton 6 $96,000,000 $16,000,00 $17,000,000 26
Averages 5.25 $97,000,000 $18,500,000.00 $44,250,000.00 27
At 26 years old, Wilson should sign this deal at the same age that Kaepernick and Dalton did. However Rodgers and Smith were both older at the time of their deals. We'll adjust their contracts up to reflect each as if it were signed at the age of 26 to provide a better scope for our base prediction.

Related:  View the list of Top Average Paid Quarterbacks in the NFL
Length Value Avg. Salary (slope)
6 $112,680,000 $18,780,000

Passing Statistical Comparisons
We'll first assess Wilson as a Passing QB only, comparing him to our variable QBs in terms of Games Played, Passing Yards per Season, Passing Yards per Game, Passing Touchdowns per Seasons, Interceptions per Season, and Completion % per Season.
  Passing Statistics
Player G/YR YDS/YR YDs/G TDs/YR INT/YR Comp %/YR
Andy Dalton (2012-13, CIN) 16 3981 298.8 30 318 62.1
Alex Smith (2012-13, KC) 12.5 2525 202 18 6 63.5
Colin Kaepernick (2012-13, SF) 14.5 2506 172.8 16.5 5.5 59.8
Aaron Rodgers (2011-12, GB) 15.5 4469 288.3 42 7 67.6
AVERAGES 14.625 3370.25 240.4 26.625 9.125 63.25
Russell Wilson (2012-14, SEA) 16 3274 204.6 23 8 63.1
% Change 9.40% -2.86% -14.92% -13.62% 12.33% -.2
Average PRIME PErcentage: -1.65%
When comparing these numbers to our previous analysis of Wilson, he's actually dipped a bit in terms of the passing game in 2014. To be fair, his receiving core (including the tight end position) isn't what it used to be in terms of experience and talent.

RushingStatistical Comparisons
Now let's take a look at how these quarterbacks rate in terms of rushing statistics. We'll compare Rushing Attempts per Season, Rushing Yards per Season, Rushing Yards per Attempt, and Rushing Touchdowns per Season.
  Rushing Statistics
Andy Dalton (2012-13, CIN) 54 152 2.81 3
Alex Smith (2012-13, KC) 53.5 282 5.27 .5
Colin Kaepernick (2012-13, SF) 78 470 6.02 4.5
Aaron Rodgers (2011-12, GB) 57 306 5.36 3.5
AVERAGES 60.625 302.5 4.87 2.875
Russell Wilson (2012-14, SEA) 108 687.5 6.25 5
% Change 78.14% 127.27% 28.34% 30.43%
Average PRIME PErcentage: 66.05%

As expected, Wilson absolutely dominates this comparison. He attempts 40% more rushes, accounting for more than double the yardage with the ball in his hands. While he's fairly inline with our variable quarterbacks in the passing game, he's FAR ahead of them in terms of these statistics. Furthermore he's been asked to use his legs far more in 2014 than in previous years.


Length of the Contract
At 26 years old, and having already instantiated himself as the long-term franchise quarterback solution in Seattle, it's perfectly likely the the Seahawks will choose to extend Wilson through the year 2021. As most of the recent quarterback extensions are adding 6 new years on, we'll follow suit here.

Value of the Contract
In terms of mathematics, and in the general role of the quarterback position across the league, it doesn't make sense to weigh the passing analysis and the rushing analysis evenly. With that being said, we'll apply our prime pecentages at a 70/30 ratio between the two categories respectively. This means we'll assess Wilson at a + 16.29 Median Prime Percentage, and a +19.80 Average Prime Percentage. Our initial base contract provided an average salary of nearly $18.8M per year, a figure that would place him 7th among active quarterbacks.

Final Thoughts
As far as contract extensions go, this one should be a no-brainer. The Seahawks struck gold when drafting Wilson when they did, and they've been getting maximum value from it for almost 3 complete seasons now. The time to reward the face of their franchise is now, and there's really no questioning that notion.

Financially speaking, the Seahawks currently have $105.6M allocated to their 2015 salary cap (estimated to be $138.6M in total based on league projections). While they have a few notable free agents to resign or replace this offseason, they appear to be in great shape to structure a deal that pays Wilson a handsome amount of upfront cash over the next three seasons (the name of the game).

When factoring in and averaging out our two Prime Percentages, we're given the following forecast for Russell Wilson's extension:

Spotrac's Prediction: 6 years, $131,750,000
Average annual salary $21,958,333, estimated $64,000,000 guaranteed

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