Russell Wilson could depart from Seattle in 2016 if he's unable to reach a long-term deal with the Seahawks, reports NBC Sports' Mike Florio.
According to Florio, the Seahawks were given three options today: signing Wilson to a long-term contract that pays the quarterback what he desires, apply the non-exclusive franchise tag or apply the exclusive franchise tag.
Florio reports the Seahawks "remain intent" on working out a long-term solution with Wilson, but that he "has accepted the possibility" that he'll eventually be moving on. If the Seahawks opt to use the exclusive franchise tag, Wilson could make more than $98 million over three years. The non-exclusive franchise tag would allow another team to sign Wilson to an offer sheet that reflects his market value, giving Seattle the option of matching the contract or receiving two first-round picks as compensation.
In 2013, as Florio notes, the Baltimore Ravens chose to give quarterback Joe Flacco $120.6 million over six years, making him the highest-paid player in the NFL at the time, because an exclusive tag would have cost them more in the immediate years that followed, and they feared another team swooping in with a non-exclusive offer sheet that could tempt Flacco away at market value.
Seattle has until 2016 to formally make a decision on Wilson, but could make a significant offer at less than market value at some point before the 2015 season begins. Florio reports the Seahawks will "undoubtedly" make the effort to do so in the next few weeks.
Wilson will make just $1.5 million this season from the rookie deal he signed as a third-rounder in 2012.
- Jeremy Woo