Monthly Archives: July 2015

Update: Big bucks for Wilson ($87.6M) and Wagner ($43M)

NOTE: Some new links and an update on Wagner’s deal have been added.

It’s official.

Russell Wilson signs a four-year, $87.6 million extension with the Seahawks with $60M guaranteed.

That’s an average of $21.9M per year. Only Aaron Rodgers of the Packers has a higher average ($22M). But if you include the $1.5M Wilson is scheduled to earn this year, he’s making $89.1M over five years, or less than $20M a year.

Andrew Brandt of made a good point in this tweet:

Why deadlines work: good agents know that teams never reveal their best offer until they absolutely have to. #WilsonContract

Brandt compared Wilson’s unique negotiations to other QB negotiations in a story last month.

Bucky Brooks of explains why Russell Wilson deserves the big bucks. One of  the reasons, besides helping the team win a Super Bowl and get to another one: He’s orchestrated 15 fourth quarter or overtime comebacks in three seasons.

This is what Warren Moon had to say about Wilson’s negotiations the day before the Seahawks signed him.

Wilson and Carroll discuss the QB’s extension after it was announced.

And Sports Illustrated’s Peter King of weighs in on the deal, too.

The Seahawks have done a nice job of taking care of their own. They locked up safety Earl Thomas (4 years, $40M) and cornerback Richard Sherman (4 years, $56M) to big deals. They also came up with a 2-year extension to keep running back Marshawn Lynch happy, paying him $12M for 2015 and another $12M in 2016, providing he comes back for another season.

Safety Kam Chancellor and defensive end Michael Bennett got new deals, but they’re reportedly interested in re-doing them. Chancellor is playing under a 4-year extension he signed in 2013 that pays him an average of $7M a year, but he didn’t report to training camp, which opens Friday.

Bennett, who signed a 4-year $28.5M deal prior to the 2014 season, has threatened to holdout but he is in camp.

Seattle has also locked up defensive end Cliff Averill (4 years, $28.5M) through 2019 and linebacker A.J. Wright (4 years, $27M) through 2019.

The Seahawks can now turn their attention to linebacker Bobby Wagner, who is next in line for a significant pay raise. Russell Okung’s contract also expires after the 2016 season, as does Bruce Irvin’s deal.

Considering the salary cap, can the Seahawks keep everybody happy?

For updated Seahawks’ contract information, go to

UPDATE: The Seahawks kept Wagner happy, announcing late Saturday the inside linebacker signed a 4-year, $43 million extension. It makes Wagner the highest paid player in the NFL at his position.

Mike Sando of points out that many of the players the Seahawks signed are only 26 or 27, keeping the window open for  potential championships in the coming years.

ICYMI, check out Greg Bishop’s story about Pete Carroll in the latest edition of Sports Illustrated. It’s all about grit, his philosophy and moving past the disappointing Super Bowl loss.

“It’s been thrilling to learn from this. It really has,” the always upbeat Carroll said of the offseason.



Quick hits: Robbins/Jonson, Vettleson, Pumas, Montero/Zunino, QB Wilson

Conner Robbins, former University of Washington golfer and a Central Kitsap grad, tied for second and Bainbridge’s Carl Jonson, who just turned pro after playing four years at UNLV, tied for fourth at the 52nd Lilac City Invitational in Spokane earlier this month. Here’s the story from The Spokesman Review.

The long-hitting Robbins gave the mini-tour grind a while a few years back, took some time off and has played well in the tournaments he’s entered. He’s now playing out of the Tacoma Country Club.

Jonson is playing in this week’s Colorado Open at Green Valley Ranch Golf Club in Denver.

Drew Vettleson update: Drew, another Central Kitsap grad, turned 24 on Sunday. The former first-round (42nd overall pick in 2010) of the Tampa Rays, is with the Washington Nationals’ Double-A club in Harrisburg, PA. Vettleson, an outfielder, went on the DL early last season and it took him some time to find his swing. Once again, he found himself on the DL this year after breaking his hamate bone. He is hitting .211 after going 2-for-5 on Saturday. He got off to a slow start, but has had five multi-hit games in his last nine going into Monday.

Harrisburg hitting coach Mark Harris had this to say about Vettleson at the league’s All-Star break:

“Drew missed a lot of time last year as far as experience in this league. … In Drew’s case, I think he’s adjusting to getting pitched a certain way. He’s learning the value of doing something with your pitch to hit when you get it, so you’re not always down in the count all of the time. … With him, I think he just needs to get at-bats.”

Pumas stand for defense:  The Kitsap Pumas start their USL Premier Development League postseason journey on Friday in Tucson, Arizona, where they will play host FC Tucson in a Western Conference semifinal at 8 p.m.. The Pumas (10-0-2) are one of two PDL teams in the 63-team league to finish the season without a loss.

Kitsap surrendered a league-low four goals in its 12 PDL games.

Pumas assistant coach Shaun Scobie praised the defense on the team’s website after its 1-0 win over the Sounders 23 last week:

“To have the best defensive record in the entire league is not a fluke. The boys work hard every day trying to be better than they were the day before and it’s that mentality that’s got us to this point.”

If the Pumas win, they will face the Sounders FC U23-Burlingame (Calif.) Dragons winner on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.. The champion moves on to the PDL’s Final Four. Kitsap won the tournament in 2011 when the Pumas hosted at Memorial Stadium and they were second a year ago to the Michigan Bucks.

On another Pumas’ note, The Sun’s Jeff Graham had an interesting take on owner Robin Waite’s interest in taking the team from the fourth-tier PDL to the third-tier USL.

More Montero, less Zunino: Jim Moore, who writes a weekly column for The Sun, also writes for 710 ESPN Seattle, where he co-hosts an afternoon radio show. Moore’s latest column for ESPN centered on why the Mariners didn’t keep Jesus Montero around. They sent Montero back to Triple-A Tacoma Monday. I’m thinking the same as Moore on this move. Why not send Jesus Sucre to Tacoma and make Montero the backup catcher? Yeah, yeah, he wasn’t much of a defensive catcher in the past, but he’s slimmed down, and according to what everybody is saying, he’s a more dedicated player than in the past. His bat just might be worth any defensive deficiencies he might have. ‘K’unino entered Monday’s game with a .158 batting average and was striking out almost 36 percent of the time. He’s the worst hitter in major league baseball. What do the M’s have to lose by letting Montero catch 2-3 games a week?

Wilson links: The quarterback’s contract-extension negotiations with the Seattle Seahawks has taken on a life of its own. Here are a few recent stories about it:

Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk says the time to do a new contract it is now.

During an interview at the ESPYs Wilson said once again that his contract situation “will work out.” 

Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times wrote about Wilson’s agent, Mark Rodgers, and the relationship he has with Seattle’s young star.

Here’s what Pete Carroll had to say about the contract talks between the Seahawks and Wilson. “He’s crucial, as all of our guys are,” Carroll told the media in Los Angeles while accepting an award from ESPN for his humanitarian work. “We love Russell and we want him back playing for us forever. There’s a lot of work being done. It’s underway right now and maybe it happens, I don’t know. We’re hoping for it.”


Shooting from the hip on a cloudy Friday

Congratulations to Ashley Robinson, the new girls basketball coach at Bremerton High. Good guy, good choice.

Central Kitsap girls basketball coach Nicole Nelson has resigned after one year with the Cougars, according to a report on the Cougars’ Facebook page. Nelson guided the Cougars to regionals and a 21-5 record in her only season. She works in the medical field and has accepted a new job in Alaska.

Shane Matheny, the Washington State third baseman from Olympic High, is playing summer ball for the Keene Swamp Bats of the New England Collegiate Baseball League. The Swamp Bats (cool nickname, huh) are from New Hampshire.

Congratulations to the Kitsap Pumas for winning another PDL Northwest Division championship. That’s four in seven years. The soccer community should be proud of this club, which won a national championship in 2011 and was second a year ago. Owner Robin Waite has put in a bid to host the conference finals. The Pumas (8-0-2) are one of two teams that have not lost a game in the 63-team PDL. The Charlotte Eagles (8-0-3) are the other club that hasn’t lost.

The Kitsap BlueJackets are still having trouble putting fans in the seats at Gene Lobe Field at the Kitsap County Fairgrounds & Events Center. The Jackets are last in the 12-team West Coast League in attendance, averaging 489 fans a game. Nine of the 12 teams average more than 1,000 fans per game.

I called it the “Blaine Game,” and everybody can play. Match an athlete with a city in our state. Go ahead, give it a shot. Here’s what I came up with.

Good news: The old East High gym is getting a new roof thanks to the state Legislature, which came up with $1 million out of its capital budget for the project.  It’s time to bring out facilities up to speed. I wrote about that a few weeks ago. You can read the column here.

Speaking of facilities, work has started at South Kitsap High School on installation of the  artificial turf at Joe Knowles Stadium, and new scoreboards for the baseball and softball facilities. Too bad the district couldn’t turf the baseball and softball fields at the same time. Makes sense, and would have been cheaper, too.

Speaking of South Kitsap, the Elton Goodwin Foundation is holding a Grand Slam Picnic on July 25 at the baseball/softball fields at the high school. The charity event (Middendorf Chiropractic is a major sponsor) will feature live bands, all kinds of games (waterslide, dunk tank, sumo wrestling etc.) for kids, BBQ, smoked salmon and crab from the Suquamish Tribe and a 29-inning (Goodwin wore jersey No. 29) alumni softball game. Former players (and non-players) can sign up by contacting SK baseball coach Marques Logue at  Advance tickets are $12 for adults, $8 for children (6 and under free). Tickets at gate will cost $15 and $10. Go to to buy tickets and for more information. Wanna order a brick to the Golden Gardens project at SK? Go to or call 360-874-2929.

Yes, I am the new softball coach at Olympic College. Just wanted to thank everybody who’s contacted me and offered congratulations. I’m excited and looking forward to the challenge. I hope everyone can stop by Lions Fall next spring and take in a game.

That’s all for now. Enjoy the sun, ah, I mean clouds.

SK grad Hammel deserves All-Star consideration, but will likely be snubbed

A report from Bleacher Report suggests that Jason Hammel, a 2000 South Kitsap graduate,  is pitching at an All-Star level, but his best chance of getting on the roster is for other pitchers to drop out.

Here’s Andrew Gould’s full report on All-Star snubs from Bleacher Report. Here’s what he wrote about Hammel:

Assemble the NL’s crowd of big-name aces: Max Scherzer, Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, Madison Bumgarner, Johnny Cueto and Cole Hamels. Now throw in Gerrit Cole, Jacob deGrom, Jake Arrieta, Michael Wacha, Shelby Miller and Matt Harvey among the young studs with ERAs below 3.00 and Cy Young aspirations in the distance.

That makes it all the tougher for Jason Hammel to garner everyone’s attention.

The Chicago Cubs cleared their budget to snag Jon Lester during the offseason, but Hammel has been their best signing by a wide margin. The 32-year-old righty has notched a 2.57 ERA, 0.95 WHIP and 3.09 fielding independent pitching (FIP).

Through 102.2 marvelous innings, he has registered 104 strikeouts and 18 walks. That gives him a 21.1 strikeouts-minus-walks percentage, which ranks third among qualified NL starters behind Scherzer and Kershaw.

NL K-BB % Leaders
Rank Player K-BB %
1 Max Scherzer, WAS 27.7
2 Clayton Kershaw, LAD 26.4
3 Jason Hammel, CHC 21.1
4 Jake Arrieta, CHC 20.9
5 Madison Bumgarner, SF 20.8

Yet a journeyman with a career 4.46 ERA doesn’t carry the buzz of an established stud or electric young hurler. While he’ll have a tough time cracking the original roster, keep in mind that several pitchers always back out of the game.