Russell Wilson Speaks on Potentially Playing Both Football and Baseball

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistApril 12, 2015

SURPRISE, AZ - MARCH 03: Russell Wilson #3 of the Texas Rangers throws in the outfield during a work out before the game against the Cleveland Indians at Surprise Stadium on March 03, 2014 in Surprise, Arizona. (Photo by Mike McGinnis/Getty Images)
Mike McGinnis/Getty Images

Russell Wilson is unwilling to shut the door of the baseball clubhouse just yet.  

In a clip from an interview with Bryant Gumbel for HBO's Real Sports, the Seattle Seahawks quarterback said he still wants to play both football and baseball one day (via Bob Condotta of The Seattle Times).

"You never want to kill the dream of playing two sports," Wilson said. "I would honestly play two sports."

In response to a Gumbel question about what's stopping him, Wilson said, "I don't know. I may push the envelope a little bit one of these days."

Bill Wixey of Q13 Fox in Seattle thinks Seahawks owner Paul Allen should call the young quarterback's bluff if he wants to have a dual-sport career:

Bill Wixey @BillWixey

If Russell Wilson's serious about baseball, he should play. And Paul Allen should offer him a part time job & find another QB. #Seahawks

Wilson's work on the gridiron is well documented. He has helped lead the Seahawks to the Super Bowl in each of the last two seasons, with Seattle winning Super Bowl XLVIII in February 2014.

The 26-year-old also played baseball for three years at North Carolina State. According to The Baseball Cube, he hit .282 with five home runs, 30 runs batted in and 17 stolen bases in 106 games for the Wolfpack.

The Colorado Rockies selected Wilson in the fourth round of the MLB amateur draft, but he ultimately chose to play football full time in 2012, which was a smart decision considering his success with the Seahawks.

The Texas Rangers also picked Wilson in the 2014 Rule 5 draft, and he worked out with the team during spring training.

Given the physical demands necessary to play just one sport at a high level, it seems unlikely Wilson or any other athlete would be able to compete in two different leagues at the same time.

The landscape has changed a bit since the days of Deion Sanders and Bo Jackson. Athletes are bigger, stronger and faster than they were decades ago. The level of scrutiny is also higher with the rise of social media. Any sort of lapse on the field from Wilson would be attributed to him possibly overextending himself.

Plus, with the massive contract Wilson will likely receive from the Seahawks soon, he won't want to jeopardize his NFL career by attempting to conquer baseball.


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