Unlike NBA, MLB, and NHL stars, NFL players don't receive guaranteed contracts from their teams. So even if a guy signs a seven-year deal worth $950 gazillion, the truth is that he usually only receives a fraction—a very, very small fraction—of what that contract is actually worth. It's just how things are done when it comes to the NFL.
But that might change soon. According to reports out of Seattle, Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson is trying to work out a deal with his team that would be fully guaranteed. It wouldn't be an inflated $115 million contract like the one Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton signed last year. But if it went through, Wilson would receive every dollar that he's owed on the contract. And it could potentially change the way that NFL players are paid moving forward.
For example, Cam Newton is reportedly waiting on signing a new contract himself because he wants to see how Wilson's deal plays out. If it does end up being guaranteed, there's a chance that he'd ask for a guaranteed contract from the Panthers, too. Other quarterbacks would likely follow suit as well, and while it'd take some time for this to actually happen, we imagine that all NFL players would eventually start asking for guaranteed deals after that.
That doesn't mean that they'd definitely get them or that NFL teams would be willing to budge from their stance on giving guys huge guaranteed contracts. But Wilson's deal could change the way that players negotiate. So it'll be interesting to see how big his new contract is and, more importantly, how much of it is guaranteed.
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