Russell Wilson's Unbelieveable Week the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
Whether he's on the field or off, Russell Wilson always seems to make life interesting.
Even with the Seattle Seahawks' season officially over, Wilson still had an unbelievable week that had moments that were good, bad and ugly, which he managed to handle with the maturity and poise that sometimes makes you forget he's merely a rookie.
For you see, Wilson's week started out "ugly" as ESPN's Chris Mortensen via Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com, claimed that his representatives insisted 'something be done' about the rookie's contract.
It was a small molehill that had the potential to become mountainous if not carefully navigated by Wilson.
In speaking to Sports Illustrated's Peter King immediately following the story, Wilson made it clear in stating:
"I speak for myself, and I never demanded or asked for a restructured contract ... I have complete understanding and respect for the new CBA rules ... Anyone who knows me knows I play for the love of the game. I play for the challenge of being the best one day and know I have a long way to go."
Humble, but firm, Wilson took a potentially awkward situation and quickly buried it by showing the class and poise that Seattle fans will hopefully have the pleasure of enjoying for years to come.
The Rumors Are...
But is there any truth to the story?
Maybe, but probably not, and in all honesty, I find it difficult to believe that Wilson himself said anything on the topic.
The reason why is simple when you consider that Wilson has painstakingly crafted his own persona.
One that he has taken a lifetime to build, but deep down knows can only take a second to lose. He's not about to jeopardize that on something he knows he can't affect for at least another few years.
At the same time, you have to figure that deep down he probably would like to get paid more and knows that he deserves it, which is "the bad" part of Wilson's week. He's smart enough to know better than to air his feelings out in public after only one season, but as ESPN's Adam Schefter reported the current situation with the CBA still has to hurt a bit for himself and for the likes of San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick:
New-school is the ultimate form of detention for standout young players. The CBA locks up their contracts for three years and throws away the key, with no chance of parole.
It would be much more equitable if certain allowances were made for extreme examples, players who glaringly outplay expectations. It would be hard to define what that level of play is, but suffice it to say that everyone would know. Any player who helps lead his team to the Super Bowl in his second year, as Kaepernick has done, or goes to the Pro Bowl in his first year, the way Wilson has, deserves to be rewarded, at least more than his existing rookie deal does.
Until the rules are adjusted, the players will continue to be wronged. And after watching Kaepernick and Wilson this season and seeing what they will earn in future seasons, one truth is self-evident: The holes in the CBA are a lot bigger than any they find in opposing defenses.
In a way it is unfortunate for Wilson to be almost too good too soon, but it at the same time beats the alternative of having to sit behind Matt Flynn and wait for the chance to play with little opportunity to advance.
Perhaps of greater concern for Wilson is how the whole contract story even came into being.
If one of his handlers is to be blamed for this, I'd imagine that Wilson will need to think twice about his dealings with them moving forward regardless of whether any discussions about his contract this time around were serious or in jest. As I mentioned earlier, Wilson has painstakingly said and done everything by the book in maintaining a squeaky clean persona, therefore, he won't want to do anything to ruin his solid standing.
I would wager Wilson will close ranks for a time to get the matter sorted all while doing everything in his power to continue perfecting his game by building off his outstanding rookie season that earned him a trip to Hawaii.
Wilson's "Unbelievable Week" ended on a high note with an MVP-worthy performance at the most glorified game of two hand touch, better known as the Pro Bowl.
Seattlepi.com's Nick Eaton pieced together an entertaining write-up that captured all of the buzz surrounding Wilson's performance, which he went 8 for 10 with three touchdowns in the NFC's big win over the AFC on Sunday.
The performance seemed to serve as a validating conclusion to Wilson's week and, by extension, season. Although, it would have been nice if he snagged the game's MVP award as it would have netted him a new car.
Perhaps he will get the Rookie of the Year award instead?
Regardless, you get the feeling that Wilson isn't about individual accolades and will instead continue to work hard in becoming the face of the Seattle Seahawks.
Let's just hope in a few years time that all parties can go to the negotiating table knowing that and ensure that the relationship between Wilson and the Seahawks remains strong for years to come, otherwise it could be an ugly end to a beautiful relationship.
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