Russell Wilson, 30, announced on social media he had agreed an extension deal with the Seattle Seahawks that will see him stay with the club for another four years and net him $140m - a cool $35m for each season.
“Seattle, we got a deal,” Wilson said in the video posted at around 1am on Tuesday morning, that also featured his wife, Ciara.
In signing the deal, Wilson, who grew up in Richmond, Virginia, overtook Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers, who last year also signed a four-year extension, worth $134m, or $33.5m a year.
“Russell's goal and his hope was that he would continue his career with the Seahawks and continue to bring championships to this town,” his agent, Mark Rodgers, told the Associated Press. “He believes there is still unfinished business and he is looking forward to pursuing that without having to worry about contracts and his future.”
The AP said Wilson had set a midnight deadline for a new deal with Seattle because he wanted a level of certainty about his contract before the start of the team’s offseason workout programme.
As it was, Wilson showed up for the first day, which started on Monday, and by the end of the night was posting the video to confirm the deal.
Among fans, both in Seattle and elsewhere, the deal was viewed differently. Some beloved the team had paid over the odds for the player.
Yet, reports suggest Wilson, who joined the Seahawks in 2012, is coming off his best season ever, with a career-high 35 touchdown passes. He also matched his career low with only seven passes being intercepted.
Others pointed out the significance of the deal in a sport that has traditionally had few American American quarterbacks, an affect of decades of discrimination by white coaches.
One poster on Twitter, Mr. U, recalled Wilson’s role in helping the Seahawks defeat the Denver Broncos in February 2014 to win the Super Bowl
“You broke my heart whipping my Broncos in the Bowl, but good on ya, Russell Wilson,” he wrote.
“I’m old enough to remember when sportscasters mused out loud whether African-American quarterbacks were intelligent enough to play in the NFL. Still a ways to go, but we’ve come a long way, baby.”
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