Pete Prisco: ‘Lot Of Issues With Wilson In The Pocket’

A lot of NFL teams have quarterback questions – whether it’s due to injuries, contracts, performance issues or something else entirely.

But which NFL team is least likely to have those questions answered positively?

“Boy, that’s a good question,” CBSSports.com NFL senior columnist Pete Prisco said on CBS Sports Radio’s Gio and Jones. “A lot of people would point to Cutler in Chicago, but I don’t buy it. I think Cutler and (Adam) Gase and that offense – they’ll be a good fit and he’ll be a much better quarterback this year and better than people think he is overall personally. The guy threw 28 touchdown passes last year, and there were only nine other guys in the league who threw more than that. He completed 66 percent of his passes, which was in the top 10, and yet the perception is he’s not a good quarterback. So not him.”

Okay. If not Cutler, then who?

“Wilson’s contract, to me, is the interesting one,” Prisco said. “I don’t think Russell Wilson is the kind of player that will let that affect him whatsoever, but it might affect the team in other ways. People will keep asking the question over and over again – ‘What do the other players think about it?’ – and that kind of thing. So to me, that contract situation in Seattle is very, very interesting.”

The Seahawks must decide what to do with Wilson, who is in the final year of his rookie contract. Ultimately, how will this situation play out?

“Well, I think part of the problem is he obviously wants to be paid like he’s one of the top quarterbacks in the league,” Prisco said, “and Seattle is probably thinking, ‘Well, no you’re not’ – and that’s always a problem. If it’s $18-20 million, which is, I think, the fair number for him, then I think you get it done. But if he’s stuck on $21-23 million a year, then I think you got problems. The difference is he’s played with the top scoring defense in the league the last three years. If the Seahawks lead the league in scoring defense again, it’ll be the fourth time in a row – which, the last time that was done was the ’50s Browns, which was a dynasty.

“So if you’re Seattle, you sit there and say, ‘He’s got Lynch. He’s got that franchise defense. Is he really a franchise quarterback?’ He’s a franchise quarterback for what they want him to do, but can he carry the team when people and pieces start leaving the organization? That’s the multi-million dollar question there.”

Seattle’s answer, Prisco said, may simply be to tag Wilson after the 2015 season and delay contract negotiations even further.

“Play him out another year and see where he is,” Prisco said. “Look, the guy does some good things, but let’s face it: There’s a lot of issues with him in the pocket. He’s still not a great pocket passer. He still doesn’t go through his progressions like a quarterback should. And you don’t get faster as you get older; you get slower. So those 900 rushing yards are going to dwindle by the year, and that’s the way it should be. But if you’re Seattle, you got to sit there and say, ‘Okay, if I’m going to pay him $25 million, is he that $25-million quarterback? Is he Aaron Rodgers? Is he Andrew Luck? Is he Ben Roethlisberger? Is he that type of quarterback?’ And the answer to that question, in my mind, is no.”

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