Russell Wilson extension should be among top priorities for Seahawks’ John Schneider

Jan 23, 2019, 11:26 PM | Updated: 11:26 pm

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Russell Wilson and the Seahawks will open the regular season at home against the Bengals. (AP)


The Seahawks have a number of important decisions to make this offseason, from re-signing free agents to drafting new talent. But what should be the top priority for general manager John Schneider?

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The hosts of 710 ESPN Seattle’s Danny, Dave and Moore have three different perspectives:

Danny O’Neil: Can a new contract with Russell Wilson be signed sooner rather than later?

“I think the most important decision they’re going to make is about Russell Wilson. Are they going to play a long-term game of contractual standoff with the quarterback, or are they going to be able to get to an agreement? He’s got one more year left, he’s in position to get an extension, he’s certainly going to ask for the moon, he’s entitled to the moon. But that question of exactly how they’re going to be able to reach it.

“I don’t have any fear of them losing him. I wonder how long a road they’re going to take to get to a contract agreement though. Is this something where he plays the final year of his contract, stares at the possibility of being a franchise-tagged player? Is that something they do a year from now? I think the most important decision that they’re going to make when it comes to the quarterback is going to be do it now or do it later. Are they going to be able to get that done seamlessly? I don’t think there’s any uncertainty about whether or not he’s going to be on the team next year or the year after that, but how long is that going to be (unresolved)? Are they going to create a Kirk Cousins-type scenario? And this isn’t entirely up to the Seahawks because Russell might come in and his side is going to ask for more than Kirk Cousins got. If Kirk Cousins got three years, $90 million with it all guaranteed, that’s starting point. That’s Kirk Cousins. You saw what he did for Minnesota and look, Russell’s a significantly better player. I think that’s going to be the most important decision they make is: are they going to be able to say hey we’re going to take the long-term play here, or can they get something done sooner?”

What’s going on so far? ESPN’s Brady Henderson reports Russell Wilson and the Seahawks haven’t yet had any known negotiations on a new deal, but that a contract extension could be more than $30 per year.

Dave Wyman: Sign Frank Clark

“It’s gotta be Frank Clark. I think that’s going to be sort of my priority, not because they’re lacking pass rush, because they had one of their better (sack) totals this year, not counting the playoffs. But I just think you can never have enough pass rushers. You look at the deal they have going in Denver where you have Von Miller on one side and Bradley Chubb on the other. And much like Jarran Reed, Chubb was a tackle-for-loss guy and more of a stuff-the-run guy at North Carolina State. But he ended up with double-digit sacks there. So now, who do you block? Where do you slide your line if you have two guys like that?

“Frank has become a leader. He has the players over to his house — talked about that a lot. He’s having these D-line meetings. He’s about what they’re about and where they want to go. The other thing about him is the way he handled the money this year. I mean, he did get up a couple of times and do the cash (signal) thing. But, other than that, every time we talk to him he’s like, ‘Well, I’m just going to play as hard as I can and let that’s stuff take care of itself.’ That’s the number one priority. He’s your best pass rusher.”

What’s going on so far? Pete Carroll has made it clear Clark is part of the Seahawks’ plans in 2019.

“He ain’t going anywhere,” Carroll told 710 ESPN Seattle’s Brock and Salk in early January. “We’re not losing him.”

The real question is how the Seahawks will keep Clark on the roster. Will the two parties reach an agreement on a contract extension, or will Seattle instead turn to the franchise tag? That process (including figures) is explained a bit more here.

Jim Moore: Find a kicker

“You’re going to probably mock me for this, but I think getting a kicker is the number one priority. When you think about it — think long and hard about it — when you think about what’s happened this year with (Sebastian Janikowski), all the hand-wringing, and Blair Walsh the year before, the problems you had with Stephen Haushka down in Arizona the year before that. Get the kicker situation figured out. This is important.”

What’s going on so far? Janikowski is set to become an unrestricted free agent in March. The team might have already made a move toward the future — or at the very least, toward offering some competition in camp — by signing ex-Rams kicker Sam Ficken to a reserve/futures contract on Jan. 11.

Listen to Danny, Dave and Moore’s full episode here.

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