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Friday, May 24, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Grip on Sports: Wilson, Seahawks reach agreement on a contract extension

Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks passes the ball against the San Francisco 49ers during the Niners 26-23 overtime win over the Seahawks Sunday, December 16, 2018 at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, CA. ORG XMIT: DGNJ101 (Daniel Gluskoter / AP)
Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks passes the ball against the San Francisco 49ers during the Niners 26-23 overtime win over the Seahawks Sunday, December 16, 2018 at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, CA. ORG XMIT: DGNJ101 (Daniel Gluskoter / AP)

A GRIP ON SPORTS • If you stayed up to midnight on Monday, as I did, hoping to hear something about Russell Wilson’s contract, you were sadly disappointed. Then elated when you awoke this morning. He and the Seahawks reached a rich, rich deal. Oh, and there was some news from Gonzaga as well. Read on.

••••••••••

• Did you write a check yesterday for your taxes? In a sense I did, using the modern-day electronic equivalent. It hurt. A lot. I guess that’s a pain Wilson will never have to worry about.

Not with the $140-million contract extension he agreed to with the Hawks last night. The richest contract in NFL history. The highest-paid quarterback in NFL history. The millstone around Seattle’s salary-cap neck for the next few years.

The first two are facts. The last one? We’ll see. But that’s for down the road. For today Seahawk fans can celebrate the fact their quarterback is locked down for the next five years.

No trade to the New York Giants. No franchise-tag issues. No drama.

Well, if you don’t include the behind-the-scenes competition Wilson has with Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers, whose $33.5-million-a-year-average contract is now second in NFL history to Wilson’s $35-million one.

(And the gap is even wider than that. Rodgers must pay state income taxes in Wisconsin, something in the area of eight percent. That’s a significant chunk of money that Wilson doesn’t have to worry about.)

Last night Twitter was all a buzz about the negotiations as the two sides worked to meet Wilson’s self-imposed deadline. They were able to get the deal postmarked – figuratively – in time.

So now Hawk fans can move their worry meter over to Bobby Wagner’s negotiations. And whether there is enough money to keep Frank Clark. Or, if you are really into worrying about everything, this afternoon’s release of next year’s schedule.

The biggest deal, in more ways than one, is done.

• Rui Hachimura is headed to the NBA. No one expected anything less. Gonzaga’s All-American forward announced yesterday he will hire an agent and move on to his next adventure, entering the NBA Draft after his three years with the Zags.

Good for him.

Hachimura has given GU fans much in the way of success and entertainment ever since stepping on campus. In his time in Spokane, he’s become one of the faces of the program – on and off the court.

John Blanchette catches perfectly what Hachimura meant to our community in his column this morning. Don’t miss it.

• If you want to know why the Mariners will be so entertaining this season, all you had to do last night was tune in for the final two innings last night.

If you want to know why the Mariners will be so disappointing this season, all you had to do last night was tune in for the final two innings last night.

Everything was on display.

In a 3-1 game, the bullpen gave up two runs in the top of the eight without Cleveland ever putting a ball in play. I know, it sounds impossible, but four walks, a couple wild pitches and a hit batter will do that.

Trailing 5-1, the M’s hit two home runs in the bottom of the inning, scored three runs and only as pretty a catch as you will ever see ended the rally. But the defense showed its deficiencies in the ninth, as Tim Beckham’s two errors led to another Cleveland run and the 6-4 final.

Fun to watch. Ultimately disappointing. The M’s of 2019.

•••

WSU: Around the Pac-12, there is football news from Washington, Utah, Colorado and Arizona. The Wildcats are also trying to figure out how to improve their stadium.

Gonzaga: Hachimura’s announcement is the focus of Jim Meehan’s story this morning. His past is John’s focus and the focus of this short summary, which also includes many photos from Hachimura's career. … Jim was Larry Weir’s guest for the latest Press Box pod. … The baseball team hosted Oregon in a nonconference game, with the Ducks’ rallying for a 7-6 victory. … Elsewhere in the WCC, there is going to be major turnover in the BYU men’s basketball staff.

Preps: It was a busy Monday in the area, with roundups from soccer, softball, baseball and tennis.

Mariners: The M’s have lost four consecutive games and the bats have slowed a bit. … It was Jackie Robinson Day with everyone wearing No. 42. … Gene Warnick has his view from Out of Right Field.

Seahawks: Wilson let everyone know the deal was done with a video on Twitter. It was sort of odd, but that’s OK. The bottom line is the deal is done.

•••       

• It’s interesting. On the same day sports fans around here say goodbye to Rui Hachimura, they learned a longtime professional icon is sticking around for another half-decade. It’s the way of sports. Until later …

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