No team is going to give Russell Wilson, a franchise quarterback, to play baseball through Spring and Summer. But as a negotiating tactic with the Seattle Seahawks, it’s not such a bad idea.
Wilson was drafted by the Colorado Rockies in 2010 while he was still playing College Football. That summer he played 32 games as a second baseman for the Tri-City Dust Devils, the Class A Short Season affiliate of the Rockies in the Northwest League. In the summer of 2011, Wilson played 61 games with the Asheville Tourists, the Class A affiliate of the Colorado Rockies in the South Atlantic League. A year later he informed the Rockies he won’t be showing up for Spring training, preferring to pursue an NFL career. At the time, Wilson seemed like the furthest thing from a starting quarterback on the Seahawks.
On December 12, 2013, Wilson was acquired from the Rockies by the Texas Rangers in the Triple-A phase of the Rule 5 draft. On March 3, 2014, Wilson attended Rangers spring training in Surprise, Arizonawhere he spoke to the team and participated in infield drills.
In an interview with HBO, Wilson said he still has a dream of playing both sports: You never want to kill the dream of playing two sports. I would honestly play two sports. I don’t know what’s stopping me. I may push the envelope a little bit one of these days.
But this isn’t the 1990’s with Deion Sanders or the 1980’s with Bo Jackson. They weren’t quarterbacks; franchise quarterbacks, with a Super Bowl ring. Wilson also hasn’t played baseball at a high level in quite some time. It’s not like there’s an automatic, 15-year baseball career just waiting for him once he decides to re-join Major League Baseball.
The more reasonable angle to this story is Wilson entering the final year of his contract with the Seahawks. It means it’s time for them to sign him on something more rewarding, bigger, and in short, that pays him a lot more money. If he has Baseball waiting for him as a threat, why not use it? It can’t hurt.