It’s not often that NFL players enjoy decades-long careers, but Russell Wilson wants to join that rather short list.
The average NFL career is about 3.3 years total and 4.4 years for quarterbacks, according to Statista.com, but that number jumps all the way up to 11.7 years for players with at least one Pro Bowl selection. After five productive seasons, it’s not hard to imagine Wilson will live up to, and perhaps surpass, that Pro Bowl average, but the 28-year-old has his sights set even higher than that.
“I want to play 25 years,” the Seattle Seahawks quarterback told ESPN.com’s Sheil Kapadia in an interview published Saturday.
To put that into perspective, Wilson wants to play longer than Brett Favre (20 years), Peyton Manning (18 years) and Tom Brady, who’s entering his 18th season with the New England Patriots. In fact, Wilson even took a page out of Brady’s playbook and hired essentially a 24/7 trainer in 25-year-old Decker Davis.
“He travels with me everywhere I go,” Wilson said. “We go everywhere together. He’s super detailed. We can go in any situation, any scenario, any location and find something to do. We’re constantly doing that.”
Like Brady, Wilson also revamped his diet and got a physical therapist. But just because he’s following in Brady’s footsteps health-wise doesn’t mean he’s guaranteed a similarly long career.
Wilson is more mobile than the Pats signal-caller and hasn’t had a truly good offensive line in his five seasons in the NFL. So while Brady has sustained one major injury in his career so far — he tore his ACL in the first game of the 2008 season — Wilson’s been through a bit more wear and tear and battled through leg injuries last season. Wilson, who’ll turn 29 this season, hasn’t missed a game yet, but he also hasn’t had the same protection as Brady.
It seems highly unlikely that Wilson can make it through 19 more seasons after 2017, but he still has all the confidence in the world.
“I want to play 25 years and be in every game,” Wilson told Kapadia. “So, to me, how do you get there? That’s the simple question I ask myself.
“I feel great. I feel the best I’ve ever felt. I feel like I’m 18 all over again. So that’s something that I’ve been really invested in is having a great team of people that can help me be successful on the field and ultimately help the Seahawks win.”
Thumbnail photo via Joe Nicholson/USA TODAY Sports Images