On his 31st birthday, Russell Wilson reiterates desire to play until 45

Mike Florio
ProFootball Talk on NBC Sports

On Friday, Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson blew out 31 candles on his birthday cake. He reiterated that he intends to keep playing until he blows out 14 more.

“I’ve always wanted to go for 45,” Wilson told reporters. “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.”

Wilson added that he feels “young, younger than ever,” despite being a full year on the wrong side of 30. And he explained why 45 is his magic number.

“I just think that’s what I feel like I can do,” Wilson said. “I feel like in my eighth season, I feel like I’m just getting started. 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.”

Wilson agreed that Tom Brady playing until age 42 makes Wilson’s goals more realistic.

“I think for me, I always wanted to play until I was 40,” Wilson said. “That was kind of like when I first came into the NFL. 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 already has Hall of Fame credentials. Whether he makes it to 45 or 43 or 38 or 35, he’s destined to make it to Canton on the first ballot.

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