Unger Signs Multi-Year Extension

Scratch one more name off the list of Seahawks slated to become free agents in 2013.  According to a press release on Seahawks.com, Unger has become the latest player to earn himself a shiny new deal this offseason.  As per usual, terms of the deal have yet to be disclosed, and right now all we know for certain is that it’s more than one year in length. 

Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times also reports that the contract “puts Unger among the highest paid centers in the game.”  So far, O’Neil is the only reporter making that particular claim, but it’s not out of the realm of possibility.  As football salaries go, even the highest paid centers don’t take up much of their team’s salary cap (all figures are courtesy of Spotrac):

Base Salary Actual Cap Hit
# Name Salary # Name Salary
1 Dominic Raiola
(Lions)
$3.4 mil 1 Nick Mangold
(Jets)
$5.79 mil
2 Eugene Amano
(Titans)
$3.12 mil 2 Dominic Raiola
(Lions)
$5.23 mil
3 John Sullivan
(Vikings)
$3 mil 3 Eugene Amano
(Titans)
$4.63 mil
4 Brad Meester
(Jaguars)
$2.95 mil 4(t) Ryan Kalil
(Panthers)
$4.5 mil
5(t) Kyle Cook
(Bengals)
$2.5 mil 4(t) Chris Meyers
(Texans)
$4.5 mil
5(t) Scott Wells
(Rams)
$2.5 mil 6(t) John Sullivan
(Vikings)
$4 mil
5(t) Chris Meyers
(Texans)
$2.5 mil 6(t) Jeff Saturday
(Packers)
$4 mil
8 Jonathan Goodwin
(49ers)
$2.4 mil 8 Chris Spencer
(Bears)
$3.75 mil
9 Nick Mangold
(Jets)
$2.33 mil 9 Jonathan Goodwin
(49ers
$3.72 mil
10 Chris Spencer
(Bears)
$2.25 mil 10 Brad Meester
(Jaguars)
$3.68 mil

First off, yes, you’re not seeing things — that really is what the Bears are paying Chris Spencer.  I can only assume they decided not to look at any of his game film.  Or take a glance at his injury history.  Or talk to anyone who had ever coached the guy.  (Can anyone tell me how Jerry Angelo lasted for eleven years as Chicago’s GM before they finally got around to firing him?).

Getting back to Unger, based on the above numbers, it’s probably safe to guess that he’ll be making a base salary of somewhere around $3 million per season with a cap hit of roughly $4.5 million, both of which are far more reasonable sounding than the words “highest paid [insert position here]” would lead you to believe.  Not a bad asking price for a guy who should anchor the middle of the Seahawks’ line for most of the next decade.

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If you follow the link above to Spotrac‘s website you can also rank players’ salaries by average per year, but I didn’t list those figures because the top numbers are invariably skewed by heavily backloaded contract figures.  For example, Ryan Kalil’s contract may average out to a distressingly high $8.17 million per season, but that’s only because the cap hit for the last two years of his contract work out to $9.62 and $11.75 million, respectively, and no one in their right mind is ever going to pay a center that kind of money.  (Note to Kalil: try to get traded to the Redskins before hitting the tail end of your contract.)

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