Monday, August 24, 2015

1 comments Chris Chase Says Russell Wilson Isn't Worth His New Contract Simply Because He Isn't

I think Russell Wilson probably got more money than his overall talent level should suggest, even compared to what other NFL quarterbacks have received lately. Still, I see why the Seahawks paid Wilson like they did and I can't say I wouldn't have done the same thing they did. I can't really find evidence that Wilson is overrated or doesn't deserve the money, so I have a hard time bashing him and criticizing his contract until he shows that he's simply not a franchise or above-average quarterback. Chris Chase of "For the Win" doesn't have this problem. In a column that I am guessing he had pre-written in some form (just a guess, I have no proof) he states that Russell Wilson is now vastly overpaid. Great, I can understand this line of thinking. Unfortunately, Chris Chase doesn't explain why he believes Wilson is overpaid other than, "We all know he's not that good," which doesn't really grade out as a persuasive argument for why Wilson is overpaid. An opinion isn't proof. If it were, then Skip Bayless and Stephen A. Smith would be the two smartest men in sports.

In one fell swoop, Russell Wilson went from the most underpaid quarterback in the NFL to its most overpaid.

BAM! You got scalded by this hot take. Russell Wilson is the most overpaid quarterback in the NFL only seconds after being the most underpaid. Life's a bitch, especially when you are now wealthy beyond all imagination. 

The Seattle Seahawks quarterback beat a Friday deadline to extend his contract, signing for a whopping $61 million guaranteed, with a reported $31 million signing bonus for an annual salary of about $21.9 million that’s just under that of Aaron Rodgers. The total amount of the four-year deal is worth a preposterous $87.6 million which doesn’t appear to contain much of the funny money that usually inflates the contracts of NFL players.

This is the going rate for a franchise quarterback. Is Wilson a franchise quarterback? I don't believe he is on-par with Rodgers, Brees, Brady, Luck, but Wilson has given no evidence my belief is anything but fiction so far. He's been impressive when he needs to be in important games. It's hard to put a value on that. 

This was a deal that both sides needed.

Seattle locked up their starter before this season started, avoiding the headaches and questions that would have come along with Wilson’s unsigned contract for next year. It also locks up a fine quarterback for the foreseeable future.

It's a mutually beneficial contract where Wilson gets paid a ton of money and the Seahawks don't have to search for a replacement for Wilson. While Chris Chase thinks the Seahawks overpaid for Russell Wilson, it's more expensive to let Wilson go in free agency and try to find his replacement. Wilson probably is making more money than he rationally should, as are many other quarterbacks in the NFL, but until a team doesn't have a quarterback it's forgotten how much it sucks to not have one. It's hard to put a price on trying to find a quarterback when an NFL team doesn't have one.

But to do that, the ‘Hawks had to overpay a very good QB who, 

To call Wilson a "very good QB" is to also understand $20+ million per year is the going rate for a very good quarterback.

thanks to a phenomenal defense, great offensive line and powerful rushing attack, has convinced the league he’s one of its best.

Chris Chase will provide no data or any other information that supports his contention the great offensive line, powerful rushing attack and great defense are what makes Russell Wilson the quarterback he is. I'm sorry, I expect more than just the same old talking points about why Wilson is overrated.

He’s the clear winner in the deal.

You don't say? The guy who just got guaranteed $61 million is the clear winner in this deal. You sure about that? 

Wilson, who paid his dues playing his third year with the contract of an NFL pauper, will be in the final year of the deal when he’s 30, when he’ll still be in his prime (and the salary cap should be considerably higher). But Seattle wins too.

They win because they keep the quarterback who, overrated or not overrated, has taken them to two straight Super Bowls. Wilson isn't Trent Dilfer or Brad Johnson, but this also doesn't mean he is Aaron Rodgers. He's been a pretty good quarterback so far and he got paid like a pretty good quarterback. 

So if both sides win, how can Russell Wilson be overpaid? Because, come on: Russell Wilson isn’t worth Aaron Rodgers money. He’s not worth Drew Brees money. Heck, he really has no place near Philip Rivers’ tax bracket.

But, why? Do better than stating, "He's just not as good as these guys." Brees, Rivers and Rodgers all signed their current contracts before the quarterback market had been reset (thanks Joe Flacco!). So it's possible Wilson isn't overpaid, quarterbacks like Rodgers, Brees and Rivers could be underpaid. Maybe not, but at least give statistical and logical reasons other than "He just is" for why Wilson is overpaid. 

Now he’s the second-highest paid quarterback in the league? It’s nonsense.

If there were a schoolyard pick of quarterbacks in the NFL, Wilson should go about 13th, right around Eli Manning and Cam Newton.

Cam Newton just signed a contract very similar, though one year longer, than that which Wilson just signed, while Manning has a cap hit of $19.75 million this year. Just a tip, but if you are going to compare Wilson to two other quarterbacks in an effort to show he is overpaid, try not to compare him to two quarterbacks who have salaries in a similar financial bracket as he has. If Wilson is 13th around Manning and Newton, then Wilson seems to be properly compensated, no?

I mean, if he’s worth $21.9 million per year, what should Andrew Luck get? $30 million? $35 million? $50 million?

Andrew Luck will get a ton of money. He'll get more than Wilson, despite not having had Wilson's success in terms of Super Bowl appearances. See how it works? Then if you compare Luck's salary to that of Rodgers, Brady, and others it will look like Luck is overpaid because he doesn't nearly have the amount of rings and MVP's those guys have.

Yet Wilson deserves every penny of the deal 

(Bengoodfella throws hands up in the air) If he deserves the money then how can he be overpaid? Being overpaid means an athlete (or person) is compensated more money than he deserves for his performance. If Wilson deserves the contract, he probably isn't overpaid.

and the Seahawks had no choice but to pay it, even if it hamstrings them from making deals with other players over the next three years.

Yes, but quarterback is the most important position on an NFL team. History shows that if a team doesn't have a good quarterback then they aren't winning a Super Bowl and don't have a great chance of making the playoffs. 

If Joe Flacco and Andy Dalton are getting nine-figure deals, then the market is set for a winner like Wilson to thrive, even if quarterback wins are the most overrated stat in the game. (When Dalton’s wins are cited, people say they don’t matter. When Wilson’s are, they are.) 

The very obvious difference in comparing Dalton to Wilson is that Dalton is 0-4 in his playoff career while Russell Wilson is 6-2 with two Super Bowl appearances. Wins are an overrated stat, there's no doubt, but a comparison of Dalton to Wilson is laughable when the big difference in the two quarterbacks using the win statistic is ignored. If Chris Chase claims the only difference in Wilson and Dalton is wins then I'd like to mention that Russell Wilson doesn't have A.J. Green either and Dalton doesn't have the wins that a quarterback is graded on. Dalton's wins are dismissed because he falls on his face in the playoffs. Chris Chase knows this, yet he acts like this isn't relevant.

Other QBs set the market and Wilson was able to parlay that into a bigger deal because the other 21 guys he plays with are better than the 21 players on other teams.

Again, this is an opinion which has no factual backing. Wilson is overpaid, overrated and he only got a deal because his team is better than other NFL teams. Fine, without some factual backing it's just an opinion. Do better. 

Despite that one ring and the second ring that was lost with one of the most untimely and awful passes in NFL history, Wilson is an above-average quarterback on a team that allows such a signal caller to thrive.

Yes, despite those two Super Bowl appearances in three years, Wilson is an above-average quarterback on a very good team. He'd be 13th in QB rankings, right between two other quarterbacks who are making around $20 million per year as well. Tom Brady is a missed field goal and an untimely pass away from being 2-4 in the Super Bowl. He's two really good passes by the Giants away from being 6-0 in the Super Bowl. Super Bowl wins (right or wrong) is how a quarterback can be graded.

And I'm not a big defender of Russell Wilson, but he's been better than above-average when the Seahawks have needed him to be. Maybe he isn't Aaron Rodgers, but he fits what the Seahawks are doing, and that in itself could be worth the money he's getting in his new contract. I keep waiting for Wilson to fall flat on his face too, but it hasn't happened.

Guys like Andrew Luck or Aaron Rodgers are quarterbacks who lead, Russell Wilson is a quarterback who sustains.

I don't even know what this means. I feel like Russell Wilson is a pretty good leader, even if he doesn't have an outstanding set of skills on paper that Rodgers and Luck have. 

That’s apparently good for $20 million plus in the modern-day NFL.

An above-average quarterback who wins games is worth $20+ million in the modern-day NFL. I don't know if Chris Chase's beef is with the increasing cost of the quarterback position or with Russell Wilson, but when stating Wilson is overpaid then it's better to come with some proof or statistics. An opinion is great, but it seems like Wilson is right where he was expected to be in terms of compensation in a new contract. Until further notice or further proof, I can't call him overpaid yet. I don't particularly like how he lobbied and acted on his way to getting his new contract, I found him to be slightly disingenuous with some of his negotiating tactics, but he got paid and that's all that matters. Let's wait for him to fall on his face, or for any proof the past three years have been not representative of his skill set, before announcing Wilson is overpaid. Trust me, I keep trying to come up with reasons too and I just can't.


Chris said...

I don't necessarily like Wilson because I grow very tired of his on again/off again flirtation with MLB but I don't think it's fair to state that Wilson is average and is only really good because of his Seattle's O-line and the offensive scheme. At the most basic level isn't every good QB made better because of how the offense around him plays? Is Peyton Manning still effective if he is playing behind the Skins or Chargers O-line? Probably not. Not that Wilson is on Manning's level necessarily but put Aaron Rodgers or Drew Brees behind a weak line and weak wideouts and the numbers they put up aren't nearly as elite. Every QB, even the elite ones still can't win the game by themselves. And the opposite is true as well. Even a good line and offense cannot hide a bad QB, at least not for very long.