Seahawks’ Russell Wilson: ‘I would honestly play two sports’

Bo Jackson. Deion Sanders. Brian Jordan. Russell Wilson?

The Seattle Seahawks’ star quarterback just won’t let the rumors die: He may well want to play two sports — football and baseball — at the professional level.

Wilson recently told HBO’s “Real Sports” he has not given up on a dream to play pro baseball, a path he once took before choosing the gridiron over the diamond. In an episode airing April 21, the 26-year-old signal-caller said he could seem himself becoming the next two-sport star.

Russell Wilson Rangers

Seahawks QB Russell Wilson is seen during Texas Rangers spring training March 28 in Surprise, Arizona. (Lenny Ignelzi/AP Photo)

“You never want to kill the dream of playing two sports,” Wilson told host Bryant Gumbel (see trailer video below). “I would honestly play two sports.”

Wilson’s career in pro baseball began before football. The Baltimore Orioles drafted him out of high school, and after he opted to go to college at North Carolina State, the Colorado Rockies drafted him in the fourth round in 2010.

He spent two years in Colorado’s farm system, playing for the low-A Tri-City Dust Devils in 2010 and the high-A Asheville Tourists in 2011. Wilson’s commitment to minor-league baseball contributed to his transfer from N.C. State to Wisconsin in 2011, when then-Wolfpack coach Tom O’Brien opted to hand the quarterbacking reins to Mike Glennon.

Wilson recommitted himself to football when he transferred to Wisconsin, becoming a captain after a few short weeks in the program and leading the Badgers to a Rose Bowl appearance in January 2012. He never returned to the Rockies organization, and was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks in the third round of the 2012 NFL draft.

Yet despite all his success in football — three straight playoff appearances, two Super Bowl trips and one Vince Lombardi Trophy — Wilson hasn’t given up on baseball. After the Texas Rangers selected him in the MLB’s Rule 5 draft in December 2013, Wilson has spent days at Texas Rangers spring training the past two years.

This year’s appearance came March 28, when Wilson suited up for Rangers fielding drills and batting practice — and hit a home run during BP — though he didn’t risk injury by appearing in a game. Still, despite the inherent hazards and challenges of being a two-sport star, Wilson hasn’t dispatched of the idea.

“I don’t know,” Wilson told HBO. “I may push the envelope a little bit one of these days.”

Wilson remains in negotiations this offseason for a contract extension with the Seahawks, who are expected to re-sign the QB before he enters the final year of his rookie contract this fall. It’s unlikely the Hawks, who are expected to make Wilson the top-paid player in the NFL, would like their star playing baseball in his minimal spare time.

And, especially in this age, it’s unlikely Wilson would be able to make it work. After all, there is barely an offseason in the NFL, and baseball and football overlap in August, September and October.

Visit for Seattle Seahawks news. Contact sports editor Nick Eaton at 206-448-8125, or @njeaton.

Nick Eaton