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Russell Wilson

NameRussell Carington Wilson
BornNovember 29, 1988 (age 35)
Height5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Weight215 lb (98 kg)
WifeCiara (American Singer and Actress)
KidsFuture Zahir, Sienna Princess, Win Harrison and Amora Princess
High SchoolCollegiate School (Richmond, Virginia)
CollegeNC State University (2008-2010), Wisconsin (2011)
NFL Draft2012 / Round 3 / Pick: 75th
NFL CareerSeattle Seahawks (2012-2022), Denver Broncos (2022-present)
Career AwardsSuper Bowl XLVIII Champion 9× Pro Bowl (2012–2015, 2017–2021) Second-team All-Pro (2019) NFC Offensive Player of the Month (September 2020) NFL Offensive Rookie of the Month (December 2012) 11× NFC Offensive Player of the Week Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Week (Week 10, 2012) PFWA Good Guy Award (2014) 7× FedEx Air Player of the Week 3x Steve Largent Award (2012, 2018, 2019) NFL Top 100: 51st (2013), 20th (2014), 22nd (2015), 17th (2016), 24th (2017), 11th (2018), 25th (2019), 2nd (2020), 12th (2021) Walter Payton Man of The Year (2020) Bart Starr Award (2022)
Net Worth$165 Million

Russell Wilson is one of the most formidable dual-threat quarterbacks on the current NFL roster. He now plays for the Denver Broncos after being the starting quarterback for the Seahawks until the 2021 season. Wilson has been a prominent figure in the league since his arrival after being selected by the Seahawks in the third round (75th overall) of the 2012 NFL Draft.

He led the Seahawks to their only Super Bowl victory in 2014. Russell was even honored with a Bart Starr award in 2022 for his outstanding performance in the Seahawks jersey after he left the franchise.

Many would not know that before Russell Wilson started his NFL career, he displayed his athletic skills in professional baseball. The switch from professional baseball to the NFL is no piece of cake; however, Wilson’s transition was remarkable. He tied Peyton Manning’s then-record for most passing touchdowns by a rookie and earned the title of Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Year.

Early Life and Background

Russell Wilson was born in Cincinnati at The Christ Hospital. He was raised in Richmond, Virginia, by his parents, Harrison Benjamin Wilson III (a lawyer) and Tammy Wilson (a nurse director), along with his older brother, Harrison IV, and younger sister, Anna.
Genetic admixture analysis shows Wilson's ethnicity as 62% African, 36% European, 1% West Asian, and 1% Central Asian ancestry. His love for sports comes from his family’s strong sports background. His father was a multi-sport athlete who played football and baseball at Dartmouth and also briefly played as a wide receiver for the San Diego Chargers in 1980. Wilson's brother, Harry, excelled in football and baseball at the University of Richmond. Even his sister, Anna, played basketball at Stanford.
Russell started his football journey with his father and brother at the age of four. His love for the game kept growing as he participated in his first organized game for the Tuckahoe Tomahawks youth football team during sixth grade. Although it was his father who sowed the seed of football in him, he could not see his son flourish at the highest level.
Unfortunately, Wilson's father passed away on June 9, 2010, at the age of 55 due to complications from diabetes, just a day after Russell was drafted by the MLB’s Colorado Rockies. Moving on to his high school career, Wilson demonstrated exceptional football skills during his time at Collegiate School in Richmond, Virginia. In his two years there, Wilson was twice named the Richmond Times-Dispatch Player of the Year.
Wilson was recognized as an all-conference and all-state player, as well as the conference player of the year. Moreover, he was featured in a Sports Illustrated column for his standout performance in the state championship game victory.

College Career

Russell Wilson started his college football journey after committing to North Carolina State University on July 23, 2006. In 2007, he redshirted at NC State before sharing the quarterback duties with senior Daniel Evans and junior Harrison Beck, the following year. Gradually, Wilson was given the lead role in NC State’s offense as he led them to a 4–3 record in the regular season with a four-game winning streak.
Wilson had a strong season with 1,955 yards and 17 touchdowns with just one interception, which led to him being named the first freshman quarterback on the first team in ACC history. He did not stop there. In 2009, Wilson was recognized as the quarterback on the pre-season all-ACC football team and broke the all-time NCAA record for consecutive pass attempts without an interception.
Although he had impressive stats in 2009, the team finished with a 5–7 record, and Russell Wilson ended up being the honorable mention in the All-ACC team for his contributions. Wilson further excelled in the 2010 season as he guided the Wolfpacks to a 9-4 record. He achieved second-team All-ACC honors and was the runner-up for ACC Football Player of the Year.
In May 2010, Russell graduated with a BA degree in communication and pursued graduate-level business courses while continuing his football journey. However, in January 2011, Wilson decided to join the Colorado Rockies organization for spring training, and that did not sit well with NC State head coach Tom O'Brien.
Tom O’Brien tried to secure an opportunity at the 2011 NFL Scouting Combine for Russell Wilson, but even that did not work out. Consequently, NC State head coach Tom O'Brien granted Wilson a release from his football scholarship with one year of eligibility left for the young quarterback.
Wilson was approached by the Wisconsin Badgers following his fallout with NC State’s head coach and committed to them for the 2011 season. He ended up having an outstanding season with the Badgers, receiving first-team All-Big Ten honors and the Griese-Brees Big Ten Quarterback of the Year award. Wilson was also named a third-team All-American and placed ninth in Heisman Trophy voting.
Wilson’s college football career was concluded after his appearance in the 2012 Senior Bowl. He locked his eyes on the NFL after obtaining a master's degree in educational leadership and policy analysis from the University of Wisconsin.

NFL Career

Seattle Seahawks (2012-2021)
Russell Wilson’s decade-long career with the Seattle Seahawks was marked by numerous achievements and honors. After being drafted by the Seahawks as the 75th overall pick, Wilson quickly showed that he was a force to be reckoned with. He led the franchise to two back-to-back Super Bowl appearances in his first three seasons in the NFL. He not only became the only fourth players to win a Super Bowl in his second season but he also became the second black quarterback to lead his team to the Vince Lombardy Trophy.
Wilson also led the Seahawks to eight playoff appearances, and nine winning seasons, and set various franchise records for touchdown passes, passing yards, completions, completion percentage, and passer rating, among other accomplishments. Let’s take a look:
  •       Highest passer rating, career (minimum 500 attempts): 101.8
  •       Highest passer rating, season (minimum 200 attempts): 110.9, 2018
  •       Highest passer rating, rookie season (minimum 200 attempts): 100.0
  •       Highest completion percentage, rookie season (minimum 200 attempts): 64.1
  •       Lowest percentage passes intercepted, career (minimum 500 attempts): 1.80
  •       Lowest percentage passes intercepted, in rookie season (minimum 200 attempts): 2.54
  •       Most rushing yards by a quarterback, career: 4,689
  •       Most rushing yards by a quarterback, season: 849, 2014
  •       Most rushing yards by a quarterback, rookie season: 489
  •       Highest yard rushing average, career (minimum 400 attempts): 5.5
  •       Highest yard rushing average, season (minimum 100 attempts): 7.2
  •       Most passing yards, career: 37,059
  •       Most passing yards, rookie season: 3,118
  •       Most passing yards, game: 452 on October 29, 2017, against the Houston Texans
  •       Most passing touchdowns, career: 292
  •       Most passing touchdowns, season: 40, 2020
  •       Most passing touchdowns, rookie season: 26
  •       Most passing touchdowns, game (tied with three players): 5
  •       Most games with a passing TD, career: 137

Denver Broncos (2022- Present)

Russell Wilson made a major move by joining the Denver Broncos in March 2022. He was given a five-year contract extension worth $245 million, with $165 million guaranteed. However, the move turned out to be contrary to what the fans imagined. Wilson struggled to adjust to his new surroundings despite high hopes, leading to a less successful season compared to his past accomplishments.
Wilson's debut season with the Broncos was a tough one as he lost six of his first seven games. He tried to recover the season with his performance in the final game but the Seahawks ended the season with a 7-10 record. In his second year, he showed glimpses of his old self but the constant issues with injuries made him skip most of the season.
However, there is one thing one can deny. He has shown resilience when under pressure, performing at a high level despite challenges. The Broncos offensive line has struggled with pass protection and despite their efforts to fix it, there is still room for improvement.
Wilson’s time with the Broncos has seen many ups and downs. However, this is mostly due to the injuries and inconsistencies in the offense that he is unable to showcase his abilities.

Baseball Career

As we discussed earlier, Russell began his athletic career at North Carolina State University. However, he chose that path even after being drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the 2007 MLB draft, after high school. He chose to pursue both the sports at NC State and he indeed excelled from 2008-2010 as their second baseman.
Watching his athleticism, the Colorado Rockies decided to draft him in the fourth round of the 2010 MLB draft. Russell showed strong on-base numbers despite a lower batting average after two seasons playing for the Colorado Rockies Organization (with Tri-City Dust Devils and Asheville Tourists). Following the 2011 baseball season, when Russell Wilson enrolled at the University of Wisconsin, he decided that he wouldn't report to spring training in 2012.
Despite being drafted by the Seattle Seahawks, he decided to continue his baseball journey. The Texas Rangers claimed him in the minor league portion of the 2013 Rule 5 draft. Wilson also engaged in spring training with the Texas Rangers in both 2014 and 2015 even after his Super Bowl XLVIII victory with the Seahawks.
The Texas Rangers kept Russell Wilson on their team until 2018 when they traded him to the New York Yankees. This trade fulfilled a promise he made to his father as a child to play for the New York Yankees. Wilson wore the jersey no. 73 as actually had his first professional at-bat since 2011 against Braves pitcher Max Fried. Unfortunately, he struck out swinging. His baseball journey ended with his last spring training appearance with the Yankees in 2019, and the Rockies organization has shown no further interest in trading him back.

Family and Personal Life

Russell Wilson has experienced major life changes on a personal level. He married his high school sweetheart, Ashton Meem, in January 2012, but they filed for divorce in April 2014.
In early 2015, Russell started dating R&B singer Ciara and they eventually got engaged on March 11, 2016. The couple decided to marry each other and had a mesmerizing ceremony on July 6, 2016, in Cheshire, England. Ciara had a son from her past relationship with rapper Future. Almost a year later, Ciara and Russell had their first daughter, followed by a son in 2020. A few months ago, in December 2023, the couple welcomed their second daughter.
Wilson and Ciara lived in Bellevue, Washington, during his time with the Seahawks, but sold their home for $36 million in April 2022. They then bought a $25 million residence in Cherry Hills Village, Colorado, which was the priciest home purchase in the Denver area.

Russell Wilson's Net Worth and Salary

Russell Wilson’s Net Worth is reportedly $165 million as of January 2024, per Celebrity Net Worth. Forbes had ranked Russell as the 12th highest-paid athlete in the world in 2023. A substantial amount of his net worth is due to his contract with the Denver Broncos, worth $238 million. Apart from that, Wilson’s strategic investments and brand endorsement deals also contribute toward solidifying his financial portfolio.
Wilson signed a groundbreaking 5-year, $242,588,236 contract with the Denver Broncos. It included a $50,000,000 signing bonus, $161,000,000 guaranteed, and an average annual salary of $48,517,647, per Sportico.
In 2024, Wilson will earn a base salary of $17,000,000 plus a $22,000,000 signing bonus, making his cap hit $35,400,000 with a dead cap value of $85,000,000. Wilson’s deal was the most expensive contract in history when it was signed.

Russell Wilson’s Endorsements and Investments

Russell Wilson’s financial success made him 2023’s 12th highest-paid athlete in the world. A significant part of it comes from his lucrative sponsorship deals. In 2023, his brand endorsements are projected to bring in an extra $14 million. Let’s take a look at the brands.
  •       Amazon
  •       BOSE
  •       Mercedes – Benz
  •       Alaska Air Group
  •       Nike
  •       Wilson Sporting Goods
  •       Microsoft
  •       Duracell
  •       Braun
  •       Levi’s
  •       American Family Insurance
  •       Larson Automotive Group


Russell Wilson has actively shown a commitment to philanthropy as his success elevated. His support extends to people battling AIDS & HIV, At-Risk/Disadvantaged Youths, Autism, Cancer, Children, Disaster Relief, Education, Family/Parent Support, Health, Homelessness, Mental Challenges, and Parkinson's Disease. Per Look To The Stars
Wilson regularly visits the Seattle Children’s Hospital, and in 2016, he donated a substantial amount of $1,060,005 from the "Why Not You" foundation, dedicated to cancer-fighting efforts. Moreover, all proceeds from the Russell Wilson Passing Academy in 2012 were contributed to the Charles Ray III Diabetes Association.
Wilson has backed several other charities such as Autism Speaks, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Celebrity Fight Night Foundation, Elton John AIDS Foundation, Free The Children, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Marshall Mathers Foundation, Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center, and Team Rubicon.