Russell Wilson becomes one of NFL's highest-paid players

The Seattle Seahawks and quarterback Russell Wilson have reached an agreement on a four-year contract extension worth $87.6 million with $60 million in guarantees, according to ESPN and a Sports Illustrated report. The deal makes Wilson one of the highest-paid players in the NFL.

Here are the numbers behind why Wilson is worth the money.

All he does is win

Wilson’s 36 wins are the most by a starting quarterback in his first three seasons in the Super Bowl era (since 1966). Dan Marino, Matt Ryan and Andrew Luck are the next-closest quarterbacks at 33.

Those regular-season wins have translated to postseason success for Wilson and the Seahawks. Wilson is the first quarterback to start two Super Bowls in his first three seasons. The Elias Sports Bureau says Wilson is also the youngest quarterback to start two Super Bowls, breaking the mark set by Tom Brady. Wilson was 26 years and 64 days old when he started Super Bowl XLIX. Brady was 118 days older when he started Super Bowl XXXVIII.

Wilson has started a total of eight postseason games in his young career. The five quarterbacks who were drafted ahead of him -- Luck, Robert Griffin III, Ryan Tannehill, Brandon Weeden and Brock Osweiler -- have combined for seven postseason starts.

Coming through in the clutch

Wilson’s wins have not been lacking in terms of drama. Wilson’s 11 game-winning drives in the fourth quarter or overtime since the start of the 2012 season are tied with Luck and Matthew Stafford for second-most in the NFL behind Tony Romo’s 13.

The high number of game-winning drives has led to Wilson having one of the best late-game Total QBRs in all of football. Since the start of 2012 (including the playoffs), Wilson has a Total QBR of 72.0 in the fourth quarter and overtime. Only Aaron Rodgers has a higher Total QBR in that situation over that span (78.2).


Wilson has proven himself as a passer. His 7.95 yards per attempt since the start of 2012 trails only Rodgers and Peyton Manning. Wilson’s touchdown-to-interception ratio of 2.77 during that time (72 passing touchdowns to 26 interceptions) ranks sixth among qualified quarterbacks.

But Wilson’s ability to improvise is what makes him truly special.

Wilson’s 1,877 rush yards are good for second-most by a quarterback in his first three seasons since the 1970 merger. Cam Newton had the most with 2,032.

Wilson has attempted 350 passes from outside the pocket in his career, 104 more than any other quarterback over the last three seasons (including playoffs).

Numbers behind the deal

Wilson's deal works out to an average of $21.9 million per year. Only Aaron Rodgers has a higher average annual value among current quarterback contracts ($22 million).

Wilson's reported $60 million in guaranteed money would mean that 10 of the 11 highest guaranteed money totals under current contracts belong to quarterbacks, with Wilson tied for third with Newton. Ben Roethlisberger ($64 million) and Colin Kaepernick ($61 million) are the only players whose current contracts were worth more guaranteed money at the time of signing.

In terms of average annual value, the Seahawks now have the second-highest-paid quarterback in Wilson, the second-highest-paid cornerback in Richard Sherman, and the top-paid safety and tight end in Earl Thomas and Jimmy Graham respectively.