ESPN’s Tim Hasselbeck: Russell Wilson isn’t being greedy in contract negotiations with Seahawks

Jun 25, 2015, 12:09 PM | Updated: 3:15 pm
“He’s anything but being selfish about this,” ESPN’s Tim Hasselbeck said ab...
"He's anything but being selfish about this," ESPN's Tim Hasselbeck said about Russell Wilson. (AP)
(AP)
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As Russell Wilson’s contract negotiations with the Seahawks continue to drag on, a segment of observers have expressed the opinion that Wilson’s greed has been standing in the way of a deal. That sentiment has been shared via calls and texts into 710 ESPN Seattle and, seemingly to a lesser extent, in the comments section of stories on 710Sports.com.

ESPN analyst Tim Hasselbeck weighed in on the matter when he joined “Brock and Salk” on Thursday. He said he could do without Wilson’s cryptic Tweets and questioned Wilson’s decision to fire his football agent in favor of Mark Rodgers, but Hasselbeck disagreed with the notion that Wilson has been greedy.

Hasselbeck’s reasoning is based on what little Wilson has made over the first three years of the rookie contract he signed as a third-round pick compared to other NFL quarterbacks, some of whom can’t match Wilson’s credentials.

“He’s made less than $2.2 million playing football in the NFL,” Hasselbeck noted. “By comparison – and I know that some of these other guys have been in the league a lot longer than he has been – but Eli Manning has made over $150 million, guys like Matt Ryan and Matthew Stafford are around $100 million. He made $2.198 million. So he’s anything but greedy to be in a situation where he’s saying, ‘Hey, listen, it’s just time for me to get paid now, guys.'”

Hasselbeck offered further context with a reference to Wilson’s 2014 base salary, which, according to the website Spotrac.com, was $662,434.

“In some cases, what he made for the entire year was half of what some guys were getting for just one game,” Hasselbeck said. “So he’s anything but being selfish about this.”

The other side of the coin is that Seattle has reportedly offered Wilson a contract that is in line with what the NFL’s other elite quarterback have received. Danny O’Neil, for instance, reported earlier this month that Seattle’s offer is “in the same neighborhood” as the four-year, $87.4 million extension that Ben Roethlisberger signed with Pittsburgh in March.

The average annual value that Hasselbeck proposed was much greater. He said Wilson deserves to be paid $25 million a season on an extension that would kick in beginning in 2016 (that would easily top the $22 million average that Aaron Rodgers makes on the extension he signed with Green Bay in 2013). Hasselbeck said Wilson deserves “significantly higher” guaranteed money than what Cam Newton just got from Carolina.

“The reality is they got a great player later in the draft than you would normally get a guy, especially at that position, and he deserves to be paid at or near the very top of guys at his position based on what he’s accomplished with that team, where he is in his contract and really how he projects going forward,” Hasselbeck said. “That’s the reality of it.”

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