The second-to-last play of the Seattle Seahawks’ regular season was a strange play call. Now we know why.
WIth 22 seconds left, after Seattle recovered an onside kick, all the Seahawks had to do to seal a 26-23 win was take a knee. Instead, the Seahawks ran a push pass to receiver David Moore on a jet sweep. Russell Wilson pushed it forward to Moore, who got credit for a catch. Announcers were flummoxed. Pete Carroll was shown on the sideline looking upset and confused before shaking his head and breaking into a smile. Seattle went to victory formation the next play.
Wilson went rogue. He changed the play from a kneeldown to an easy pass to get Moore one more catch for a $100,000 bonus.
Russell Wilson helps teammate get a bonus
Players understand the contract incentives they need to hit in Week 17. When New Orleans Saints receiver Emmanuel Sanders caught a pass on Sunday, he raised his arms in triumph. It was his 60th catch, triggering a $500,000 bonus. Tom Brady got three shovel passes to Antonio Brown late in Tampa Bay’s finale so Brown could hit a contract bonus.
Wilson wanted to help out his teammate. Moore needed 35 catches for a $100,000 bonus. Wilson admitted that he called second-to-last play of the game to get Moore over the hump.
“It’s a blessing to be able to help his family and his daughter and all of that stuff,” Wilson said after the game.
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Wilson said quarterbacks coach Austin Davis was part of the plan too.
“Austin actually said, ‘Hey, let’s get it done; let’s get it done,’’’ Wilson said, according to the Seattle Times. “… So when we ended up calling it and I said, ‘Dave you’re going to get the ball right here, here we go,’ kind of winked at him. So that was pretty cool.’’
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Seattle Seahawks' David Moore (83) celebrates with Russell Wilson (3) after a touchdown this season. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)
David Moore took a pay cut before season
Last offseason, Moore was part of the cold business side of the NFL.
Moore signed a non-guaranteed $2.13 million tender as a restricted free agent, then restructured his deal before cutdown day, agreeing to an $850,000 salary according to the Seattle Times. Had he not agreed to that deal, the Seahawks could have cut him without any cap penalty since the $2.13 million wasn’t guaranteed.
Moore didn’t get all of his pay cut back through that bonus for 35 receptions, but it’s still significant. Wilson is a Seahawks captain, and gestures like that are a reason he’s the team’s leader.