Andy Dalton Gets Big Contract: What is Russell Wilson Worth?


This is about Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks and not Andy Dalton. That said, contracts do tend to beget other contracts, particularly from the standpoint of compensation.

Andy Dalton is making news because he signed a six-year, $115 million contract extension. Actually, Mike Florio is disputing this number, suggesting instead that Dalton could earn $96 million over the course of the deal. Regardless, it is still a lot of money.

This contract is generating a lot of buzz for a simple reason. Dalton is good to very good, depending on who you ask. Some see room for additional improvement, and there are statistics to suggest that he has accomplished worthy statistical goals in his young career.

The 0-3 playoff record is a detractor, but plenty of seemingly great quarterbacks do not have a stellar record in the postseason. Beside, three games is hardly a definitive sample.

This brings us back to Russell Wilson, who can begin negotiations with the Seahawks in 2015. Much has been made about the good fortune enjoyed by the Seahawks, given that Wilson has been receiving third-round pick money despite leading the team to its first Super Bowl win in franchise history.

In other words, there is speculation that the Seahawks will have to cough up some serious cash if Wilson continues to have success. Serious cash.

Now, we do have to step back and look at Dalton’s deal again. In the NFL, there is the big number that is reported first and there is the actual guaranteed money. $96 million is a lot, but Florio is reporting that Dalton is actually guaranteed to make $22 million.

A bit different, don’t you think?

Colin Kaepernick signed a similar deal, and while the big number is staggering, the power is still with the team. In other words, if Dalton or Kaepernick declines or gets hurt in a couple of years, they could get cut.

It is hard to come up with a number for Wilson that will be appropriate to his success. If he were to lead the Seahawks to another Super Bowl win, he could ask for just about anything. Whether he would give the Seahawks a so-called hometown discount is hard to measure, particularly since NFL contracts are not always player-friendly.

Could Wilson earn $30-35 million between signing bonus and base salary in the first year of his deal? Dalton will earn $17 million in his first year. Combine Wilson’s success and the escalation that could occur between now and 2015, and $30 million could happen.

Dalton is getting paid. Wilson, if he continues on this path, will undoubtly make a good deal more.