Is Russell Wilson leaving the NFL to play baseball?


Russell Wilson is a tremendous leader, and a tremendous athlete. Such a good athlete in fact, he was drafted in both the NFL draft, for his current team the Seattle Seahawks, and in the MLB draft by the Colorado Rockies. The Texas Rangers would acquire his rights in the 2013 Rule 5 Draft. He has worked out with the Rangers during the offseason for the past two years.

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However, Wilson’s contract dispute now looms over the Seahawks like a booming dark cloud. The question remains, would Wilson consider leaving football to play in the MLB? If his baseball rights were acquired by the Seattle Mariners, Wilson says “I would definitely consider it.” 

Conor Orr, of, reports the quarterback chatted with Jimmy Kimmel, host of Jimmy Kimmel Live, on Thursday night and discussed the potential of leaving the NFL to pursue a career in baseball if he was able to play for the hometown Mariners. Wilson was his typical picture of cool as he deflected the questions saying “I just want to be paid based off my play. It will all work out in the end. We’ll figure it out.” Reports claim Wilson is looking to become the highest paid player in the NFL. With the average quarterback salary now exceeding $15 million per year, Wilson will look to push that number even higher.

Mar 28, 2015; Surprise, AZ, USA; Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson practices with the Texas Rangers on the practice fields at Surprise Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Wilson has been an extremely effective signal caller since entering the league in 2012. Since he was named the starter his rookie year, Wilson has played in all 16 games in each of his three seasons. He has thrown for over 3,100 yards and 20+ touchdowns each year of his career. He tied the rookie quarterback record, held by Peyton Manning, for passing touchdowns with 26. Wilson has never thrown more than ten interceptions in a season. His completion percentage has never been lower than 63%. He is a laundry list of accomplishments.

Wilson is still under his current rookie contract. A deal he signed in 2012, as a third round selection, for four-years worth $2.99 million. Wilson has lead the Seahawks to consecutive Super Bowl appearances in 2013 and 2014. He led Seattle to a dominant Super Bowl victory in 2013 and was all but a play away in 2014 from wining back-to-back appearances.

Wilson, like many top performing rookies, will break free from his initial deal. When, and at what cost, remains to be seen. The chances of Wilson leaving for baseball are slim. Wilson seems to be setting the scene, and gaining leverage, for what will be one of the largest contracts ever handed down to an NFL player.