Russell Wilson agrees to $245 million contract extension with Broncos

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

Wilson, who was traded to the Broncos by the Seattle Seahawks in March, agreed to a five-year contract extension with his new team. The deal is worth $245 million, including $165 million in guaranteed money, according to a person familiar with the contract. Wilson had two years and $51 million left from his previous deal and is now under contract with the Broncos for the next seven seasons for $296 million. Wilson will be 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 sales price for an NFL team. The league’s team owners formally endorsed the sale last month.

Wilson’s extension with the Broncos will run through the 2028 season, when he turns 40. He was a Pro Bowl roster nine times in 10 seasons with the Seahawks and helped them to a Super Bowl title in the 2013 season. The Broncos hope his arrival will reverse the fate of a team that has missed the playoffs in six consecutive seasons.

The Broncos traded quarterback Drew Lock, tight end Noah Fant, defensive lineman Shelby Harris, and a package of draft picks, including a few first-round picks and a few second-round picks, to the Seahawks for Wilson and a fourth-round selection. .

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

That was the first in a series of new deals for prominent quarterbacks across the league. Deshaun Watson signed a five-year deal with the Cleveland Browns, who traded for him in March, worth a guaranteed $230 million. In July, Kyler Murray agreed to a five-year, $230.5 million extension with the Arizona Cardinals, including $160 million in guaranteed money.

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Next up could be Lamar Jackson, the former league MVP 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 eligible for contract extensions 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 has denied the charges and has not been charged with any crime. But he is serving an 11-game suspension for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy, pursuant to a settlement reached between the league and the NFL Players Association. Some NFL team owners were upset that the Browns gave Watson a fully guaranteed contract, especially under such circumstances, several people with knowledge of the inner workings of the league have said in recent months.

But when Jackson, who has no agent and represents himself in negotiations with the Ravens, wants a fully guaranteed contract like Watson’s, he now faces the precedent of the two huge quarterback deals that have since been struck – Murray’s and Wilson – which are not fully guaranteed.

Jackson will enter the final season of his contract after the Ravens exercised their fifth-year option on his original rookie deal. He will be eligible for unlimited free agency in the spring, although Baltimore could use his franchise player tag on him. He has suggested that he will break off negotiations for an extension when the regular season starts on September 11.

“I think the fully guaranteed contract ship has sailed (at least for now),” salary cap expert Joel Corry, a former agent, wrote on Twitter on Thursday. “If Russell Wilson didn’t get one after the Broncos gave up multiple players” [and] multiple first round picks for him with a new owner who is easily the richest in NFL history, good luck to everyone else. ”


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