SEATTLE — As the Seahawks prepared to gather for the first time as a team Monday since the end of the 2018 season, uncertainty continued to loom over two of their biggest-name players — quarterback Russell Wilson and defensive lineman Frank Clark.
Wilson set a deadline of Monday at midnight to sign a new contract with the Seahawks. There were reports over the weekend that the two sides had ramped up negotiations. But as of Monday at noon, it was not clear if anything was imminent, though the two sides were known to be talking. Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network reported that Wilson’s agent, Mark Rodgers, had been in Seattle all weekend talking with the Seahawks.
And a report late Sunday night from Peter King of NBCSports.com and Pro Football Talk appeared to add some urgency to the situation, stating that if Wilson does not have a new contract with the Seahawks by midnight Monday then he will not negotiate again with the Seahawks, even after the 2020 season.
A common assumption had been that Wilson merely wanted to shut off all negotiations until after the season if a deal is not reached now. But according to what King called “a source close to the talks,” Wilson and Rodgers “don’t plan to negotiate further with the Seahawks, period” if a deal is not reached Monday. King added that “my source says they’ve told (Seahawks) GM John Schneider it has to be done now, or not at all.”
King also provided some insight into what some of the contractual sticking points may be, stating that Wilson may want a deal that would “include devices” to adjust future years’ salaries based on how high the salary cap rises — escalator clauses, essentially.
As King noted, basing any part of the contract on a percentage of the salary cap would set a precedent that the Seahawks may be reluctant to agree to. Wilson, King wrote, wants to stay in Seattle, but also wants to know that the team is equally committed to him.
Wilson, King wrote, “wants to know where he stands with the Seahawks long-term, which is one of the reasons why he is pushing hard for a deal to be done now.”
As for Clark, he has yet to sign his franchise tag for the 2019 season and the Seahawks are known to be exploring all options, including listening to trade offers. Sunday night, Pro Football Talk reported via Twitter there was “some chatter on the league grapevine tonight about a possible Frank Clark trade.” But as of early Sunday evening, there were no definitive reports of a trade.