By Eric Huenefeld
Eric Huenefeld grew up in Bellevue in the early 1970s as a die-hard Seahawks and Mariners fan. His family has been season-ticket holders to the Seahawks since Day 1. He lives with his wife in Bothell and is currently going back to school at Western Washington University to get a degree in Human Services. He longs for the day he can go to the Super Bowl and watch the Seahawks win.
Dear Mr. Wilson,
You have been the biggest bargain in the NFL for most of two years now, and Seahawks fans really appreciate all that you have done for our team and our city. Soon you will be making a playoff run that I hope will culminate with every player’s dream of winning a Super Bowl. That will be the most exciting day in Seattle sports history.
It won’t be long before you will be able to sign a big contract that will pay you what you truly worth. The going rate for the top quarterbacks in the NFL is about $20 million per year. You certainly deserve that. You are a great quarterback and still don’t seem to have scratched the surface of your potential.
Don’t let what I am asking of you lead you to believe that I don’t think you deserve everything you can get. Your effort and preparation will continue to help the Seahawks get better and be a good team for as long as you are here no matter how much money you are paid.
I am asking for you to remember what your dreams are in the NFL. You have said you want to win multiple Super Bowls, and no one here doubts you can do that in Seattle.
But if you get the giant payday you deserve, the amount of money left to pay other players is much more limited. Teams like the last Super Bowl champion, the Baltimore Ravens, have given their quarterback a big contract. The Ravens had to let important players from their team go, and they now are struggling.
As the Seahawks become great, players like Richard Sherman, Golden Tate, Max Unger and others will want their contracts renewed. It would be sad to see all of your ability not used to lead to Super Bowl wins because the team has to sacrifice the players around you.
So my hope is that you show your leadership by staying in Seattle when the time comes for you to get a new contract. Realize that taking a “hometown discount” is in your best interest as well as the best interest of the Seahawks. Maybe by re-signing you can even convince some of the other Seattle players that taking a little less so they can win more championships would be best for them and their careers.
No matter what you choose I will always support you as the classy, caring, hard-working franchise quarterback that I have longed for since 1976, when I fell in love with the Seahawks at the age of 7. I appreciate all of the great things you have already done, and I’m sure you will do for the rest of your career. All I ask is for you to take a look at your legacy in this game and how you could be remembered: as one of the quarterbacks who won four Super Bowls, not as another player who left town after taking every penny another team offered.
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