Highlights from the latest edition of “Cold Hard Facts” with John Clayton on 710 ESPN Seattle:
Wilson’s next deal. Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson is a year away from becoming eligible for a new contract that could make him one of the league’s highest-paid players. When asked if an annual average of $20 million is an accurate projection, Clayton said $22 million is more likely. The reason: Colin Kaepernick’s new deal with the 49ers includes a provision that would escalate his salary to $21 million if San Francisco wins the Super Bowl.
“Well, Russell Wilson’s already won a Super Bowl so he’ll start at 21, but naturally he’s gonna push and probably ask for 24 and settle for about 21.5 or 22,” Clayton said. “But the one thing I think you’ll see with Russell, he’ll at least be able to try to work the deal cap-wise to try to help the team as best he can.”
Harbaugh’s future in SF. 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh is entering the fourth year of a five-year contract amid reports of an increasingly acrimonious relationship with members of the team’s front office, including general manager Trent Baalke and president Paraag Marathe. Clayton was asked if 2014 could be Harbaugh’s final season with the 49ers.
“Very possibly. Very possibly,” Clayton said. “Because you know it’s going to be a very nasty contract negotiation after the season. Now, if he wins a Super Bowl, there’s not going to be any problem. He’ll get his $9 million a year. But if he doesn’t win the Super Bowl, to get the $8 million or $9 million he’s going to have to take an incentive, and I don’t think he wants to do that.”
Why Tate left. Former Seahawks receiver Golden Tate has caught some flak for recent comments he made about the opportunity he has to catch more passes in Detroit’s offense, which he said was a reason he left Seattle. Clayton believes Tate made the right decision.
“It was a good move to make. He wasn’t going to get it here,” Clayton said of the $6.2 million per-year average Tate got from Detroit. “My guess is they probably at the max would go to 5 or a little bit above 5 … but why not get 6.2 and 80 catches a [year]?”
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