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Pack in the Pros

Aaron Rodgers’ historic NFL contract may set up Russell Wilson to become highest paid in history

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Aaron Rodgers just became the highest paid player in NFL history. His new contract extension is good for $134-million over 4 years (and could balloon to 180-million with incentives).

So, why is a site dedicated to NC State, reporting on the Rodgers deal? Well, because NC State is #QBU and this contract just set the market-bar astronomically high. This is a new precedent for the QBs, let alone the NFL.

As for the four former NC State QBs in the league, the next one up for a new contract is Russell Wilson. Just yesterday, CBS talked to how Rodger’s deal will affect Wilson’s negotiating stance.

Wilson will have significantly more leverage next offseason during his contract year than in 2015, when he was entering the final year of his rookie deal. At the time, Wilson had made just under $2.2 million from his playing contract. This dynamic was going to make it extremely difficult for Wilson to reject an offer with a fairly player-friendly structure putting him near the top of the NFL pay scale. The Seahawks made him the league’s second-highest paid player at $21.9 million per year, although he hadn’t demonstrated that he could carry the offense for extended periods of time, which isn’t an issue anymore.

Wilson will have made just over an additional $72 million on the field since that time when this season ends. This financial security will allow Wilson to play hardball in any negotiations for an extension.

There is a chance that the Seahawks to hit Wilson with the franchise tag, but because of Rodgers deal, the salary base for an exclusive franchise tag isn’t cheap. Wilson may be ok with accepting that.

Wilson embracing the franchise tag, like Cousins did, could be appealing because of the high salaries. He would stand to make almost $68 million over the two years before becoming an unrestricted free agent in 2022, when he is 33, a year younger than Rodgers is now. Since good, healthy quarterbacks who should still have several highly-productive years still ahead of them almost never hit the open market, Wilson could be a position for a mind-boggling contract by going this route (CBS).

The other option for the Seahawks would be to offer a long-term contract extension soon. They may not want to get into the year-by-year contract situation where it could end up way more expensive for them to keep Wilson around in the long run.

This gives Wilson massive leverage. If he declines the long-term deal (that Seattle may offer at market rate) and forces the Seahawks to go year by year, he’d be betting on himself staying healthy. At the same time, he’d be putting tons of pressure on the Seahawks to give him a long-term deal that he can’t refuse.

Sure, Seattle may end up having to give Wilson a contract larger than Aaron Rodgers, but even then, it would save them money in the long-term if they are dead-set on keeping him around.

It’s a bit complicated, and there will be a lot of bluffing going on, but this Rodgers deal seems to set Russell Wilson up to become a very, very rich man.

Pack in the Pros

Raiders Sign Former NC State DB Juston Burris

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Former NC State cornerback Juston Burris has been signed by the Oakland Raiders after Safety Johnathan Abram was moved to the IR.

Burris was drafted by the Jets in the 4th Round of the 2016 NFL Draft, and played his first two seasons in New York. After the first 4 games of the 2018 season, the Jets cut Burris (he played in all 4 games), and was picked up by the Browns. Burris only played 4 games at Defensive Back for Cleveland after being picked up.

He saw a lot of action in New York his first two seasons, and was even the projected started heading into his second season.

Burris joins to other former NC State players in Oakland, with punter AJ Cole and quarterback Mike Glennon already wearing the Silver and Black.

While at NC State, Burris had 121 tackles, 3 interceptions and 18 pass deflections.

NC State now has 23 former players on active NFL rosters.

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Chargers Sign CB Dontae Johnson

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Former NC State Cornerback Dontae Johnson was  signed by the Los Angeles Chargers yesterday.

Johnson reunited with the 49ers this offseason, the team that drafted him in the 4th round back in 2014. Johnson played his first 4 seasons in San Francisco, even starting all 16 games in 2017. He signed a free agent deal with the Seahawks before last season and was expected to start, but was put on the IR right away, and released briefly after. After that, Johnson signed with the Bills and Cardinals during the season, but never saw the field. This offseason, he signed with the Chiefs and was released, and eventually signed with the Niners in May, but was released, even though he had 3 interceptions during the preseason.

With the addition of Johnson, there are three former Wolfpack football players on the Chargers, joining Quarterback Philip Rivers and Defensive Tackle Justin Jones.

Johnson was scooped up because LA had to put CB Trevor Williams on the IR with a quad injury.

NC State now has 22 former players on active NFL rosters.

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T.Y. McGill Signed by the Redskins

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Former NC State Defensive Tackle T.Y. McGill was signed by the Redskins yesterday after being cut by the Chargers prior to the start of the season.

McGill wasn’t drafted in 2015, but was signed by the Seahawks as an undrafted free agent. He was cut by Seattle before the season began, and scooped up by Indianapolis, where he played 15 games over two seasons.

In 2017, McGill played 3 games for the Browns, and last year played 2 games for the Eagles, and 4 games for the Chargers.

McGill had 120 tackles and 10 sacks while at NC State.

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NC State in the NFL: Week 1 Report

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18 of the 20 former NC State players on active NFL rosters saw action in Week 1 of the 2019 NFL season. Check out a breakdown of how they did below.

Rookie Center Garrett Bradbury started for Minnesota, playing every snap, and even recovered a fumble in their 28-12 victory over Atlanta. Unfortunately, he was the lowest graded offensive player on the Vikings according to ProFootballFocus (35.1), and literally earned a 0.0 pass blocking.

Rookie Wide Receiver Kelvin Harmon had 2 receptions for 31 yards (2 targets) in the Redskins 32-27 loss to the Eagles. Harmon played 15 snaps on offense (22%) and 13 snaps on special teams (45%).

Will Richardson started his first NFL game on Sunday, but it wasn’t at the position he expected. He was the projected starter at Right Guard, but started at Left Tackle due to injuries in the Jaguars 40-26 loss against Kansas City. Richardson played 100% of the offensive snaps, doing a great job keeping Frank Clark from doing any damage.

Quarterback Russell Wilson was outstanding in the Seahawks 21-20 victory over the Bengals. He was 14 of 20 for 196 yards and 2 touchdowns (0 interceptions), with a QB Rating of 134.6.

Rookie Linebacker Germaine Pratt had 1 tackle in Cincinnati’s 21-20 loss to Seattle. Pratt played in 3 defensive snaps, and 23 snaps on special teams (74%).

Quarterback Jacoby Brissett just got paid, and he looked worth every cent of it in the Colts 30-24 loss to the Chargers. He was 21 of 27 for 190 yards and 2 touchdowns (0 interceptions) with a QB Rating of 120.7.

Running Back Nyheim Hines rushed the ball 4 times for 13 yards, and had 4 receptions for 4 yards (4 targets) in Indianapolis’ 30-24 loss to Los Angeles.

Quarterback Philip Rivers barely out-dueled Brissett, completing 25 of his 34 pass attempts for 333 yards and 3 touchdowns (1 interception) with a QB Rating of 121.3 in the Chargers 30-24 victory over the Colts.

Defensive End B.J. Hill had 4 tackles in the Giants 35-17 loss to the Cowboys. Hill started for New York, and played in 68% of the defensive snaps.

J.R. Sweezy started at Right Guard for the Cardinals in their tie with the Lions. He played 100% of the offensive snaps, but on one particular play, he reverted to his old defensive tackle days at NC State.

Defensive Tackle Justin Jones started the first game of his career, picking up 3 tackles in the Chargers 30-24 victory over the Colts. One of his tackles for loss was against former Nyheim Hines, on a pass from Jacoby Brissett. You can’t make this stuff up.

Jones played in 65% of the defensive snaps.

Running Back Jaylen Samuels had 2 rushes for 4 yards, and 1 reception for 2 yards in the Steelers 33-3 loss to the Patriots. Samuels played 23 snaps on offense (33%) and 17 snaps on special teams (65%).

Rookie Wide Receiver Jakobi Meyers had 1 reception for 22 yards in New England’s 33-3 victory over Pittsburgh. Meyers played 8 snaps on offense (11%).

Joe Thuney started as usual for the Pats at Right Guard, playing 100% of the offensive snaps in their 33-3 victory over the Steelers.

Place Kicker Stephen Hauschka made his only field goal attempt from 43-yards, and made both extra points in the Bills 17-16 victory over the Jets.

Offensive Lineman Ted Larsen played one special teams snap in the Bears 10-3 loss to the Packers on Thursday night.

Rookie Punter A.J. Cole punted the ball 3 times for an average of 44.7 yards in the Raiders 24-16 victory over the Broncos. He landed one inside the 20, and his longest punt was 52-yards.

Linebacker Bradley Chubb had 3 tackles and 1 pass breakup in Denver’s 24-16 loss to Oakland.

DNP

Quarterback Mike Glennon (Raiders)
Quarterback Ryan Finley (Bengals)

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