During his time on the gridiron, Russell Wilson has established himself as one of the NFL’s elite quarterbacks. Despite his consistent success, however, the Seattle Seahawks signal-caller has never claimed NFL MVP honors; believe it or not, he hasn’t even received a single MVP vote over the entirety of his career. This year, though, may be a bit different.
Through the first three games of the 2020 NFL season, Russell Wilson has earned plenty of MVP attention. The Seattle Seahawks quarterback isn’t going to be satisfied with that, though. He doesn’t want “a vote” this year; he’s chasing the proper MVP title.
Russell Wilson’s incredible NFL MVP history
While every football player dreams of lifting the Lombardi Trophy at the end of the season, being named NFL MVP isn’t a bad consolation prize. Russell Wilson has accomplished the former feat but hasn’t even come close to the latter honor.
During the previous eight seasons of his NFL career, Wilson has done just about everything possible. He threw for more than 4,000 yards on three occasions; he’s rushed for as many as six touchdowns in a single campaign. The quarterback also led the Seahawks to a Super Bowl title and, if not for an infamous call from Pete Carroll, would have claimed a second championship. Despite those accomplishments, though, Russell Wilson has never received a single NFL MVP vote.
While there is a major mitigating factor—unlike in other leagues, there’s no ranked MVP voting, so each of the 50 electors only gets to submit one player’s name—that reality seems impossible. Over eight seasons, you’d think at least one person would have cast one vote for Wilson.
The Seattle Seahawks QB has no interest in ‘a vote’
Based on his performance in the opening weeks of the season, Russell Wilson has already begun receiving some MVP attention. The Seattle Seahawks quarterback, however, has no desire to simply getting off the mark and going home with a few votes. He’s in it to win it.
“I don’t want a vote. More importantly, I want to win,” Wilson told John Boyle of Seahawks.com. “Obviously MVP is a special award, it’s the best football players in the world, so many great guys. I think about guys like Lamar [Jackson] last year, he was unbelievable last year, such a great player. Guys like Patrick Mahomes, and some other greats that still play this game in Tom [Brady] and Drew [Brees]. For me, I want to be regarded as one of the best to ever play this game, and it’s part of the process.”
Despite that desire, Wilson knows that he can’t win the NFL MVP award by himself. Even though he’s the one trying to earn votes, the quarterback is, to some extent, reliant on the supporting cast around him.
“Hopefully I can win enough games and do enough special things as a team to be able to do that,” Wilson continued. “It’s a team award, really, in terms of the MVP. It’s really a special award because everybody’s involved in it, and hopefully I can be a part of that and hopefully we can be a part of that as team.”
Russell Wilson looks like a legitimate NFL MVP candidate
It goes without saying that you can’t crown an MVP after three weeks of football; for all we know, Russell Wilson will lay an egg or suffer an unlucky injury next Sunday. With that being said, though, the Seattle Seahawks quarterback seems poised to make a run at the crown.
Through the first three weeks of the season, the Seahawks haven’t lost a game. Wilson himself has been throwing deep balls with incredible ease; he’s piled up 925 passing yards and 14 touchdowns already. Beyond the stats, though, he has the narrative on his side.
Although everyone hopes that award voting is impartial, the 50 electors are human beings; that means they’re capable of buying into the narrative. While that’s not enough to completely change the race—no amount of media coverage can make a backup tight end an MVP candidate—Wilson could get a bit of a boost from a self-fulfilling prophecy. If one of the dominant storylines during the 2020 season become Russell Wilson trying to prove that he’s deserving of the NFL MVP title, that could give him an edge when it’s time to vote.
Based on his first three weeks, however, Russell Wilson won’t need any help. He’s already become the oddsmakers’ favorite and seems to be living up to his own words. The Seattle Seahawks quarterback is playing like someone who doesn’t want a token NFL MVP vote; he’s trying to remind everyone that he’s one of the best players in the league, even if he doesn’t have one particular trophy on his mantle.
Stats courtesy of Pro-Football-Reference