Once you’ve climbed to the top of the mountain, it’s time to come back down. The 2013 Seattle Seahawks made it to the top of the mountain, so it’s time for quarterback Russell Wilson to leave football and join the Texas Rangers.
The money is better in baseball, especially for an athlete of Wilson’s caliber. He received a $200,000 signing bonus after going in the fourth round of the Rule 4 draft in 2010. Moreover, whereas the Seahawks could cut Wilson at any time and owe him nothing, baseball contracts are generally guaranteed.
The odds of a repeat football championship are remote at best. There has not been a back-to-back Super Bowl champion since 2004 and 2005; indeed, no team has even made it to the big game two years in a row since that stretch. As for the Seahawks, they may be hard-pressed to repeat as division champions next year, let alone champions of anything greater than that.
Wilson has skills. As a minor-leaguer with the Colorado Rockies, he had a .354 on-base percentage in just 315 at-bats. A guy who can get on base that often and demonstrate some speed on the basepaths once he’s on can have a very good career as either a leadoff guy or a bottom-of-the-order hitter.
Wilson has some interest in the game. He’s agreed to attend Spring Training in Surprise, Arizona this month. His agent Mark Rodgers is primarily a baseball agent. Rodgers’ clients include A.J. Burnett, Cliff Lee and Jeff Samardzija. According to Forbes Magazine, Rodgers is on record as saying that Wilson “wants to keep his options open” and that he “has not closed the door” on playing baseball. Once Wilson gets to Spring Training, that door may open up a little wider.
Most importantly, there’s the matter of his health. Football is a very, very dangerous game. Fellow read-option quarterback Robert Griffin III has had two major knee surgeries in the last four years. After his knee injury in the playoffs two years ago, it clearly took Griffin much longer than expected to recover. If he wants to walk without a cane when he’s 40, Wilson should stop trying to evade rushing lineman and start scooping up ground balls.
Wilson has nothing left to prove in football, and it’s time for a change.