Another year, another record-setting contract in the NFL.
Russell Wilson reportedly became the league’s new highest-paid player Tuesday, as the value of the quarterback’s four-year deal with the Seattle Seahawks surpassed the extension Aaron Rodgers signed with the Green Bay Packers last August. But while Stephen A. Smith believes Wilson is deserving of a sizeable payday, he thinks the Seahawks signal-caller should be making less than one of his colleagues.
Smith is of the mindset that Tom Brady should be the NFL’s highest-paid player, and he explained why during Tuesday’s edition of “First Take” on ESPN.
“He (Wilson) should not be paid more than Tom Brady,” Smith said. “I think that Tom Brady should be the highest-paid quarterback in the National Football League, and I don’t think anyone can dispute that.”
“I believe in excellence being rewarded. When you consider the fact that this is a six-time Super Bowl champion, a multiple league MVP. When you think about what Tom Brady brings to the table — I’m very big on résumés. …The fact of the matter is Tom Brady is universally recognized by everybody as being the greatest who’s ever lived. He’s still playing, he’s standing here now as a reigning Super Bowl champion. He’s been to the last two Super Bowls. I’m sorry, I’ve never seen Russell Wilson at a Super Bowl in years. I’m of the mindset — again, I’m happy for Russell Wilson. He deserves the money, don’t get me wrong. But when we ask the question about who should be the highest-paid player, I think the highest producers should ultimately be paid and Tom Brady’s résumé is incomparable right now.”
It will be interesting to see how Brady’s contract is handled moving forward. The 42-year-old currently is set to account for a $27 million salary cap hit for the 2019 season, which would be the highest of his 20-year career in New England. Most expected the Patriots to rework his deal by this point, as the team doesn’t have a ton of cap flexibility and Brady has taken more than a few pay cuts in the past. Not to mention, Brady’s deal is set to expire at the end of the upcoming season and he’s never entered the final year of a deal without extending prior.
It’s tough to imagine Brady will supersede Wilson as the league’s highest-paid player at this stage in his career. But given all he’s done for the franchise, one has to imagine the Patriots will take care of their star quarterback.