ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Russell Wilson flashed that smile from miles away, welcoming the prospect of playing in the loaded AFC and in the shadows of John Elway and Peyton Manning.
“I want to win three to four more Super Bowls. That’s the plan, that’s the goal, that’s the mission, that’s the vision,” Wilson said Wednesday after the The NFL has signed the biggest blockbuster trade of the offseason.
“So let’s do it. Why not?” added the former Seahawks QB while surveying the auditorium, where Elway himself, now an advisor to general manager George Paton, stood smiling in the background.
The deal, agreed last week, sent the 33-year-old Seattle star quarterback to the Rocky Mountains for a huge package of picks and players.
Wilson said he had thoughts about Manning’s mid-career transfer, Denver schools and organization when it became clear that he was about to get what he wanted and for the second — and he hopes final — chapter of his life moving to Colorado would have a stellar career.
Although the deal couldn’t be finalized before the new league year began on Wednesday, Wilson and his wife, R&B singer-songwriter Ciara, already have visited sick children in Denver just like the couple used to do in Seattle.
Wilson said he wants to play 10 to 12 more seasons and end his career in Denver after a fruitful decade in Seattle, where the Seahawks made it clear in congratulatory Twitter posts Wednesday that Wilson was the one asking for the split.
“Yeah, I didn’t initiate it,” Wilson replied. “It was definitely mutual.”
He also insisted he held no grudges towards his former team.
“Uncomfortable? No. I had an amazing 10 years there,” Wilson said. “…And what I do know is that some of the greatest quarterbacks of all time, from Manning to Tom Brady, Drew Brees, went from place to place, Guys I’ve always known and admired, so at this moment I’m excited for the opportunity to continue growing and learning.”
Wilson said he believes he’s not even halfway through his NFL career because of his work ethic and focus on health and nutrition. He didn’t miss a game until last year, when a broken right middle finger sidelined him a month after starting his first 165 games, including 16 in the playoffs.
Wilson becomes the first QB to join the team he defeated in the Super Bowl after beating the Broncos 43-8 after the 2013 season. Now he wants to follow Manning and Brady and win a Super Bowl with his second team.
“Their prime years are in their 30s and 40s,” Wilson said. “You see Tom coming back, Drew, as long as he’s been playing, you know. So for me, I haven’t even started.”
Not only does Wilson play in the shadow of great quarterbacks in a QB-crazy town, he’s joining an AFC packed with the likes of Joe Burrow, Lamar Jackson and Josh Allen. He is also now part of the division’s Mount Rushmore of quarterbacks in the AFC West, which also includes Patrick Mahomes, Justin Herbert and Derek Carr.
“Well, first of all, why would you want it any other way?” said Wilson. “I want to compete at the highest level. So I think we need to talk about John Elway and Peyton Manning first.”
He shared how he went to Manning Passing Camp as a high school student and met Manning on a visit to Denver before the Seahawks drafted him from Wisconsin in 2012 — after deciding to quit baseball (he was once a minor league system of the Colorado Rockies). and focus on football.
“So, those kinds of memories, it’s an honor, it’s a tradition, it’s a place of excellence,” Wilson said. “And that is the claim I have to bring with me every day. That’s all I know.”
And as for the AFC West, Wilson said: “I want to play with the best. I fear nothing.”
Wilson has two years left on the contract that will net him $24 million in 2022, although the Broncos could potentially give him a new mega deal before the season starts that could double his annual salary.
In Seattle, GM John Schneider said it had become clear to the Seahawks that it would be difficult to sign Wilson for an extension beyond his current contract, which is scheduled to expire after 2023.
“I don’t know if those were the exact words,” said Schneider, “but we had the impression that there would be no long-term extension.”
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said he never wanted to lose Wilson, but “we’re surprised at how well a deal came to us.”
This deal includes first- and second-round picks this year and next along with QB Drew Lock, DE Shelby Harris and TE Noah Fant.
“It wasn’t about (an acidified) relationship. It was about opportunities,” Carroll said. “He’s seen a lot of great players and great athletes do a lot of great things by making that step somewhere in their careers, whether it’s the quarterbacks we know what’s happening in the NBA, baseball guys do it.
“I think it intrigued him, and so after a long discussion, a lot of time together and all that, it provided that we were on an equal footing, ok, let’s go down that path and see what happens.”
https://nypost.com/2022/03/17/broncos-russell-wilson-reveals-plan-for-second-half-of-career/ Broncos’ Russell Wilson reveals second-half plans