It's now or never for the Seattle Seahawks.
According to Peter King of Pro Football Talk, star quarterback Russell Wilson has not only given the team until the end of Monday to work out a contract extension, but he also won't so much as consider a long-term extension with the team after today and would reportedly be content to play under the franchise tag in 2020-21:
"Today's a big day in the Pacific Northwest if you take Wilson and [his agent Mark Rodgers] at their word, that—according to a source close to the talks—they say they won't do a long-term deal with the Seahawks if it's not done by tonight. Read that last sentence again. I didn't mean they'd put off further talks on a new contract till 2020 if it's not done by tonight. I meant Wilson and Rodgers don't plan to negotiate further with the Seahawks, period. My source says they've told GM John Schneider it has to be done now, or not at all."
"If it does get done, my source says the contract would likely include devices to adjust future years of the deal based on how high the cap goes up year to year, or based on new revenue streams (gambling revenue, for example, or a TV contract that explodes). If it is not done, it means the Seahawks have determined Wilson isn't worth setting such a precedent. (No NFL player's contract fluctuates based on cap increases or increases in the league's bottom line unknown at the time of signing.)"
The questions for the Seahawks include whether they want to sign Wilson to such a lucrative, precedent-setting deal, and whether they believe he is bluffing about Monday's deadline. There's also the possibility that Wilson simply doesn't want to be in Seattle any longer.
According to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk: "The Seahawks think that Wilson would like to play elsewhere, even if he hasn't and wouldn't ever say it. They also believe that this unspoken dynamic will cause Wilson to drive a harder bargain with them than he would with another team."
So the Seahawks have a few options. They can cave to Wilson's contract demands on Monday and keep their franchise quarterback for the foreseeable future, albeit at what would likely be an enormous cost. They could also end negotiations, hoping Wilson is bluffing while maintaining the ability to use the franchise tag to keep him after the 2019 season.
In the latter scenario, they could also put him on the trade market and wait for a deal that blows them away. They'd assuredly receive multiple first-round picks for the 30-year-old superstar, who is already a Super Bowl champion and five-time Pro Bowler.
Wilson would be a game-changer for a franchise like the Giants, representing a massive upgrade over Eli Manning and ending any talk about drafting a young quarterback. He'd also vault the Giants from pretender to contender status immediately, even if the roster still has holes to fill. That's the impact Wilson can have and why he'd fetch a bounty of draft picks.
So it's a fascinating moment for the Seahawks, for Wilson and for the rest of the NFL. What happens Monday will send shockwaves throughout the league, regardless of the outcome.