Coming off a season that was labeled a “rebuilding” year, the Seahawks entered the offseason looking to make moves that will turn the team into Super Bowl contenders once again. The main goals were to lock up key players into extended contracts and add depth to positions in need of more playmakers. Restricted salary cap space will limit them to only make a few signings, but these are hoped to be ones to make them improve from a 10 win team back to a 12 win team.
One of the biggest questions coming into the offseason was whether the team will resign stars Russell Wilson and Frank Clark to multiyear contract extensions. Wilson had one of his statistical seasons of his career in 2018, throwing for 3,448 yards and 35 touchdowns. Clark had a breakout campaign, accounting for 13 sacks and 41 tackles. Both men are vital pieces to the team, however both are also asking for significant pay raises due to their performances.
When signing a player to a contract extension, several different traits must be considered in the decision making process management goes through — one of them being age. Wilson — who is turning 31 years-old this year — is in the middle of his prime, and this will likely be his last chance for a large contract. It’s a fact that once players hit their thirties, they are not seen as valuable to the team as they once were. Clark will just be turning 26 years-old, and is just beginning the prime of his career.
The first move made by the Hawks was using the franchise tag on Clark, which gives the team control — meaning no other teams can attempt to sign him. At first, Clark seemed okay with this move, but a few days afterwards, news released that he would hold out until the Seahawks met his demands of a new contract. This puts management in a tough situation, making them careful with the money they spend on other needs. Because of this, management may end up deciding not to give Clark an extension this year and either trade him or let him hold out into the season. Head coach Pete Carroll has made mention of the importance of signing Clark.
“We’ve got a lot of work to do,” Carroll said. “Let me say this, this time of year, we always cite that it’s a really difficult time. There’s a lot of stuff that has to take place, there’s a lot of business,. We want Franky to be with us. We’ve got some contract issues that we’re going to be dealing with and discussions that will go on for months now.”
After Wilson announced his April 15 deadline of when the Seahawks can sign him to a long term deal, there was panic and confusion that ensued throughout the fanbase — all because of the thought of Russ not playing for the Hawks. While there were reports that Wilson no longer wanted to be in Seattle and wanted a way out, those rumors were put to rest when he announced on social media that he and the Seahawks agreed on a four year contract. The quarterback is the most important position on the field, and this sures up this spot for the Hawks for years to come.
Wilson’s agent Mark Rodgers mentioned how much he wanted to stay in Seattle, and how the thought of playing anywhere else never appealed to Wilson.
“Russell loves this town, this team, and these fans,” Rodgers said. “Part of the compromise involved his affection for all things Seattle. The idea of playing anywhere else was not nearly as appealing as playing right here, the place he and his family call home.”
With Wilson locked up, the Seahawks will turn their attention to the NFL Draft next week and continue to work on long term contracts with Clark and middle linebacker Bobby Wagner. The front office is confident that deals will get done with these two after taking care of their quarterback.