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Bleacher Report’s Jason Cole on why Russell Wilson wants to be NFL’s highest paid

Jun 26, 2015, 5:57 PM | Updated: 6:08 pm
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Comparisons to the top quarterbacks in the NFL and the Seahawks' own checkered history at the position may be factoring in to Russell Wilson's stalled negotiations with Seattle. (AP)
(AP)

Russell Wilson wants the richest contract in NFL, according to a report from Bleacher Report’s Jason Cole. Is the reasoning for greed, status, or something else?

Cole himself joined “Bob, Groz and Tom” on Friday to shed light on why Wilson is pursuing the biggest deal in football from the Seahawks, and he believes it comes down to Wilson and his agent, Mark Rodgers, wanting him to be recognized for his accomplishments and talent, and not just until the next superstar quarterback receives a huge deal.

“It’s about timing, it’s about leverage, it’s about (if you) can you be easily replaced,” Cole said. “The one thing I would say about Russell Wilson … he has a very strong belief in himself. And if his belief is he’s worth more than whatever player he’s comparing himself to, and if Mark Rodgers is sitting there going, ‘Look, here’s where the market is today, but also understand here’s where the market’s going to be a year from now, six months from now, two years from now, three years from now, and don’t put your contract in a position where it’s outdated six months from when you sign it.'”

Comparison looms large in Wilson’s negotiations, not only when it comes to the current crop of quarterbacks that includes Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees and Cam Newton, but also the Seattle franchise’s own checkered history at the position.

Newton received a five-year, $103.8 million deal from the Panthers earlier this month, which is something likely factoring into arguments made by Wilson and Rodgers.

“If I’m Russell Wilson, I think I’m a better player than Cam Newton by a pretty significant margin, and so I can understand why he would be asking for this kind of deal,” Cole said. “I think the offer that’s out on the table from (Wilson’s) side is to make him the highest paid player, which would be more than $22 million a year – it would be above Aaron Rodgers’ deal, which is five years, $110 million.”

Another factor is how hard it would be for the Seahawks to replace Wilson should he play out his rookie deal and a franchise tag designation.

“Russell Wilson’s the best quarterback in the history of the Seattle Seahawks, and I don’t think it’s terribly close. They’ve been in the football business for 40 years, and now you guys are going to start searching for a new one?” Cole said.

Where Wilson seems to have the biggest trump card, though, is when the star quarterback he’s most regularly compared to, New Orleans’ Drew Brees, is brought up. Brees is a Super Bowl champion, Super Bowl MVP and two-time AP NFL Offensive Player of the Year, and even he didn’t have the same amount of success in his first three seasons that Wilson has enjoyed.

“If you compare Drew Brees’ first three or four years in the league, Russell Wilson’s way better. Way better, by a large factor. And it’s not like (Wilson’s) surrounded with a bunch of great receivers making his life easy,” Cole said. “If you allowed Russell Wilson to play in the right kind of offense, I think he’d produce a lot of stats as well that would put him up there with your traditional fantasy football quarterbacks that people like to praise.”

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Bleacher Report’s Jason Cole on why Russell Wilson wants to be NFL’s highest paid