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NFL News and Notes: April 19, 2019

Russell Wilson Signs Big Extension With Seahawks

Russell Wilson wanted to get paid and paid is exactly what he got. The Seattle Seahawks have made Wilson the highest paid player in NFL history and also committed to the highest signing bonus in NFL history. For the quarterback, he receives a four-year, $140 million extension as well as a no-trade clause in his contract. His contract also includes a $65 million signing bonus and guarantees him $70 million in the first year of the contract. Last year for the Seahawks, Wilson went 280 for 427 for 3,448 yards, 35 touchdowns, and just 7 interceptions.

Additionally, he rushed 67 times for 376 yards. Overall, the Seahawks went 10-6 during the regular season before losing to the Cowboys in the Wild Card Round, 24-22. Given that there was uncertainty around the Seahawks, especially after a somewhat dismantling of their defense, it was a pretty successful year last year in the Northwest.

Patriots To Sign Demaryius Thomas

The New England Patriots have signed some depth to their wide receiving core by adding Demaryius Thomas to a one-year, $6 million deal, according to’s Ian Rapoport. While Thomas is not the receiver he used to be, he still can be a decent depth piece for a Patriots team that seems to constantly get the most out of its players. Last year, between time in Denver and Houston, Thomas caught 59 receptions for 677 yards. Still, if there is anyone that can get the most out of his remaining talent, it is Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. Thomas did tear his Achilles in December, but all indicators point towards him being ready sooner than later, possibly even being ready for training camp.

Uncertainty Surrounding Josh Rosen And Cardinals

The Cardinals sit comfortably at the top of this year’s draft, and while there are several interesting players (as well as trade opportunities) available, there is a growing sense that they will use that number one pick on quarterback Kyler Murray. While that is not a foregone conclusion, it has led to trade speculation around incumbent quarterback Josh Rosen. For Rosen’s part, he is prepared for either outcome. He admitted that the constant rumors were annoying, but he also understands the business of the NFL. Throw in the fact that the Cardinals have a new coach in Kliff Kingsbury, one who prefers Murray’s pedigree for his offense, it is understandable that Rosen could be on the move. Last season, Rosen went 217 for 393 for 2,278 yards, 11 touchdowns, and 14 interceptions. He also added 138 yards on the ground in 23 attempts and 3 fumbles. While those aren’t the most eye-popping stats of all time, he did show glimpses at times of a solid quarterback. It certainly didn’t help that the team around him was certainly subpar, finishing 3-13.

Panthers’ Luke Kuechly Restructures Contract

As roster crunches start to occur and teams look to free up money, it is not uncommon to see players restructure their contracts. Sometimes it is a better alternative to being cut, and in other cases, it is a sacrifice made for the betterment of the team. For Luke Kuechly of the Carolina Panthers, it was a way to guarantee his money while freeing up some for the team. Essentially, the Panthers converted just over $9 million of Kuechly’s 2019 salary into a bonus. By doing so, it frees up a little over $7 million for the team to use in free agency. As one of the best linebackers in the NFL when healthy, Keuchly is signed through 2021. This truly becomes a win-win for player and team, as the Panthers look to remain competitive in 2019, but needed some cap space to remain competitive in the free agent market. While the salary cap can be an often times tricky and confusing system, it appears this time it is working for both player and team.

Cowboys Pick Up Elliott’s Fifth-Year Option

With teams around the league having to decide on fifth-year options, one of the easiest decisions was made when the Dallas Cowboys decided to pick up the fifth year for star running back Ezekiel Elliott. By picking the option up, it guarantees that he will make just a tick over $9 million in 2020, although it is highly likely that a contract extension happens before that time. For Elliot in 2018, he rushed for 1,434 yards and 6 touchdowns on 304 carries (over the course of 15 games). He also caught 77 passes for 567 yards and an additional 3 touchdowns. As one of the premier running backs in the game today, it is an easy call for Jerry Jones and the Cowboys to try to keep him in Dallas as long as possible.

Jimmy Garoppolo Well On His Way Back From ACL Surgery

After signing a massive five-year, $137.5 million contract with the San Francisco 49ers, 2018 was supposed to be the coming out party for Garoppolo. After spending years as Tom Brady’s backup, it was his first opportunity to truly be “the man” for an entire season. Sadly, though, that failed to come to fruition as he was injured and lost for the season in the third game of the season. Currently recovering from ACL surgery, the 49ers’ quarterback expects to be ready to go, albeit with a brace on and is hoping for a healthy and productive 2019 in San Francisco. If he and the rest of the 49ers can stay healthy, it certainly could be a surprise team as aspirations were high last year prior to the injury.

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