Seahawks QB Russell Wilson Still Aiming to Play Until He's 45 Years Old
Quarterback Russell Wilson isn’t hanging up his cleats anytime soon.
Not that anyone was concerned about Wilson heading into early retirement, especially since he just signed a gigantic four-year deal worth $140 million last April.
The eighth-year pro celebrated his 31st birthday on Friday and reassured to members of the media that he has no immediate plans of calling it a career in the near future. In fact, if he has his way, he'll be playing beyond 2030.
Prior to Seattle’s practice on Friday, Wilson spoke about when he could envision himself stepping away from the game of football. As most expected, that day is extremely far into the future.
"I’ve always wanted to go for 45. That’s kind of just longevity playing," Wilson said. "I think, for me, every year is you’re invested to your body. You’re invested into your mind, your soul, everything else. The game. As you go, you get even stronger and you get even better I feel like. Even more wisdom. I think that helps a lot.”
While his goal of playing until 2033 may seem unrealistic, Tom Brady is continuing to play at a high level for the Patriots and he turned 42 years old in August. As Wilson stated, his desire to play into his mid-40s has largely been impacted by the high level of care and recovery he’s invested into himself during both the offseason and the regular season over his eight years in the league.
"I feel like in my eighth season, I feel like I’m just getting started. I feel like I haven’t done anything yet. That’s a good feeling," Wilson explained. "I think I’ve just invested in my body and my mind, making sure that my mind is ready to go every week and every season. And, in the offseason. When you invest in that stuff and just really – it’s not just financially. It’s really just the time that you spend on stuff. You keep taking care of that care."
Growing up, Wilson always dreamed about playing 20 years for one team, just like his favorite athlete Derek Jeter did with the New York Yankees from 1995 to 2014. Along with Jeter’s longevity, witnessing Brady continue to perform at a high level has made Wilson feel even more comfortable about his chances of accomplishing that same feat during his career.
"I wanted to play until I was 43 in my head. I want to play 20 years. My favorite athlete is Derek Jeter. I just remember when he retired, playing 20 years for the New York Yankees and tipping his hat and everything," Wilson discussed. "I’ve gotten to know Tom over the past several years and stuff like that. Just talking to him a little bit and seeing where he’s at and everything else. I think for me, it’s realistic. I feel great.”
While Wilson feels he has much left to accomplish with the Seahawks, the highest-paid quarterback in the league is in the discussion to win his first-ever MVP award this season.
Currently, Wilson is tied with Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson for the most passing touchdowns (24) in the NFL and also owns the second-best passer rating (112.1) behind only Kirk Cousins, according to NFL.com. Wilson has also thrown the second-fewest interceptions (3) among quarterbacks with at least 200 pass attempts this season.
If Wilson is successful in winning the MVP trophy after this season, he would become just the second player in Seahawks’ history to win the award, as running back Shaun Alexander took home the trophy in 2005. But even if he doesn't win this year, it sounds like Wilson plans to play at least another decade, opening the door for him to contend for the prestigious award in future seasons.