Russell Wilson agrees to $245 million contract extension with Broncos


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

Wilson, who the Seattle Seahawks traded at the Broncos 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 remaining on his previous contract and is now under contract with the Broncos for the next seven seasons, for $296 million. Wilson turns 34 in November.

The new Broncos 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. League Team Owners formally ratified the sale last month.

Wilson’s extension with the Broncos runs through the 2028 season, in which he turns 40. He was a nine-time Pro Bowl draft pick in 10 seasons with the Seahawks, helping them win a Super Bowl title in the 2013 season. The Broncos hope his arrival will reverse the fortunes of a team that missed the playoffs for six consecutive seasons.

The Broncos traded quarterback Drew Lock, tight end Noah Fant, defensive lineman Shelby Harris and a set 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 had been speculation, prior to the trade, that the Broncos would pursue a deal for Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Instead, Rodgers stayed in Green Bay, ok in march to a three-year contract extension worth just over $150 million.

It was the first in a series of new offers for top quarterbacks across the league. Deshaun Watson signed a five-year contract with the Cleveland Browns, which traded for him 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 which included $160 million in guaranteed money.

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The next 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, become eligible for contract extensions after the 2022 season, under NFL rules.

Watson signed his contract against sexual misconduct allegations made by women in more than two dozen civil suits. Watson denied the allegations and has not been charged with a crime. But he is serving an 11-game suspension 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 the Browns gave Watson a fully guaranteed contract, especially under such circumstances, several people with knowledge of the league’s inner workings have said in recent months.

But if Jackson, who is unagented and representing himself in negotiations with the Ravens, wants a fully guaranteed contract like Watson’s, he now faces the precedent of two huge quarterback deals made. since then – Murray’s and Wilson’s – not being fully guaranteed.

Jackson enters the final season of his contract after the Ravens exercised their fifth-year option in his first rookie contract. He’s eligible for unrestricted free agency in the spring, though Baltimore could use their franchise player tag on him. He hinted that he would end negotiations on an extension when the regular season begins on September 11.

“I think the fully guaranteed contract ship has sailed (at least for now),” said salary cap expert Joel Corry, a former agent, wrote Thursday on Twitter. “If Russell Wilson didn’t get one after the Broncos gave up several players [and] multiple 1st 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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