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Seahawks complete the Sherman-Thomas extension exacta

Richard Sherman on Super Bowl XLVIII media day Jan. 30 in New Jersey
Richard Sherman on Super Bowl XLVIII media day Jan. 30 in New Jersey
Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Mission accomplished.

A week after signing All-Pro safety Earl Thomas to his anticipated contract extension, the Seahawks wrapped up their other All-Pro defender, Richard Sherman, on Wednesday.

It happened to also be Thomas' birthday, as the safety pointed out on Twitter (edited): "The day that I turn 25, No. 25 gets paid. Happy for you and your family. They don't make them like us!! LOB."

Sherman's new deal is worth $56 million over four years and includes $40 million in guarantees. He reportedly received an $11 million signing bonus. Added to his $1.43 million salary for 2014, that makes the five-year deal worth $57.43 million.

The new money breaks down to $14 million per year -- easily the most for an NFL cornerback. And the $40 million in guarantees trumps all but the best-paid quarterbacks.

Seahawks negotiator Matt Thomas structured both deals the same, adding four new-money years to the existing 2014 payouts.

In both cases, the players (and their agents) can tout the new money of the deals while the team can view it over five years (not that the Seahawks really care).

Earl Thomas received the biggest deal for a safety, at $10 million per year and $27.7 million guaranteed. His five-year, $44.7 million deal breaks down to just under $9 million a year and about $5.5 million per year in guarantees.

Sherman's deal breaks down to about $11.5 million over five years, with a whopping $8 million per year in guarantees.

The portion of guaranteed money in Sherman's deal is 68 percent, which trumps the 62 percent guaranteed in Thomas' contract and blows away the 50 percent in guaranteed cash that Dallas gave cornerback Brandon Carr in 2012.

The Seahawks certainly were more than fair to their top two defenders.

In the past two years, the Seahawks have now locked up the three key members of the Legion of Boom, paying out $84.2 million in guaranteed money to Sherman, Thomas and Kam Chancellor. Chancellor is signed through 2017 and Sherman and Thomas are inked through 2018.

"Obviously our goals we set out for this offseason were to try to take care of our own," general manager John Schneider said. "We've treaded lightly in free agency to take care of our own guys. And we're extremely proud that this day has come, proud of what we have been able to do so far.

"I'm very pleased with the way the offseason has gone," Schneider added. "We've stayed true to our philosophy. We haven't wavered. We've been tempted -- very much so. There are some pretty unique players who are interested in coming here. … I'm proud of our personnel staff and our coaching staff that we've been able to stick to our plan and stay true to the development of young players and try to take care of our own."

Sherman's deal reportedly will count just $3.68 million against the 2014 salary cap, leaving the Seahawks with a bit more than $10 million under the cap. That equates to probably about $4 million or $5 million in spending allowance (or rollover money for 2015).

Schneider said the Seahawks have other extensions in mind (Sherman pointed to wide receiver Doug Baldwin in the back of the room when the GM said that). They presumably will address possible deals for Baldwin, linebacker K.J. Wright and defensive end Cliff Avril during the summer. As with Sherman and Thomas before their deals, they all are entering the final year of their contracts.

Assuming the three other players will be reasonable -- about $4 million a year for Wright and Baldwin and $7 million for Avril -- the Hawks probably can keep them all. If they want more than those figures, though, the Hawks probably will simply let them play out their current deals and collect comp picks for them in 2016 based on deals they sign with other teams next offseason.

The Hawks have one more big extension to pull off next year: quarterback Russell Wilson. They can handle it, even if it comes in at the high end: $20 million a year and $50 million guaranteed.

They just have to juggle other contracts, which could mean letting go of free agents such as Byron Maxwell and Malcolm Smith and perhaps trading left tackle Russell Okung as he heads into the final year of his rookie contract with a $5 million salary.

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