On Friday, Wilson detailed why he views 45 as the magic number, via the Tacoma News Tribune's Gregg Bell:
Wilson is enjoying arguably his finest season to date in 2019. Through 11 games, he has completed 67.3 percent of his passes for 2,937 yards and an NFL-high 24 touchdowns (tied with the Baltimore Ravens' Lamar Jackson) with just three interceptions, adding 271 yards and three scores on the ground.
Meanwhile, he has already helped the Seahawks (9-2) secure a winning record this season, keeping alive a historic streak:
Wilson has led Seattle to the playoffs in six of his first seven seasons, making a pair of Super Bowl appearances in the process. He played a role in delivering the franchise's first Lombardi Trophy with a Super Bowl XLVIII victory over the Denver Broncos.
B/R Gridiron @brgridiron
Happy 31st Birthday to @DangeRussWilson 🥳 Drafted 75th overall in 2012 and won the starting job in training camp. By 2019, he’s got 5 Pro Bowls and a Super Bowl ring- playing like an MVP. Russ says he wants to play till he’s 45, there’s a lot more magic to be made in Seattle. https://t.co/0qw0UwWwtU
Playing beyond 40 was not always as common among professional athletes as it is these days. Wilson does, however, have some recent examples to serve as guidance (h/t Florio):
"I think for me, I always wanted to play until I was 40. That was kind of like when I first came into the NFL. Really, 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. That feeling is something that I always—Jetes is probably my favorite guy I've ever watched play sports. I think that 20 years is kind of in my head, to be honest with you. I've got a long ways to go. I’m just eight years in. I feel better than ever. That's kind of where it started for me. Then, obviously seeing Tom do it and 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."
In order to reach his goal, Wilson would have to play 14 more seasons. If he continues to play at an MVP-caliber level, the Seahawks would likely look to extend him beyond his current contract, which runs through 2023.