BY Art Thiel 05:18PM 04/15/2015

Baseball? Seahawks’ Schneider doesn’t see how

Seahawks GM John Schneider admiires Russell Wilson’s ambitions, but doesn’t quite see yet how Wilson could make pro baseball work while being an NFL QB.

This Russell Wilson autographed jersey is selling on the Texas Rangers team store website for $616.99. / Texas Rangers

Saying he admired the way Russell Wilson “attacks everything — I don’t think you could put anything past him,” Seahawks general manager John Schneider sprinkled a bit of  cold water Wednesday on the idea that the quarterback was someday going to include pro baseball in his already fairly robust athletic life.

“I think one of the primary things that really attracted Russell to us – I know me in particular – was the confidence he has in himself and the goals, dreams, aspirations,” Schneider said on the Dori Monson Show on KIRO-FM radio Wednesday. “He’s off the charts in terms of his confidence level and the way he views himself, so it doesn’t surprise me that he would think that way.

“Quite frankly, I haven’t thought much about the baseball aspect of it. Based on the position that he plays in football, I think it would be difficult.”

Schneider was predictably careful in not slamming the door on Wilson’s longtime dream in the middle of complicated negotiations for an extension of his contract that could produce an annual salary or $20 million or more. Schneider avoided answering the question of including a prohibition on playing baseball in the proposed extension:

“That’s not something I’d get into right now,” he said.

Wilson raised the baseball option in an interview that will air on HBO’s “Real Sports” Tuesday. A promotional trailer was released Sunday in which Wilson told Bryant Gumbel, “I never want to kill the dream of playing two sports.”

Asked what’s stopping him from doing that, Wilson said with a chuckle: “I don’t know. I may push the envelope a little bit one of these days.”

Wilson was a minor league second baseman for parts of two summers in college, and his rights have been acquired by the Texas Rangers, with whom he has an appearance at spring training the past two years.

Pro Football talk reported Tuesday that contract talks had made little progress, but there is no immediate urgency; in fact, Wilson could play without an extension this season in the fourth and final year of his rookie contract.

Schneider cautioned against reading too much into the reports.

“What I can tell you is that this is the ultimate team sport, we have a track record of rewarding our players that we recognize as core players,” Schneider said. “We’re going into our sixth draft now – I can’t believe that; we’ve been here for a while now – but just that track record of being able to make those tough decisions.

“Every negotiation is unique in and of itself and this is no different. Ultimate team sport, he’s our quarterback, we’d love him to be our quarterback. But the thing is, we need to keep as many of these guys together as we possibly can.

“I say this all the time: We want to be a consistent championship-caliber football team, one that the community and the Northwest is extremely proud of every year and has high expectations and hopes for. We have to be able to protect ourselves as we go and make smart decisions in trying to keep this whole thing together as long as we possibly can.”


  • Matt K.

    Hmm… I’m not the best at reading between the lines, but Schneider’s comments would seem to suggest that re-signing Wilson isn’t inevitable. The team comes first. Is this all just posturing, or could Wilson end up on another team?

  • jafabian

    Wilson hasn’t played competitive baseball since the summer of 2011 when he played 61 games for the Asheville Tourists, the Class A affiliate of the Rockies. He had a .228 BA, 3 HRs and 15 RBI’s. Taking grounders and BP for a few weeks each spring isn’t going to keep you at a pro level for baseball. He’d probably start out at AA level, make AAA in 1 and a 1/2 seasons and be stuck there. If he made the majors he’d be 29-30 years old. He might get a call up when rosters expand but if he maintains an NFL career that would never happen. Like his time with the Rangers, he’d make the team due to him being Russell Wilson, NFL QB. Wouldn’t he rather earn that spot on his play? I’d rather see him take a queue from Colin Kaepernick and spend the offseason working on being a better Seahawks QB.

  • Donthe Gasman

    Dude, find another team once you hit free agency.. Pretty obvious that the hawks want to screw you as much as possible for the final portion of your contract. I’m thinking that San Diego could use a QB with the talent and expertise that Wilson can deliver.

  • Donthe Gasman

    Gotta say that if I was Wilson…I’d tell the Hawks to f… off or come up with some serious dough.

  • notaboomer

    dori monson is an annoying wingnut who shouldn’t be allowed to pollute sports commentary. i couldn’t turn the volume down fast enough when that guy came on at halftime of a seahawks radio broadcast. it’s disheartening that schneider sees fit to go on dori monson but maybe he has to by contract. maybe russell wilson wants to play baseball b/c he could make more money without the certainty of brain damage that comes with the nfl life. see e.g. matthews, clay. can you blame him?