On his 31st birthday, Russell Wilson stated that he feels “younger than ever” prior to Friday’s practice. And it’s a good thing Wilson still feels young, because as he reiterated Friday, he has no intention of seeing his NFL career end anytime remotely soon.
“I’ve always wanted to go for 45,” Wilson said. “That’s kind of just longevity playing. I think, for me, every year is you’re invested to your body. You’re invested into your mind, your soul, everything else. The game. As you go, you get even stronger and you get even better I feel like. Even more wisdom. I think that helps a lot.”
Playing until he’s 45 is a slightly amended career goal for Wilson, who initially set a 20-year career as his new target, one that seems less outlandish now than it might have even a few years ago thanks to the play of 42-year-old Tom Brady and 40-year-old Drew Brees.
“In my eighth season, I feel like I’m just getting started,” Wilson said. “I feel like I haven’t done anything yet. That’s a good feeling. I’m fortunate to be able to play every game and be out there every play. I think that, for me, I feel really young. I feel more vibrant than ever. I feel fast. I feel strong. My arm feels great. My mind feels better. Heart feels even better than that. I think just everything – we’ve got a great organization, great people around me. I think I’ve just invested in my body and my mind, making sure that my mind is ready to go every week and every season. And, in the offseason. When you invest in that stuff and just really – it’s not just financially. It’s really just the time that you spend on stuff. You keep taking care of that care. You keep taking care of it and you keep taking care of what you need to do to be great. I think it makes it easy that way.”
In addition to being inspired by the success of older quarterbacks, Wilson also is motivated by the baseball career of Derek Jeter, who he calls one of his favorite athletes.
“I always wanted to play until I was 40, that was kind of like when I first came into the NFL,” he said. “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.”
Wilson didn’t just get to celebrate his birthday this week, he was able to enjoy a special Thanksgiving at home that included not just time with his kids, but watching his wife, Ciara, perform on TV in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
“Thanksgiving morning, it was an interesting morning,” he said. “Woke up getting the kids together, which I don’t get to do that every morning. So, it’s one of my highlights of my day for Thanksgiving just because I’m usually at the office already. Got to wake up Future and Sienna and kind of hang out with them. We got to see Ciara on the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and watch that. Future and Sienna freaking out because she’s on TV dancing and singing. We just kind of hung out and watched a couple movies. We watched Frozen. So, we watched that together. Then Ciara flew back in and I picked her up. We had Thanksgiving dinner and watched all the games. Helped try to get the kids ready for bed and all that. It was an eventful day just throughout the day. A lot of fun. A lot of good family time.”
Photos from Friday's Seahawks practice at Virginia Mason Athletic Center in preparation for Monday's Week 13 game against the Minnesota Vikings.