Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson is going through a similar process as Joe Flacco did a few years ago- strong run game, great defense, solid but unspectacular stats. He got his Super Bowl win out of the way in year 2, and has made the playoffs all 3 years with 2 Super Bowl appearances. He hasn't broken 3500 passing yds, or 26 passing touchdowns yet, but he keeps his interceptions low, and has the additional bonus of being a big rushing threat- he has averaged 626 rushing yards and 3.6 rushing touchdowns a season.
He is 42-12 including the playoffs, on a team which had finished below .500 four straight years before he got here. Flacco was 63-30 including playoffs in his first 5 years, with 3 AFCCG appearances and 1 ring. And the pundits said similar things about him before his epic Super Bowl run- that he wasn't that great, just solid enough to keep the team in games while their run game and defense carried them. Likewise, the Seahawks have franchise RB Marshawn Lynch carrying a heavy load, and a stellar defense led by pro bowlers Richard Sherman, Michael Bennett, Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor and Bobby Wagner. But without Wilson, this team would have nowhere close to the success they have enjoyed. There is not QB out there they could have slotted into his spot, and therefore they need to pony up, whatever it takes. Because as good as the defense is, that team wins nothing without that one man: the most important player on the team.
In light of that, GM John Schneiders remarks are disturbing, even if they are gamesmanship. Show some respect to the future of your franchise!
Here is a quote from him in this weeks Monday Morning Quarterback:
Every negotiation is unique in and of itself, and this is no different," Schneider said. "He’s our quarterback. We’d love him to be our quarterback. But the thing is, we need to keep as many of these guys together as we possibly can … We have to be able to protect ourselves as we go and make smart decisions in trying to keep this whole thing together as long as we possibly can."
One thing I can say Russell, is that if anyone feels your pain, it is Joe Flacco. Flacco is just beginning to garnish the respect he deserves, after 6 playoff berths in 7 years, each with at least one win, plus arguably the best statistical playoff run of all time in 2012. Russ could become the player to break Joe's streak of the most consecutive years with a playoff win if he stays in Seattle, but for now that record is Joe's. Joe had a similar 36 wins his first 3 years in the league, although his playoff stats were not as good. He has many records, and has been by far the best quarterback overall in the playoffs the past 5 years, over HOFers like Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Peyton Manning and Drew Brees.
Russell Wilson will get paid, and they will have to back up the brinks truck. Lets hope that the Seahawks can learn from the Joe Flacco story and realize that sometimes you just need to pay the piper, and build your team around that all important quarterback. Because at the end of the day, without him you will be going home on Wildcard Weekend, if you make it to the dance at all!