Russell Wilson’s Contract Details, Salary Cap Impact, and Bonuses

Following Russell Wilson being traded to the Denver Broncos, what is the impact of his contract on the salary cap of Denver and Seattle?

On March 8, 2022, Russell Wilson and his contract were traded to the Denver Broncos. Following the trade, let’s take a look at Wilson’s salary cap numbers with both the Broncos and Seattle Seahawks over the next two seasons.

Russell Wilson’s contract details and bonuses

Wilson signed a four-year contract extension with the Seahawks in 2019 worth a total of $140 million, making him the highest-paid player in the NFL at the time of signing. The contract included $107 million in guarantees, $70 million of which was fully guaranteed at signing, including a $65 million signing bonus.

However, the deal has a structure where Wilson’s 2020 salary was fully guaranteed in February of 2020. The same structure was in place for 2021. Both the 2020 and 2021 salaries were fully guaranteed for injury at the time of signing.

Wilson’s contract length is for another two years

When Wilson signed his four-year contract, he still had one year remaining on his old deal. Therefore, Wilson was essentially signing for five seasons. 2023 is the final of those seasons.

However, following the 2021 season, Wilson has no more guarantees remaining on his salary. He has $5 million in roster bonuses in both 2022 and 2023, both of which trigger on the fifth day of the respective league year.

What impact does Wilson’s deal have on the Seahawks’ salary cap?

The trade leaves $26 million on the Seahawks salary cap in 2022. That is because of his $65 million signing bonus which had prorated at $13 million per year across the five years. With the trade, the $13 million that was due to count in 2023 now accelerates onto the 2022 salary cap for the Seahawks.

However, that still represents a saving of $11 million compared to Wilson’s expected cap number for 2022. Wilson was due to earn $19 million in salary, with an additional $5 million roster bonus in 2022. That salary and roster bonus will go with Wilson to the Broncos.

Impact of Wilson’s deal on the Broncos salary cap

The Broncos inherit the remaining $51 million in salary and roster bonus that Wilson is due to earn on the life of his deal. That is split between the 2022 and 2023 seasons. Wilson is set to count just $24 million against the Broncos’ cap in 2022 and $27 million in 2023.

That cap number for Wilson in 2022 is currently the 11th-highest in the league. In all likelihood, we will see Wilson and the Broncos agree to an extension before he plays on the 2023 value of $27 million. We may even see that new deal agreed to this offseason.

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