Russell Wilson took time away from counting his newfound riches on Wednesday to thank the Seattle Seahawks for making him the highest paid player in the NFL and to reiterate his commitment to bringing championships to the city where he plans to end his career. Along the way, the star quarterback and the team’s general manager, John Schneider, invoked the name of Seahawks owner Jody Allen and her late brother, Paul Allen.
Seahawks fans waited into the wee hours of Monday night for a deal to happen before a deadline, imposed by Wilson, passed. He and the team ultimately agreed to a four-year contract extension worth a reported $140 million. In the news conference Wednesday, streamed by the Seahawks on Facebook (below), Wilson said that the idea of a no-trade clause — exhibiting that he really wanted to be in Seattle — is what sealed the deal. And he and Schneider credited Jody Allen, among others, for making that happen.
“We want him to be here for life,” Schneider said when asked about the clause. “It’s something that I needed to discuss with Jody … it’s part of a negotiation.”
Hear from QB1 about his contract extension 👀
Posted by Seattle Seahawks on Wednesday, April 17, 2019
Jody Allen took over the team after Paul Allen died last October at the age of 65. The late Microsoft co-founder is credited with saving the team in 1997, when his purchase helped avert a move to Southern California. In the 22 years since, the Seahawks have been to three Super Bowls and won once.
Questions have lingered since Paul Allen’s death about the future of the franchise in Seattle and whether Jody Allen would retain an interest in holding onto the team. She was named the executor of his vast estate on Oct 24. 2018, and said at the time that she would “do all that I can to ensure that Paul’s vision is realized, not just for years, but for generations.”
Schneider didn’t want to get into what he called the “personal” specifics about team ownership and whether Wilson’s agent Mark Rodgers wanted any reassurances about the future of the franchise.
“Jody’s in charge of the organization now. She’s our boss,” Schneider said. “It was great. She was super supportive. She was super involved. She was awesome.”
Wilson was selected by the Seahawks with the 75th overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. The quarterback, coach Pete Carroll and Schneider all reflected Wednesday on whether any of them could have predicted the success he would have in the league.
Schneider in particular remembered the night they took a bet on the 5-foot, 10-inch QB — and he got a call from his boss.
“‘So you took the little guy, huh?'” Schneider remembered Paul Allen asking. “And I was like, ‘Yeah, I did Paul. We did.’ And he just hung up, and I gave the phone back to Pete. … But [Paul] was super fired up.”
Wilson’s own work with the phone, specifically the one he uses to post to social media, has created as much attention as his deal this week. Wilson announced the news with a selfie video shot from his bed alongside his wife, Ciara, that he posted to Twitter to let Seattle know he was sticking around.
— Russell Wilson (@DangeRussWilson) April 16, 2019
On Wednesday, he laughed about the video and the reaction when he was asked whether he always wears three chains to bed. He gave a shoutout to teammates Tyler Lockett and DJ Fluker for their spoof of the original.
— Russell Wilson (@DangeRussWilson) April 17, 2019
Wilson said his hope is to play football for another 10 years or more in Seattle. His off-the-field presence in the city has been felt everywhere from the hospital visits he pays to kids at Seattle Children’s to the startups he has a hand in to the charity work he’s doing through his foundation.
Wilson said his goal was to leave a “lasting impression” on the city.