Extending Jordan Morris and Cristian Roldan will be top Sounders priorities

For at least one afternoon, the Sounders’ braintrust will watch a Portland Timbers squad that ousted Seattle in the playoffs try to capture the MLS Cup championship.

But the 5 p.m. PT clash Saturday between the Timbers and hometown Atlanta United FC at Mercedes-Benz Stadium will provide but a brief respite to what should be a busy final few weeks of 2018 for the Rave Green. First, the Sounders will put the final touches on a contract extension for Jordan Morris and then work toward a separate one with midfielder Cristian Roldan that should keep the good friends together for years to come.

Multiple sources said the Morris deal is for three guaranteed years and two option seasons. If both options are picked up, the contract would be worth roughly $1 million per season, but the guaranteed portion for now will be less than that amount.

Sounders owner Adrian Hanauer had been working on a Morris extension since early summer, even as the third-year professional was recovering from a season-ending knee injury. The thinking was that the team wanted to keep Roldan – one of  its marquee players – happy by having Morris around him for many more seasons.

Also, the Sounders felt that locking Morris up now would prevent them from actually losing him if he returns from injury and puts up the bigger numbers they’d expected out of him. The Sounders had gone into the season hoping Morris might blossom into a 15-goal scorer after his tough sophomore campaign in 2017.

The league can’t sign off on any deal for Morris until at least the day after the MLS Cup final is played. Part of the benefit for the Sounders is that the contract will be covered with Targeted Allocation Money (TAM), allowing them to write down a considerable amount of it for salary cap purposes.

That leaves them plenty of cap room to get other deals done, including a possible Roldan extension.

The new deals are unlikely to be announced by the team until January at the earliest once they are finalized and approved by the league.

Around the same time, the Sounders will announce the name of their new jersey sponsor after a decade-long deal with Microsoft Xbox expired at season’s end. Microsoft did not renew its contract, so the new sponsor will bring with it a change to the team’s jersey look — but the team is not saying for now what that will be.