As the contract negotiations between the Seattle Seahawks and Russell Wilson aren’t going anywhere, the quarterback keeps using the possibility of playing baseball as a tactic to either gain some leverage or simply annoy the front office of his own team.
Wilson, who has been wildly successful as a starting quarterback for the Seahawks, which includes two consecutive trips to the Super Bowl and one championship ring, was drafted (for a second time) in the 2010 MLB draft by the Colorado Rockies. After playing some minor league baseball with the Tri-City Dust Devils and Asheville Tourists before getting traded to the Rangers. He participated in their 2014 spring training drills, or at least some of them.
Here are some of the things he said to HBO when talking about the option of playing Baseball, specifically for the Texas Rangers, who hold on to his playing rights.
I wouldn’t be worried about the statistics of it. I know I can play in the big leagues. With the work ethic and all that, I think I definitely could for sure. And that’s why the Texas Rangers got my rights. And they want me to play. Jon Daniels, the GM, wants me to play. We were talking about it the other day.
Is Wilson seriously considering baseball? Probably not. While there have been two-sport athletes in the past, some of them successful in both places, it’s hard to believe a franchise quarterback is going to go down that route. Wilson has also been away from the game for quite some time, and might need some lengthy polishing and minor league playing to do in order to find himself actually playing Major League baseball.
But maybe he prefers it? We’ve seen a talented rookie retire after just one season because he was afraid of long term damage. We know more and more about the lasting damage from concussions in football, casting a dark, sinister shadow over the league, which comes off as more sinister than anyone else. Maybe Wilson wants to play something else?
While he probably won’t be as good as he can be in football, which also means making less money per year, a career in baseball, barring other injuries, can last a whole of a lot longer. And yet in the context of everything that’s going on, it’s hard to believe Wilson is doing anything more than playing a little bit with the Seahawks management as part of the negotiations.