Time to reveal the best of the best for the Seahawks, the top player entering the 2014 season. Is there any doubt?
No. 1: Quarterback Russell Wilson -- Sure, you could make a case for Richard Sherman or Earl Thomas or even Marshawn Lynch being the best player for the Seahawks, but here’s the reason Wilson wins out:
For anyone else you want to name, you at least could make a reasonable argument that the team still would have won the Super Bowl without him.
But without Wilson? Not a chance. He led the team to its first Super Bowl championship in his second NFL season.
Wilson sometimes gets criticized for being just a game-manager in an offense that emphasizes a power running game. Anyone who believes that hasn’t watched Wilson play much and hasn’t seen all the remarkable things he does.
Wilson has won 28 of the 37 NFL games he has started, including 16 of 19 victories last season. His 24 regular-season wins are the most of any NFL quarterback through his first two seasons.
He guided the Seahawks to 14 consecutive home wins, the third-most for any quarterback since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970. Wilson's .750 regular-season winning percentage is the second-best among active quarterbacks to Tom Brady’s .775.
Wilson’s 52 regular-season touchdown passes are tied for second all time (with Peyton Manning) for TD throws in a player’s first two seasons. Only Dan Marino had more with 68.
Wilson has led the Seahawks to 10 fourth-quarter/OT comebacks. Wilson has played four games with three or more TDs and no interceptions, second only to Marino’s six for their first two years as a pro. Wilson's 63.6 completion percentage is the best in Seahawks history.
Wilson is one of only four quarterbacks since 1970 to post a passer rating over 100 in his first two seasons at 101.2.
Does that sound like a game-manager to you? But Wilson is much more than what any statistic can show. He is an extraordinary young man who exudes class and poise in everything he does.
Contract status: Wilson will earn a bargain-basement salary of $662,000 this season and will count only $817,000 against the salary cap. He is signed through the 2015 season but can renegotiate his deal after this season.
That will happen. Wilson’s salary will be about 30 times higher than it is now and likely will make him a $20 million-a-year man.
Considering San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick wants $18 million a year, and Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler has a contract that will pay him $22.5 million in 2014 (including the deal being reworked for $4 million of it in a signing bonus), how in the world could Wilson be worth less than $20 million a year?
But the Seahawks might get Wilson to accept a bit of a discount by reworking his contract early. Either way, it will cost a fortune that the team already has in the planning stage.