Newest NFL QB Huge Deal: Russell Wilson & Denver Broncos


Russell Wilson and the Denver Broncos doubled their newly formed partnership Thursday and added to a string of mega deals for NFL quarterbacks negotiated this year.

Wilson, who the Seattle Seahawks swapped for the Broncos in March, has agreed to a five-year contract extension with his new team. The deal is worth $245 million, including $165 million in secured funds, according to a person familiar with the contract. Wilson had two years and $51 million left on his previous deal and is now under contract with the Broncos for the next seven seasons, for $296 million. Wilson will turn 34 in November.

The Broncos’ new ownership group, led by Walmart heir Rob Walton, bought the franchise from the Pat Bowlen Trust for $4.65 billion, the record selling price for an NFL team. The league team’s owners officially approved the sale last month.

Wilson’s extension with the Broncos runs through the 2028 season, when he will turn 40. He was a Pro Bowl pick nine times in 10 seasons with the Seahawks, helping them win the Super Bowl in the 2013 season. The Broncos hope his arrival will reverse the fate of a team that missed the playoffs in six consecutive seasons.

The Broncos traded quarterback Drew Lock, tight end Noah Fant, defensive line Shelby Harris and a host of draft picks, including a pair of first-round picks and a pair of second-round picks, to the Seahawks for Wilson and a fourth-round pick.

There was speculation, prior to the trade, that the Broncos would pursue a deal with Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Instead, Rodgers stayed in Green Bay and in March agreed to a three-year contract extension worth just over $150 million.

This was the first in a series of new deals for the world’s leading leagues. Deshaun Watson signed a five-year contract with the Cleveland Browns, which he traded for in March, with a guaranteed value of $230 million. In July, Kyler Murray agreed to a five-year, $230.5 million extension with the Arizona Cardinals that included $160 million in secured funds.

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Next up could be Lamar Jackson, the former league’s best player who is negotiating an extension with the Baltimore Ravens. Joe Burrow of the Cincinnati Bengals and Justin Herbert of the Los Angeles Chargers, who were selected in the 2020 NFL Draft, are now eligible for a contract extension beyond the 2022 season, under NFL rules.

Watson signed his contract while facing allegations of sexual misconduct by women in more than two dozen civil lawsuits. Watson denied the allegations and was not charged with a crime. But he is serving an 11-game ban for violating the NFL’s Personal Conduct Policy, under a settlement reached between the league and the NFL Players Association. Some NFL team owners were upset that Brown gave Watson a fully guaranteed contract, particularly given the circumstances, several people familiar with the league’s inner workings said in recent months.

But if Jackson, who does not have an agent and represents himself in negotiations with the Ravens, wants a guaranteed contract just like Watson, he now faces the precedent of two big quarterback deals that have since been struck — Murray’s and Wilson — incomplete. content.

Jackson is entering the final season of his contract after the Ravens exercised his fifth-year option in their original starter deal. He qualifies for unrestricted free agency in the spring, although Baltimore can use its franchise player tag on him. He has hinted that he will cut off negotiations on the extension when the regular season begins on September 11th.

“I think the fully secured contract vessel has set sail (at least for now),” salary cap expert Joel Corey, former agent, Thursday wrote on Twitter. “If Russell Wilson doesn’t get one after the Broncos have given up several players [and] Multiple picks in his first round with a new owner who is easily the richest in NFL history, and good luck to all.”

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