Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson has spent 10 years in the NFL, all with the Seahawks. He’s now committed to Denver for the next seven, before he ever even plays in a game as a member of the team.
At a press conference announcing his new contract on Thursday, Wilson explained that he’s mainly hoping to win more NFL titles with his new team.
“I had such an amazing first decade of my career, and the next decade, I’m really excited about,” Wilson said. “To me, what it was really about was being able to win championships and being able to have enough space in the salary cap so George [Paton] can make his magic and we can get guys like [linebacker] Randy Gregory when he comes on the team or other great players. We want to make this a destination location. It’s one of those things [where] we have an amazing tradition, amazing football team. We have a lot of amazing new faces in the Walton-Penner group. Mr. Rob Walton, himself, Greg Penner, Carrie [Walton Penner], ondoleezza Rice, Mellody Hobson, Lewis Hamilton and Damani [Leech]. These are world-class visionaries and world-class executors and winners. At the end of the day, you want to be surrounded by that, and what’s important, too, is making sure you surround yourself with amazing players. For me, I love these guys. It’s been a blast and an amazing joy. For me, it wasn’t really about how much [money], necessarily. It was about how many Super Bowls we can win. That’s really the focus.”
Wilson waxed philosophically on the things that motivate him, at this point in his career.
“Every morning I wake up — you focus on the individual day and try to win that day, which in the long-term and long view, you understand that’s what creates legacy,” Wilson said. “[It’s about] the people that you impact. My dad used to say it’s not the day you’re born and it’s not the day that you die, but it’s the hashmark in between that measures a man’s significance. I really believe that the hashmark in between — this is going to be a part of my hashmark. A part of that little dash in the middle and what can I do to impact not only this football team, winning and everything else [such as] the fans, engagement, and all that, but more importantly, help inspire young kids to keep believing, keep dreaming and have a ‘why not you’ attitude. To be able to impact kids at the children’s hospital or whatever it may be, that’s what I’m here for. God put me on this earth not only to play football, spin a ball and do some cool stuff, but hopefully to inspire the next kid and the next generation. That’s what legacy means to me.”
But Wilson also will, while crafting that legacy, make plenty of money. Not as much as he has in the past, relative to the rest of his team’s salary cap. But more than enough, with more than enough left to allow the Broncos to put a successful team around its franchise quarterback.
That’s the key for Wilson. While he has earned and will continue to earn plenty of money, he has one Super Bowl win in 10 NFL seasons. If he wants to add to that total, the Broncos will need to have the money to spend on more than a few great players.