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Rangers not pushing Seahawks QB Wilson’s baseball career

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Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson has discussed his ambition to one day become a two-sport star, but Texas Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said he has no plans to interfere with Wilson’s NFL career.

Wilson, in an interview with HBO’s “Real Sports” that will air Tuesday, said the Rangers want him to give baseball an attempt beyond his one-day visits he has made to the past two spring trainings.

“That’s why the Texas Rangers got my rights,” Wilson told HBO’s Bryant Gumbel during the interview. “They want me to play. Jon Daniels, the GM, wants me to play. We were talking about it the other day.”

However, Daniels said the Rangers have no plans to push Wilson into a pro baseball career.

“Russell has the competitiveness and work ethic to where he’d have a shot if he committed to baseball,” Daniels told reporters Saturday. “Obviously, he’s got a pretty good thing going on with the Seahawks, and we’re not going to get in the way of that. Playing quarterback is more intensive than the positions of other guys who have attempted to play both sports.”

With two Super Bowl appearances in three seasons — winning one of them — the 25-year-old Wilson and the Seahawks are discussing a new contract.

Seahawks general manager John Schneider knows the day is coming when the Seahawks and Wilson, a third-round pick in 2012, will have a new contract to announce. Wilson is scheduled to make $1.5 million in 2015, but the going rate for franchise quarterbacks is $20 million per season.

“Every negotiation is unique in and of itself and this is no different,” Schneider said last week on Seattle’s KIRO radio. “He’s our quarterback. We’d love him to be our quarterback. But the thing is we need to keep as many players together as we possibly can. 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 also discussed Wilson’s baseball dreams during the radio interview.

“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. “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. But the way he attacks everything, I don’t think you could put anything past him.”

During the HBO interview, Wilson suggested that he may “push the envelope a little bit” and play football and baseball.

“Let’s be blunt,” Gumbel said to Wilson. “You played minor league ball for a while. Correct me if I’m wrong. Numbers were .227 average, five homers, 26 RBI. If the numbers were better, would you (play baseball and football)?”

Wilson replied, “I wouldn’t be worried about the statistics of it. I know I can play in the big leagues. With the work ethic and all that, I think I definitely could for sure. “

Wilson was a two-sport star at North Carolina State before transferring to Wisconsin for his final season of college football. He was a second baseman in college and in the minors.

Wilson was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles out of high school and was drafted again in 2010 when he was taken by the Colorado Rockies in the fourth round. He was acquired by the Rangers in December 2013 during the Rule 5 draft.


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