Updates from Tuesday, Feb. 4
According to Fox Sports' Jon Morosi, Russell Wilson will not take part in Spring Training:
If the NFL doesn't work out, Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson will always have a job waiting for him on the baseball diamond.
According to NBC Sports, the Texas Rangers selected the 25-year-old signal-caller in Thursday's Triple-A phase of the Rule 5 draft at Major League Baseball's winter meetings:
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram's Jeff Wilson explained the reasoning behind the Rangers' decision:
The Star-Telegram reporter quoted Rangers assistant general manager A.J. Preller on why his team decided to draft the QB given his current status in the NFL:
From a baseball standpoint, we feel like if he ever decided he wanted to come back to play again that he'd be a guy we'd want in our system. The biggest thing that intrigued us on Russell from afar is the makeup, the way he goes about his business, the professionalism, the competitor, the message we try to preach throughout our organization, for us to at least have that as part of our organization.
At the end of the day, he obviously has a lot bigger things that he's working on right now, and we don't want to interrupt that aspect of it. But if at some point down the road he decides he wants to do baseball again, we decided it would be a positive to have him with us.
Wilson also provided a bit of insight into Wilson's reaction, courtesy of GM Jon Daniels:
The star quarterback gave his thoughts on the news via Jessamyn McIntyre of 710 ESPN:
As for what Wilson would look like in a Rangers uniform, MLB posted a photoshopped picture of the Seahawks star on its Twitter account:
For those who are unfamiliar with Russell Wilson's past, he was a stud athlete growing up, competing in several sports at the high school level before moving on to attend college at North Carolina State, where he would star on the baseball field in addition to the gridiron.
In 2010, the Colorado Rockies selected Wilson in the fourth round of the MLB draft. Rockies scouting supervisor Jay Matthews had the following praise for Wilson's abilities, per ESPN The Magazine's Dan Friedell:
I first recognized him as a baseball talent at a Virginia event [for high school students] called the Commonwealth Games. They have teams from four regions that play a two-day round robin. He was an unknown player coming into the event, but by the time he came out of the event, everybody was like: Who’s this Russell Wilson guy? So we invited him to the East-West Professional Showcase in North Carolina. That’s when his athleticism was noticed. He became a prospect.
Wilson appeared in more than 60 games for the Class-A Asheville Tourists at second base in the minors in 2011 but turned his attention to the NFL at the start of 2012.
Will Brinson of CBS Sports brought us a look at Wilson's baseball card:
Seeing as Wilson has been lighting it up with the Seahawks and is under contract with the team through the 2015 season, SportsBusiness Journal MLB writer Eric Fisher provided some insight into another potential motive behind the move to draft the two-way athlete:
Meanwhile, others like CSNWashington.com's Mark Zuckerman poked fun at the head-scratching move:
It's difficult to imagine Wilson turning to baseball at this point in his career or the Seahawks being content to let him compete in anything other than meaningful NFL games given how instrumental he's been in the team's resurgence under head coach Pete Carroll.
Jon Morosi of Fox Sports reported Wilson's thoughts on the move, confirming that the QB plans to be under center this Sunday, despite the Rangers grabbing him.
Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reports that Wilson's role will be more ceremonial than anything else:
After Wilson transferred from NC State and led Wisconsin to the Rose Bowl in his final college season in 2011, the Seahawks drafted him two rounds after Robert Griffin III at 75th overall in 2012. He then won the starting job under center in preseason that year.
Since then, Wilson has thrown for nearly 6,000 yards and 49 touchdowns in 29 regular-season games.
He led Seattle to an 11-5 record and a trip to the NFC divisional playoffs as a rookie. This season, Wilson's Seahawks are 11-2 and considered by many to be the favorite to win Super Bowl XLVIII.
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