The Seattle Seahawks gave Bobby Wagner a four-year, $43 million extension yesterday, per Pro Football Talk -- that's nearly $11 million for every new year, with two of those years guaranteed, according to Ian Rapoport. And with that, the Seahawks have now set the market for Lavonte David and the extension he's likely to receive from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Wagner is now the highest-paid off-the-ball linebacker in the NFL.
Now that Seattle LB Bobby Wagner signed a new 4-year/$43M deal, it should be a boilerplate & pave the way for TB's LB Lavonte David as well.— Mark Dominik (@MarkdominikESPN) August 2, 2015
One problem for David and the Bucs has been the absence of quality comparisons for the linebacker to base a contract on. 4-3 outside linebackers simply don't have the impact that David has, and none of them have received extensions in recent years. Wagner still doesn't quite fit the bill -- he plays middle linebacker -- but given David's extraordinary impact and the fact that Wagner is basically the only top-of-the-line 4-3 linebacker contract in recent years, that $11 million per year should set the market.
I'd expect the Buccaneers to come up with a slightly lengthier deal for David, though -- they've shown a penchant for five- or six-year deals, rather than the four-year extension that Wagenr received. That may mean increasing the average salary per year, too -- buying off future years tends to come with a greater commitment. Regardless, the Bucs now have a template to work from -- a deal with Lavonte David probably isn't that far off.