Russell Wilson Could Have Been the Next LeBron James

Despite being a third-round pick, Russell Wilson has been one of the best quarterbacks in the entire NFL since entering the league in 2012. He has not only succeeded personally, though; he has also led the Seattle Seahawks to some great success. However, despite all of the great things he has done, the Seahawks almost traded Wilson a couple of years ago. In fact, Wilson almost became the next LeBron James.

Russell Wilson has been an excellent quarterback

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After the Seattle Seahawks selected Russell Wilson in the third round of the 2012 NFL draft, Wilson became a star almost immediately. He ultimately threw for 3,118 yards, 26 touchdowns, and 10 touchdowns in his rookie season as he earned a Pro Bowl selection.

In 2013, though, Wilson not only continued to have a great year statistically, but he also helped the Seattle Seahawks reach the mountaintop. Wilson threw for 3,357 yards, 26 touchdowns, and nine interceptions that year. He also helped lead the Seahawks to a 13-3 record, and they ultimately won the Super Bowl.

Wilson and the Seahawks then went to the Super Bowl again in 2014 but they lost to the New England Patriots. They have not even reached the NFC championship game since that 2014 season, but Wilson has continued to be one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL.

Here are his overall career accomplishments. 

  • Six Pro Bowl selections 
  • Super Bowl champion
  • 29,734 career passing yards
  • 227 career passing touchdowns
  • 3,993 career rushing yards and 19 career rushing touchdowns
  • Led the NFL with 34 touchdown passes in 2017
  • Led the NFL in passer rating in 2015

It is clear by looking at his achievements that Russell Wilson is one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. 

The Seahawks looked into trading him to the Cleveland Browns

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Typically guys like Russell Wilson are never traded by their teams, especially during their primes. Wilson almost was traded, though.

Chris Simms recently said on PFTOT that Seattle Seahawks talked to the Cleveland Browns about a potential trade, according to Pro Football Talk. The Seahawks would have traded Wilson to the Browns for the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft. 

A source then said, according to Pro Football Talk, that the Browns say that the idea was “floated” conceptually and that the discussion did happen. 

As you know, that trade never happened, and Wilson later got an extension with the Seahawks. If it had happened, though, Wilson could have become the next LeBron James.

Wilson could have been the next LeBron James in Cleveland

Russell Wilson is a great QB. LeBron James is a great basketball player. Wilson could have, believe it or not, become the next LeBron.
(L-R) Russell Wilson and LeBron James | Rob Carr/Getty Images; Jason Miller/Getty Images

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I know saying that Russell Wilson could have become the next LeBron James in Cleveland sounds crazy. James was a home-town guy and won the city its first-ever professional championship in over 50 years when the Cleveland Cavaliers won the NBA Finals in 2016. However, the claim is not as crazy as it sounds.

LeBron James left Cleveland for the Los Angeles Lakers in the summer of 2018. The Cavaliers have since been an awful team again. With LeBron James gone, the city needs another guy who can be their savior, like James was during both of his stints with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Russell Wilson could have been that for the city.

Cleveland really wants the Browns to be a good team. The Browns have not been to the playoffs since the 2002 season. They have not won a playoff game since the 1994 season. They have never won or been to a Super Bowl. That is pretty similar to what the Cavaliers went through before drafting LeBron James.

The Cavaliers drafted James in 2003. Before that, they had not made the playoffs since 1997-98. They had also not made it past the first round since 1992-93. The Cavaliers had not ever won or even been to the NBA Finals. That all, of course, changed when James got there. Russell Wilson could have done similar things for the Browns. He would have been the city’s main star too, with James now trying to lead the Lakers to a championship. Cleveland would have been Wilson’s city. 

Obviously, there is no chance that any professional athlete will ever mean more to Cleveland than LeBron James has meant to the city. If Russell Wilson could have led the Browns to a Super Bowl win, though, he would have gotten pretty close.

All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference and Basketball-Reference